MSNBC host Joe Scarborough, in a review of the book for The Washington Post, called it "a fascinating and extensively researched biography that provides the most balanced view to date of this complicated liberal hero."
Also on Cook's reading list: Gandhi's autobiography, "The Story of My Experiments with Truth." First published in installments in the late 1920s, the book recounts the Indian independence movement leader's life, as well as how he developed the concept of civil disobedience. Cook said he picked up the book while at a museum during a recent charm offensive trip to India to help Cook grow Apple's business there. (Another business executive who's reportedly a fan of Gandhi's autobiography is Siemens India CEO Sunil Mathur, who told the Indian news site Livemint it had inspired him "to run a value-based business that is sustainable.")
"I tend to like nonfiction and particularly reading about people and how they lived and how they fought, and what motivated them and their philosophy and so forth," Cook told The Post.
Cook said he will skim more traditional business books "occasionally," but that "I’d rather read about real people."
Another real person he's recommended reading about is Rep. John Lewis, who he hosted at Apple headquarters last year. At an event at Apple headquarters, Cook lauded Lewis's graphic novel trilogy about the civil rights movement, "March." "It is a very unique way to present what is probably the most important story of my entire lifetime," Cook said when introducing Rep. Lewis at Apple, according to a report in Computerworld. "My hope is that everyone reads this, and I would love to see the day that it is required reading in every school."
And yes, when asked, in his interview with The Washington Post, what public officials he finds inspiring today, Cook named Lewis. "I think he has such a great heart and also has the historical knowledge," Cook said, "to able to both put things into perspective about everything that has been accomplished, but also recognize there's a long way to go."