4. Over-the-Rhine: When Beer Was King
This is a short history of a beer-making German-American neighborhood in Cincinnati that’s just outside Boehner’s district (which mostly lies west of Cincinnatti).
It’s actually a more controversial reading choice than you might think; as one Amazon reviewer describes the central narrative: “There were nativist forces at work to undermine German society and its beer-soaked culture. Morgan writes, ‘Before gay marriage, abortion rights, civil rights or the Vietnam War, beer became the focal point of a much broader social debate.’ That was temperance, the social reform movement that gave us Prohibition.”
5. A Tiny Desert Garden in a Snifter Glass
This wouldn’t be out of place on Etsy.
7. A Combined Salt and Pepper Grinder
I had not figured the Speaker for the sort of man who eats lunch or dinner at his desk, but this evidence suggests otherwise.
8. Restoring the Republic
A member of the Speaker’s caucus, Devin Nunes of the California 22nd, penned this slim, combative volume in 2010. According to the book’s Amazon description: “Born and raised in the breadbasket of California, thirty-six-year-old Nunes has seen firsthand how the convergence of big government, big business, and the radical Left has wreaked havoc on entire communities, turning the once-thriving farmland of the San Joaquin Valley into a blighted desert reminiscent of the Dust Bowl.”
9. Scented Candle
It looks like the Speaker has burned almost entirely through this jar; it might be time to head back down to Michael’s.
10. At the Edge of the Precipice: Henry Clay and the Compromise That Saved the Union
A poignant choice for the Speaker’s desk, this history by University of Chicago professor Robert Remini celebrates the Compromise of 1850 forged by Henry Clay (a former Speaker who was then a Senator from Kentucky).
Remini argues that “Clay’s victory in 1850 ultimately saved the Union by giving the North an extra decade to industrialize and prepare” for the Civil War.
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