Barack Obama - The Story (2000)
Barack Obama - The Story (2000)
4.05 of 5 Votes: 4
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A lot of things to be frustrated with here, including (in order of escalating frustration): (a) absence of PBO for more than half the book--way too much focus on individuals who had no impact on his life whatsoever; cutting off just when things start to get interesting (pre-law school); (b) constantly rehashing and hammering the same, simple thesis (PBO has always been cautiously bold--excuse my french, but no shit...); and (c) constantly "fact checking" PBO's prior biographies--there are a few instances where the President's use of literary license is 100% illuminating, but Maraniss feels the need to examine and explain every potential inconsistency, apparently lacking the PBO's sense for what is necessary for a compelling and illustrative narrative, and what's just annoying fat...But the worst offense is Maraniss's decision to write this book through the lens of the here and now. When discussing PBO's excellence in school, for instance, or his somewhat transient period as a NY college student, or his brief education in Indonesia, Maraniss feels the need to address the Donald Trumps of the world who scream that PBO is secretly stupid and lazy and possibly a terrorist.Juxtaposing what you want to be the definitive story of a president, and an historic one at that, with the paranoid, opportunistic ramblings of a fart in the wind like Donald Trump, elevates that bologna to an historical perch too--which makes this book a weird and short-sighted political rebuttal, rather than a great historical document. ****Also, for what it's worth, by far the MOST compelling writing in this book comes from the extensive diaries of PBO's Australian girlfriend, and from the classically and hilariously depressing college poetry of PBO himself...**** If you ever wondered the three or so possible ways the young Barak Obama walked from his shabby apartment to Columbia U, this is the book for you! Actually, it's really thought-provoking, and it made his second inauguration, so much more subdued yet no less momentous than his first, hit me at a deeper level. The sight of Obama deliberately stopping to look out at the view of the Mall: that said a lot about him, and having read Maraniss's book let me understand that poignant moment even more. The book is long as hell and I'm still only 65% done (sayeth the Kindle), but I'm glad I'm reading it. Those who rely on the comic strip characterizations from the shallow, toxic sources that tell you he's the antichrist, of course, will not be swayed.
This book was most excellent. Fascinating to discover how Obama became who he is. LOVED IT!!!
A captivating and fascinating story about Barack Obama's ancestors and his first 25 years.
Well researched and interesting- I cannot put this book down!!
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