Mexican-American actress Salma Hayek got some laughs last week when she channeled her inner Khizr Khan and offered to lend Donald Trump her copy of “U.S. History For Dummies.”

Cover of "U.S. History for Dummies." Image via
Cover of “U.S. History for Dummies.” Image via
But a week earlier, Minnesota Public Radio took the question seriously: What books should presidential candidates read?

Historian Tim Walch said Trump and Hillary Clinton should read something outside their comfort zone: “We need people to have fresh ideas, to think a little differently than others. And to have the courage in their convictions to go forward.”

Literary journal editor Syreeta McFadden said of Trump: “Given the kind of comments that we hear from that particular candidate, it’s ahistorical, and out of context and dishonest. I would definitely recommend a [book by a] historian.”

McFadden’s reading list:

  • “The History of White People” and “Standing at Armageddon” by Nell Irvin Painter
  • “The Fire Next Time, Nobody Knows My Name, Cross of Redemption” by James Baldwin
  • “CivilWarLand in Bad Decline” and “Tenth of December” by George Saunders
  • “Between the World and Me” by Ta-Nehisi Coates
  • “The Unwinding” by George Saunders
  • “The Warmth of Other Suns” by Isabella Wilkerson
  • “The New Jim Crow” by Michelle Alexander
  • “The Condemnation of Blackness” by Khalil Gibran Mohammed
  • “Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude” by Ross Gay
  • “Beloved” and “Song of Solomon” by Toni Morrison
  • “Citizen” by Claudia Rankine
  • “All the Single Ladies” by Rebecca Traister
  • “The Half Has Never Been Told” by Ed Baptist
  • “Unfamiliar Fishes” by Sarah Vowell

Tim Walch’s picks:

  • “The Road to Character” by David Brooks
  • “Bowling Alone” by Robert D. Putnam
  • “Hamilton” by Ron Chernow
  • “Redeployment” by Phil Klay
  • “The Wright Brothers” by David McCullough

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