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. Philip

    Why worry about isis? We have biker gangs terrorizing americans here at home

    September 23, 2014 at 8:20 pm | Reply
  2. Philip

    Subway has bread with shoe stuff in it.

    September 23, 2014 at 8:22 pm | Reply
  3. Joey Isotta-Fraschini©

    My friends challenged my initial post in this thread. I cannot retrieve those posts now on my device. I read them earlier.
    If I sent my friends a bill for the free lessons I have given to poor but talented musicians since I began my career, they would be shocked. I teach at the highest level of my profession,

    September 23, 2014 at 8:45 pm | Reply
  4. Rupert

    You only have one post Joey, that mentions Mr. Clinton's two books and you ask if they have illustrations so that Americans can understand them. I found that rather humorous, although chrissy took issue with it.
    Now you speak of lessons. I for one have no doubt that you are very good at teaching music, but nothing about music was mentioned in your post. You have me at a disadvantage in that I am confused.

    September 23, 2014 at 9:41 pm | Reply
    • Joey Isotta-Fraschini©

      @ rupert,
      What followed my post was a series of comments that covered the possibility of one's helping USA education through volunteer work.
      Some who post here have known for years that I work in music.
      @ repert, come on, now: you, confused?

      September 23, 2014 at 9:56 pm | Reply
      • Rupert

        Then they were deleted by CNN.
        Thank you for the clarity Joey.

        September 24, 2014 at 6:26 am |
  5. Aloys Pagal Ongla

    Very interesting. Bill Clinton has always inspired me as a person and a leader. I'm going to order these books because I'm highly interested by the topics developed.

    September 23, 2014 at 9:49 pm | Reply
  6. Rupert

    Now I have a troll. Joey, disregard.

    September 23, 2014 at 10:00 pm | Reply
    • Rupert

      You sir are a troll. Nothing but a mere low life that steals names. Shame on you.

      September 24, 2014 at 6:33 am | Reply
  7. chri§§y

    What you said @ joey was you hope there were enough illistrations so all US citizens could understand them! Rather pompous statement i think. And i should be used to them by now because for the past couple months you have been rather arrogant! Ive repeatedly bitten my tongue out of respect for your age. However between you and philip i just cannot any longer! You are not the only one who attended school you know!

    September 23, 2014 at 10:57 pm | Reply
    • Joey Isotta-Fraschini©

      I know what I wrote, so it was not necessary to tell me.
      If a large percentage of one's fellow countrymen cannot comprehend extended passages of writing, it is one's patriotic duty to indicate that situation as a problem. To prize that situation as anything positive is wrong and very detrimental to one's nation.
      My opinion is that the USA's educational system would be vastly improved by society's causing public-school pupils to know that their inability to read is intensely shameful, and that the shame resides in the pupils themselves, not in their teachers or parents.

      September 24, 2014 at 3:25 am | Reply
      • Ferhat Balkan

        Joey: I did not see any recent article or study that suggests the reading comprehension level of Americans is below certain grade level or that they cannot "comprehend extended passages". In fact, the only study that I found dates back to 1993. At that time, they found the average American possessed a 9th grade level reading comprehension. I would imagine the level has improved since then...

        September 24, 2014 at 6:57 pm |
      • NE Patriot

        [...] it is one's patriotic duty [...]
        It is my patriotic duty to inform you that you sound like an arrogant buffoon.

        September 24, 2014 at 10:40 pm |
    • Joey Isotta-Fraschini©

      @ chrissy,
      "Between you and Philip?"
      Philip and I are not a team. We disagree far more frequently than we agree on issues discussed here.
      The primary similarity that I see concerning Philip and me is that we do not prize your opinion of our views as the Truth. And neither of us comes here to be your pupil.
      @ chrissy, stop posturing as my teacher. I will never be your student.

      September 24, 2014 at 3:39 am | Reply
      • Joey Isotta-Fraschini©

        There should have been no sentence break before "And" in my post directly above.
        I typed a period instead of a comma.
        I hate to see the English abused, as it usually is in my nation now.

        September 24, 2014 at 3:47 am |
      • Joey Isotta-Fraschini©

        "The English language abused," that is.

        September 24, 2014 at 3:56 am |
  8. Padma Thornlyre

    Several years ago, when I saw His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama speak in Denver, he was asked by an audience member what he thought of all the [Christian] hysteria about the end of the world, Armageddon, being just around the next bend. His response? (I'm sure I paraphrase....) "I don't think so. The world has become so interdependent that nations can no longer look at themselves in isolation. Attacking one country, in one way or another, means attacking oneself. We are entering an age when working together is the only way to find real solutions."

    September 23, 2014 at 11:37 pm | Reply
  9. chri§§y

    Amen @ Padma, this world would be a much better place if everyone were a little more kinder to one another! And we shouldnt need illistrations to understand this!

    September 23, 2014 at 11:49 pm | Reply
    • Joey Isotta-Fraschini©

      Buddhism is a beautiful religion, especially as practiced in Tibet.
      I often utilize Mahayana Buddhism to relax.
      The ultimate impracticality of Buddhism in a nation's direction and leadership is seen in the current situation of Tibet.

      September 24, 2014 at 4:04 am | Reply
  10. Tsegab

    I know that Dr. E.O. Wilson is a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner but I don't think he is Nobel Laureate, is he?

    September 24, 2014 at 12:02 am | Reply
    • Jo

      No he is not. He is also not a microbiologist, he is an entomologist

      February 26, 2015 at 6:32 pm | Reply
  11. Thomas

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

    Dont type cast , pigeonhole or profile me alongside Fred Flinstone .

    your post shows how low the tea party will go to promote Randy Paul .

    September 24, 2014 at 2:32 am | Reply
  12. chri§§y

    Oh hell no! I am not PHILIP! Blasphemy!

    September 24, 2014 at 3:04 am | Reply
  13. chri§§y

    I do NOT need you to prize my oprinion. It would be nice though if you gave me the same respect i give you @ joey. I do not nor have i ever called or implied that you were stupid! And sorry you dont understand that i AM offended when you do so to me!!!!!

    September 24, 2014 at 4:28 am | Reply
  14. chri§§y

    Thats the behaviour we have learned to expect from Philip. And its only been recent that you have begun doing so to us!

    September 24, 2014 at 4:31 am | Reply
  15. Do Khen Lian

    I would like to read your autobiography book, My Life, Mr. President.

    September 24, 2014 at 7:30 am | Reply
  16. chri§§y

    Ah so "ALL of the citizens of the USA" only includes students?

    September 24, 2014 at 11:27 am | Reply
    • Joey Isotta-Fraschini©

      You argue illogically, using an unrelated excerpt in this instance, @ chrissy.
      Stop trying to be viewed as the awarder of approval or disapproval to each comment posted.

      September 24, 2014 at 12:14 pm | Reply
  17. James watts*

    Your site and information is fantastic. The is always great. Very interesting man.
    Please ck us out in kcmo
    Cascade Media Group

    September 24, 2014 at 11:28 am | Reply
  18. Chelsea

    Yes! The world is, statistically, getting better. This site has some great data showing how human well-being is improving:

    September 24, 2014 at 12:37 pm | Reply
  19. chri§§y

    Ya know what @ Joey. I cant make it any CLEARER! I do not like being called stupid and if you cant understand THAT then its you who has reading comprehension problems! I listened for 3 days while Philip called me AND all women that! And when he finally stopped...then you started implying that WE all were!!! Thats a very touchy subject with me because i had to fight hard to get my education!!!

    September 24, 2014 at 2:01 pm | Reply
  20. chri§§y

    And i WILL ALWAYS voice my disapproval of something i feel is wrong particularly if i feel its personal! If you dont like it i cant help it!

    September 24, 2014 at 2:18 pm | Reply
  21. chri§§y

    You see @ Joey, over time ive realised that there is one certain thing that you and i disagree about. And knowing how strongly YOU feel about that subject...out of RESPECT for you i avoid discussing it in your presence!

    September 24, 2014 at 2:34 pm | Reply
  22. chri§§y

    And you , after reading all the verbal abuse Philip has hurled at banasy, LaBella and myself...just picked up where he left off. Granted you werent as disgusting in your verbage...however the message was the same! AL L people are NOT stupid! There are a great many of us that have worked hard for our education so when someone implys we are stupid it hurts! I have been on my own since i was 14 and i worked hard. And still managed to go to school. And later college!

    September 24, 2014 at 2:46 pm | Reply
  23. chri§§y

    THANK YOU @ Ferhat. 😉

    September 24, 2014 at 7:52 pm | Reply
  24. Cetteferge

    Man, I wish he could be President again... I have the utmost respect for Clinton... highest IQ for a President yet... Kennedy, second. Guess who was last? (of those 'IQ' tested, of course). Cooperation, or lack thereof, will be the key to our lasting civilization. And, we seem to be doing less & less of it, not more. Our views seem more dichotomous and more radicalized on both ends. Just sayin'...

    September 25, 2014 at 3:36 am | Reply
  25. chri§§y

    @ Cetteferge am in total agreement! We had our greatest economy while he was in office!!!! His personal life aside, while i do not like WHAT he did there, it had nothing to do with his job performance! And frankly wasnt our business! I would be willing to bet at least 90% of our politicians have been unfaithful to their spouses, they will have to take that up with them, their children and their Lord. But as long as they do their job thats all American citizens have a right to expect!

    September 25, 2014 at 11:14 am | Reply
    • Leonard

      I like the POTUS relaxed. If it takes a hummer to keep them from attacking countries needlessly they all should have a fluffer on staff. L M A O

      September 25, 2014 at 1:20 pm | Reply
  26. chri§§y

    And if i had to guess would be GWB. Lol

    September 25, 2014 at 12:11 pm | Reply
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