I seem to recall learning that the book "Uncle Tom's Cabin" was one of the main contributors to the Civil War.
Now I see why math and reading are the only subjects being taught in some schools so that they can pass the requirements for No Child Left Behind. If you don't read American literature, then, you won't know that actually there may well be something quite political there, and the politics just might not support what is happening today.
I decide to dictionary.com the word "literature." Perhaps the problem is in Laura Bush's definition of the word.
lit·er·a·ture ( P ) Pronunciation Key (ltr--chr, -chr) n.
The body of written works of a language, period, or culture.
Imaginative or creative writing, especially of recognized artistic value: “Literature must be an analysis of experience and a synthesis of the findings into a unity” (Rebecca West).
The art or occupation of a literary writer.
The body of written work produced by scholars or researchers in a given field: medical literature.
Printed material: collected all the available literature on the subject.
Music. All the compositions of a certain kind or for a specific instrument or ensemble: the symphonic literature.
Hmmmm! "The body of written works of a language, period or culture."
Let's see! I google American Literature. Oh, my, there is quite a list of names. Thomas Paine, though born in England, wrote in the United States. He wrote Common Sense, and it seems it is considered literature. Is Common Sense not political? Well, maybe now, I need to see what the word political actually means. Maybe, Laura and I have different definitions of that word. I check and I don't see how. It is pretty straight-forward.
po·lit·i·cal ( P ) Pronunciation Key (p-lt-kl) adj.
Of, relating to, or dealing with the structure or affairs of government, politics, or the state.
Relating to, involving, or characteristic of politics or politicians: “Calling a meeting is a political act in itself” (Daniel Goleman).
Relating to or involving acts regarded as damaging to a government or state: political crimes.
Interested or active in politics: I'm not a very political person.
Having or influenced by partisan interests: The court should never become a political institution.
Based on or motivated by partisan or self-serving objectives: a purely political decision.
I like the part about political crimes. Maybe understanding that, Laura will understand that literature in America is political, and, very often, it is ethical, too.