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What helped Donald Sutherland develop his scheming ''Commander in Chief'' character? Reading these 10 books

ALL HAIL THE 'CHIEF' Sutherland (with Davis) shares the titles that are in his personal book club
Image credit: Commander in Chief: Michael Desmond
ALL HAIL THE 'CHIEF' Sutherland (with Davis) shares the titles that are in his personal book club

''Commander in Chief'''s Sutherland: His reading list

Donald Sutherland’s trailer on the Commander in Chief set looks like a poli-sci professor’s office. He’s got a copy of Philip Roth’s The Plot Against America lying on the couch, Tony Judt's Postwar: A History of Europe Since 1945 on the desk, and enough Sun Tzu, Leo Strauss, Henry Kissinger, and Thomas Jefferson lying around to keep him occupied for many lunch breaks to come. Explains the actor, who stars opposite Geena Davis as wily Speaker of the House Nathan Templeton, ''I need these books around to figure out what kind of character I’m playing.'' Here's a peek inside Sutherland’s top 10 must-reads for accurately portraying a Capitol Hill big shot:

War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death, by Norman Solomon

The Great War for Civilization: The Conquest of the Middle East, by Robert Fisk

The End of Affluence: The Causes and Consequences of America's Economic Dilemma, by Jeff Madrick

Man and Citizen: De Homine and De Cive, by Thomas Hobbes

Tell Me No Lies: Investigative Journalism That Changed the World, by John Pilger

The Crowd in History: A Study of Popular Disturbances in France and England, 1730-1848, by George Rude

Novel Relations: The Transformation of Kinship in English Literature and Culture, 1748-1818, by Ruth Perry

The Economic Consequences of the Peace, by John Maynard Keynes

The Waste Land, by T.S. Eliot

The Second Coming, by William Butler Yeats

What do you think of Sutherland's reading list? Got any other books that'll help him get into his character?

Originally posted Jan 25, 2006