Last night at the downtown library, the mayoral candidates read from books (and, in one case, an essay) that they say helped shape their world view.
Here are the candidates' selections:
• City Council Member Bruce Harrell: Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin, the 2005 portrait of President Lincoln and his cabinet.
• Neighborhood acivist Kate Martin: Breaking Rank by former Seattle Police Chief Norm Stamper, a 2005 memoir in which Stamper talks about the "paramilitary bureaucracy" of arch-conservative culture in American policing while advocating drug reform and pot decriminalization.
• Mayor Mike McGinn: Catch-22 by Joseph Heller, the satirical 1961 novel that follows a U.S. Army Air Forces B-25 bombardier and his attempts to stay sane while fulfilling his service requirements.
• State Sen. Ed Murray (D-43, Capitol Hill): Letter to an Innocent Bystander, a chapter from Raids on the Unspeakable, a 1966 book in which Catholic writer and mystic Thomas Merton voiced his worldly concerns.
• Former Seattle City Council Member Peter Steinbrueck: The Conjure Woman, an 1899 collection of stories that deal with racial issues in a post-Civil War South, as told by African-American writer Charles W. Chestnutt.
(Given that I'm currently reading World War Z, I'm pretty impressed.)
Speaking of favorites, PubliCola has joined forces with the Northwest Film Forum to sponsor a political film series that was programmed by the mayoral candidates, with each candidate picking his or her favorite political movie. Each candidate will introduce their favorite flick, explaining why it's so politically potent. The series kicks off July 5.
Divine what you will from pairing their favorite books with their film picks.
Here's the list:
Martin: All the President's Men
McGinn: To Kill a Mockingbird
Murray: The Wind that Shakes the Barley
Steinbrueck: Buddy: The Rise and Fall of America's Most Notorious Mayor
P.S. We asked each candidate to pick two movies just in case the Film Forum couldn't book their first choice. We didn't get two picks from everyone, though McGinn gave us two more to choose from—The Grapes of Wrath and Meet John Doe. Steinbrueck added Seattle favorite Grassroots and Wag the Dog, and Martin (along with Tim Burgess—who was initially part of the program) picked Milk.