September 23rd, 2014
01:13 AM ET

Bill Clinton: Two books you should read

Fareed asks former U.S. President Bill Clinton for his 'Book of the Week.'

Mr. President, we usually have an end segment where I recommend a book of the week. We are blowing it out all for you, so I'm giving you the last word, which is what book would you recommend? You're a voracious reader. If you were to tell our readers, what should they read?

If you'll give me two.


First, I'd like readers to read Abundance, the Peter Diamandis book with his coauthor, because if they did that, they would see that while the headlines are really bad in the world today, the trend lines are pretty good. Extreme poverty is down. The health care is improving dramatically around the world. There are developments now which make me believe we might be able to do what we did in the 1990s, which is to use technological developments to create more jobs than we lose. For the last few months, for the first time in literally more than a decade, 40 percent of the new jobs have been in higher wage categories. I think people should read this and get some good ideas. The other book is The Social Conquest of Earth by E.O. Wilson.


He's a Nobel Prize winning microbiologist, but he writes as best he can from all the known evidence about the history of life on Earth from single-cell organisms to the present day. The reason I would like them to read that is that he said if you look at all the species that have ever lived on planet Earth, the most successful were ants, termites, bees and people. Why? Because they're the greatest cooperators. And I saw the other day a story about how there are 25,000 species of spiders on Earth and for reasons nobody understands, a couple of dozen of them have started cooperating and they build stronger, better webs.

Cooperation will save the future. And America should lead it. Every time humanity has been in danger of extinguishing itself, our consciousness and our conscience have led us to come together. That's the big issue of the 21st century. That's the great fight of the next 25 years.

So Congress should learn from spiders, that's…

They will. I spent a lot of time with spiders in my early life. I just think, you know, the Constitution could be subtitled "Let's Make A Deal." The founders understood it. We need to remember it.

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soundoff (100 Responses)
  1. Joey Isotta-Fraschini©

    Are the books recommended by Former President Clinton published with enough illustrations for all USA citizens to understand them?

    September 23, 2014 at 7:01 am | Reply
    • Lawrence


      September 23, 2014 at 9:28 am | Reply
    • banasy©

      Not everyone can afford Trinity or Riverdale Country, JIF.

      September 23, 2014 at 11:41 am | Reply
    • rupert

      @joey. Lol. That's funny!
      Sorry chrissy.

      September 23, 2014 at 7:54 pm | Reply
  2. chri§§y

    Taking lessons from philip are you @ joey? Ya know the one class hes MOST famous for...How to offend everyone around you in 30 seconds or less! That is NOT a very attractive quality and quite frankly i think its beneath you to post that garbage!!!

    September 23, 2014 at 8:53 am | Reply
  3. chri§§y

    Is this crochity crankiness what we can all expect when we reach your age joey? If so i do NOT want to grow that old!

    September 23, 2014 at 10:04 am | Reply
  4. chri§§y

    And im also surprised joey, that you seem to live in an uneducated neighborhood. But you must if you assume everyone needs illistrations to know what theyre reading! Maybe you could start volunteering at the schools in your neighborhood? They say that "grandparent volunteers" can and DO make a difference in public schools! 😉

    September 23, 2014 at 10:28 am | Reply
  5. chri§§y

    But of course you will have to check your "recently acquired habit youve picked up of offending as many people as possible" at the door!!!!! There is already too much of that with young people who havent been taught any better. Though its usually found mostly in poverty neighborhoods...youve shown us educated people can and do act in gutter fashion.

    September 23, 2014 at 10:38 am | Reply
  6. bobcat2u

    A proud father brought home a swing set he had just purchased for his children and immediately began to assemble it while all the neighborhood children anxiously waited to play on it.
    After several hours of reading the assembly instructions and trying to fit bolt A into slot B, etc., he gave up and called upon an old handyman working in a neighboring yard.
    The old-timer came over, tossed the directions away, and had the set completely assembled in a short period of time.
    "It's beyond me," the father said, "how you managed to get it all put together without even reading the directions."
    "To tell the truth," replied the old-timer, "I can't read, and when you can't read, you've got to think."

    September 23, 2014 at 10:43 am | Reply
  7. bobcat2u

    Chuck Norris doesn't read books, he simply stares the book down till he gets the information he wants.

    September 23, 2014 at 10:46 am | Reply
  8. chri§§y

    Lol @ bobcat...are you trying to encourage the pompous one?

    September 23, 2014 at 10:54 am | Reply
    • bobcat2u

      Well you know how much he loves it when I post my jokes.

      September 23, 2014 at 11:21 am | Reply
  9. chri§§y

    I havent seen any recent posts by him, nor have i missed them lol.

    September 23, 2014 at 10:56 am | Reply
  10. bobcat2u

    I don't know chrissy. I might need some illustrations to know what's going on here.

    September 23, 2014 at 11:03 am | Reply
    • banasy©

      Oh, dear Rawr, I think the picture is very clear, here.

      September 23, 2014 at 11:47 am | Reply
      • bobcat2u

        "I can see clearly now".

        September 23, 2014 at 11:55 am |
      • banasy©

        "The rain is gone."

        September 23, 2014 at 12:33 pm |
  11. chri§§y

    Lmao @ bobcat...sarcastic i hope? Im pretty sure you can read a book without needing pictures cant you?

    September 23, 2014 at 11:31 am | Reply
    • bobcat2u

      Total sarcasm chrissy. But pictures do seem to help when I read foreign language novels.

      September 23, 2014 at 11:46 am | Reply
  12. chri§§y

    And sorry if you dont understand @ bobcat...i just get fired up when someone acts as if THEY are the only ones who knows anything and that the rest of us are too stupid!!!! And until recently i only knew ONE person who acted that way but now as you can see, it has spread!

    September 23, 2014 at 11:38 am | Reply
    • bobcat2u

      And yes chrissy, I know exactly know where you're coming from. It caught me off guard with Joeys' comment. I would never have expected that. I just hope this pompousness hasn't become a contagion on here.

      September 23, 2014 at 11:50 am | Reply
    • banasy©

      One set of hands doing something about it is worth infinitely more than a thousand posts complaining about it, Chrissy.

      September 23, 2014 at 11:53 am | Reply
  13. chri§§y

    @ banasy How does "one set of hands do something about it?" And i havent posted 1000 complaints thanks! Nor will i be silent EVER when some pompous old man implies that i am stupid. Especially when ive worked so very hard all my life to continue my education ya know. And yes i KNOW that he didnt specify anyone by name...thats because he implied "all of the USA citizens!"

    September 23, 2014 at 12:07 pm | Reply
  14. banasy©

    I wasn't referring to you, Chrissy.

    September 23, 2014 at 12:29 pm | Reply
  15. chri§§y

    Ah i get it now! You meant about "you know who" complainin all the time, right? Lmao i didnt catch that quick enough but i gotcha now.

    September 23, 2014 at 12:44 pm | Reply
  16. franktrades

    Are these books Plagiarized too?

    September 23, 2014 at 12:46 pm | Reply
    • bobcat2u

      Only if one chose to use the words written by another.

      September 23, 2014 at 1:20 pm | Reply
    • Grendel

      OMG. That's SOOOO funny! That joke has NEVER been used before! You're a comedic genius! Hahahahaha!


      September 23, 2014 at 2:21 pm | Reply
  17. Ferhat Balkan

    Books I enjoyed reading:

    1) Don Quijote
    2) The Count of Monte Christo
    3) Robinson Crusoe
    4) Moby-Dick
    5) The Call Of The Wild
    6) The Old Man and the Sea

    I enjoyed many others, but I'd put the above as my favorite.

    September 23, 2014 at 2:09 pm | Reply
    • banasy©

      One of my absolute favorites is To Kill A Mockingbird.

      September 23, 2014 at 7:18 pm | Reply
      • Ferhat Balkan

        A masterpiece 🙂 The movie was also very good.

        September 23, 2014 at 7:41 pm |
      • rupert

        I like the part where the two kids of Gregory peck are walking home with one dressed as a pumpkin. Then a man jumps them but robert duval helps them and they get home safely. Sooo october scene.

        September 23, 2014 at 8:03 pm |
      • banasy©

        Scout was dressed as a ham.

        September 23, 2014 at 8:56 pm |
      • banasy©

        The movie was a very good adaptation of the book. It remains one of my very favorite Gregory Peck roles.

        September 23, 2014 at 9:03 pm |
  18. chri§§y

    Yes he sure is @ Grendel. And his fan club reaches far!

    September 23, 2014 at 2:44 pm | Reply
    • bobcat2u

      Thank you.

      September 23, 2014 at 7:40 pm | Reply
  19. Thomas

    Bill's new book " The Angry Vegan ", who ate my last slice of pie ?

    September 23, 2014 at 2:59 pm | Reply
  20. Brad Dorset

    I'm looking for the man that shot my paw.

    September 23, 2014 at 6:16 pm | Reply
  21. Brad Dorset

    the following people are the same person:
    Joey Isotta-Fraschini
    Ferhat Balkan
    Fred flinstone
    Monkey junction

    September 23, 2014 at 6:21 pm | Reply
    • banasy©

      That would be incorrect.

      September 23, 2014 at 7:13 pm | Reply
      • bobcat2u

        Wow, I can't imagine anyone having that many personalities.

        September 23, 2014 at 7:36 pm |
  22. Brad Dorset

    George patton
    Joseph McCarthy
    Irish Mama

    September 23, 2014 at 6:23 pm | Reply
  23. stuart

    I spent time with spiders too.

    September 23, 2014 at 6:25 pm | Reply
    • banasy©

      Of this I have no doubt.

      September 23, 2014 at 7:16 pm | Reply
  24. Stella Blue

    How disappointing it was to read these comments. What a bunch of childish nonsense.

    September 23, 2014 at 7:06 pm | Reply
    • banasy©

      I await your sage wisdom and insight with great anticipation.

      September 23, 2014 at 7:15 pm | Reply
      • bobcat2u

        POW !!!

        September 23, 2014 at 7:38 pm |
  25. Leftcoastrocky

    How does Bubba find time to read books?

    September 23, 2014 at 7:37 pm | Reply
  26. Rupert

    I would say that the ants are the most successful cooperative species on the planet. Most of us, as children, would begin a glass ant farm. They were always marvelous at building tunnels, but more impressive were their communication skills and working together.
    Can't say the same for certain people that attack the innocent for political statements.

    September 23, 2014 at 7:44 pm | Reply
    • banasy©

      Where was any innocent person attacked for any political statement here, Rrupert?

      September 23, 2014 at 9:01 pm | Reply
      • Rupert

        9-11 for one. The victims were attacked because certain people were making a political statement.

        September 23, 2014 at 9:34 pm |
  27. Rupert

    Correction: Ants are *one of the most* successful species on the planet.

    September 23, 2014 at 7:48 pm | Reply
  28. rupert


    September 23, 2014 at 7:58 pm | Reply
  29. Philip

    Bayor is bad. It has stuff in it that will hurt your tummy.
    36% of priests are gay.
    We have bad biking gangs in the u.s.
    Banasy,chrissy and labella are hedge hogs.

    September 23, 2014 at 8:14 pm | Reply
  30. Philip

    45% of extra terrestrial beings on the planet are in captivity by the u.s. government.
    They don't want u to know that there really are other living creatures on our galaxy here on earth.
    56% of the 45% are in colorado.

    September 23, 2014 at 8:17 pm | Reply
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