We recently caught up with U.S. Rep. David Jolly, 43, who is seeking a second term in Congress. Jolly, recently endorsed by former Gov. Jeb Bush, will face retired Marine Brigadier Gen. Mark Bircher of Seminole in the Republican primary in August. A former aide to longtime U.S. Rep. C.W. "Bill'' Young, Jolly received an undergraduate degree in history from Emory University and a law degree from George Mason University. He and his wife, Laura, recently moved from Indian Shores to Belleair Bluffs.
What's on your nightstand?
I go through a lot of Florida history books, and actually there are some I'm going through a second or third time. What I have in arm's reach is a biography of Henry Flagler, Last Train to Paradise (by Les Standiford). I also am interested in and read a lot about the Everglades, and so I have some of the standards, from Marjory Stoneman Douglas' River of Grass to The Swamp by Michael Grunwald. I also read a lot of political history.
Can you name some of those political history authors?
For in-depth history, David McCullough is one of my favorites, and actually, I enjoyed his Great Bridge, about the building of the Brooklyn Bridge. I really liked his account of the Revolutionary War, 1776. I will also read anything Bob Woodward writes. Of course he's known for Watergate, but his series that includes books on Clinton, Bush 43 and Obama are great when it comes to the approach of presidential decisionmaking. The capstone was actually Obama's Wars. It was an affirmation of the conflict between Obama's promises as a candidate, and the decisions he made once elected. I think most candidates run on certain convictions, and they make promises, but then governing makes it all reality, which is the challenge. So I like David McCullough for American history and Bob Woodward for very contemporary accounts on more current issues.Also, if I have an indulgence, I like to throw in some classic humor, some P.J. O'Rourke. P.J. never gets old.
Have you always been a reader?
I have. My parents tell the story that growing up I refused to sleep because I wouldn't stop reading. My parents would put a bunch of books on the floor and put the furniture face down in case I continued to read after they said good night.
What's a book you'd encourage fellow Floridians to read at this time?
You know, and this isn't a platitude, I'm a person of faith and the challenge requires a lot of introspection. I'd suggest whatever books of faith are important to them. This is a year to reflect on faith.
Contact Piper Castillo at [email protected] Follow @Florida_PBJC.