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Barack Obama for Beginners: An Essential Guide Paperback – July 18, 2008

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The King Years: Historic Moments in the Civil Rights Movement by Taylor Branch
The Civil Rights Movement
The essential moments of the Civil Rights Movement are set in historical context by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of the magisterial America in the King Years trilogy—Parting the Waters; Pillar of Fire; and At Canaan’s Edge. Learn more | See related books

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Thoroughly enjoyable." - PolitickerMA.com

"For anyone who wants a short, and non-partisan, look at the life of Barack Obama, this is the book. It is easy to read, and very much worth the time."
- Dead Trees Review

About the Author

Bob Neer is writing his dissertation to complete his J.D.-Ph.D. degree in U.S. History at Columbia University. He received his M. Phil. in U.S. History in 2007, and his J.D. and an M.A. in U.S. History in 1991, all from Columbia. He is a co-founder and editor of BlueMassGroup.com, the most widely read political blog in New England.
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Product Details

  • Series: An Essential Guide
  • Paperback: 74 pages
  • Publisher: For Beginners (July 18, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1934389382
  • ISBN-13: 978-1934389386
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.2 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,982,788 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
Here is a short (and neutral) biography of one of 2008's Men Who Would be President.

Obama was born in 1961 in Hawaii to a Kenyan father who was studying economics at the University of Hawaii, and a mother who came from strict Kansas Methodist stock. Their marriage lasted only a few years. In 1967, Obama moved to Indonesia when Ann, his mother, married an oil company executive. He attended an elite primary school, and saw firsthand the huge chasm between the average Indonesian and American. Ann impressed upon him that education was the way to stay on the right side of that divide. Even though he was registered at the school as a Muslim, there is no evidence that Obama was ever a practicing Muslim.

Attending high school back in Hawaii, Obama began to realize what being a black man in America was all about. He sought answers through the writings of black intellectuals, and release through drugs. Moving to California, to attend Occidental College, Obama was not a conscientious student. After a night of partying, he had an epiphany. He transferred to Columbia University, and threw himself into his studies. After receiving his degree in 1983, he wanted to get involved in community organizing. In 1985, he drove to Chicago for a paying job as an organizer on the South Side.

After a couple of years learning "the system," Obama felt that having a law degree would be a big help. He excelled at Harvard Law, and was named to the Law Review. After graduation, he became a lecturer at the University of Chicago, and joined a small activist law firm in Chicago.

The book goes into his rising through the ranks in Chicago politics, and his election to the State Senate. Those in power knew that he was a rising star, so many important bills were sent his way.
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