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Michelle Obama's family saga is a remarkable, quintessentially American story—a journey from slavery to the White House in five generations. Yet, until now, little has been reported on the First Lady's roots. Prodigiously researched, American Tapestry traces the complex and fascinating tale of Michelle Obama's ancestors, a history that the First Lady did not even know herself. Rachel L. Swarns, a correspondent for the New York Times, brings into focus the First Lady's black, white, and multiracial forebears, and reveals for the first time the identity of Mrs. Obama's white great-great-great-grandfather—a man who remained hidden in her lineage for more than a century.
American Tapestry illuminates the lives of the ordinary people in Mrs. Obama's family tree who fought for freedom in the Revolutionary and Civil Wars; who endured the agonies of slavery, the disappointment of Reconstruction, the displacement of the Great Migration, and the horrors of Jim Crow to build a better future for their children. Swarns even found a possible link to the Jewish Reform movement.
Though it is an intimate family history, American Tapestry is also the collective chronicle of our changing nation, a nation in which racial intermingling lingers in the bloodlines of countless citizens and slavery was the crucible through which many family lines—black, white, and Native American—were forged.
Epic in scope and beautifully rendered, this is a singularly inspiring story with resonance for us all.
This is one of the most fascinating books. I love family history and this was such a great spin on history and family research.Published 12 days ago by Micsha
The book was very interesting, the author Ms. Swarms had a difficult time in making sure she had the facts, and yet not insulting the First Lady, or ruining her present day image. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Gran
very interesting and informative. Gives one a real feel for what freed former African American slaves went through in our country. Could have been a bit longer and detailed though.Published 5 months ago by Stephen H. Karten
Fascinating look at the first lady's family. Having just read The Invention of Wings, I found this book a continuation of the story of the African-American struggle. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Bibliophile
The story of Michelle Obama's family demonstrates that the lives of ordinary people are shaped by history, especially African American history. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Donise L. Lei
The writer laid out the family background of the First Lady very well. It was an interesting journey to the family history.Published 8 months ago by Beverly
This was a disjointed, dry and often tiring account of a biological link to a slavery background and missed the "color" in the telling.Published 10 months ago by judy a. lane