The bio(s) of the summer for me have been those of our past American presidents. In the glamorous form of a DVR'd show from History Channel, the American Presidents (can't find a good link).
Uncertain times overseas, with debatable involvement in the issues of other nations.
Families unable to make ends meet, with no safety net. Starving in the streets.
Presidents elected by big money interests. 78% of the wealth controlled by 2% of the population.
Government growing (or shrinking) too fast.
Strong moral debates on rights for minorities, children, women.
Presidents known for their infidelity and/or manipulative wives.
A country on the verge of splitting forever.
And we haven't even gotten to the 20th century guys yet! Every president thus far has intrigued me, each with their own personality, many changing for the worse or coming into their own once they became our country's leader. And it seems like at least every other president faced issues that parallel something of recent history, but worse! We seemed to be a country destined to fail over and over, destined to fall apart within the next 20 years since before 1776!
And yet we haven't yet. Seeing all the messes (much worse than today!) that we have faced and worked through leaves me oddly inspired at the end of each presidential snapshot.
To me, it speaks hope for our economy, our partisan divides, our health care, our economic disparity, our international issues, our energy crisis, our overseas competition, and whatever else is irking you. Sometimes, a look backward is more encouraging than one forward!