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Young Mr. Obama: Chicago and the Making of a Black President Hardcover – Bargain Price, October 12, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
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"With Young Mr. Obama, Edward McClelland finishes what The Bridge started, showing how Obama navigated Chicago political life, which can be as rough as a Blackhawks game ... McClelland's book is long on reporting and narrative, and short on meditation and analysis - for which readers can be thankful.... For the many Americans who remain fascinated with the American president, Young Mr. Obama makes for insightful, enlightening reading, a worthy supplement to Remnick's book and a valuable contribution to the record on the 44th president."--Christian Science Monitor
"So the question was whether is this just another Obama book. The answer is no. The great strength of the book lies in it coverage of the early years.... delving into all this breaks new biographical ground and will function as a solid foundation for future books on the subject. The book is a must-read for all Obama political junkies who want to know more for it does significantly advance the historical record regarding his younger years."--New York Journal of Books
"McClelland does a great job illustrating how the gerrymandering of Chicago's First Congressional District and the emergence of early 20th century black leaders such as Oscar DePriest and William Dawson established strong foundations for black leadership to emerge in Chicago and across Illinois, well before it became accepted elsewhere."-- GapersBlock.com
"McClelland explores how Chicago's long-established African American political power bases helped nurture Obama's career."--San Francisco Chronicle
"Where did Barack Obama come from? No answer to that question can be complete without the stories that unfold in this book. Many of them date from the time when Edward McClelland was just about the only reporter covering the young and unknown Obama. Understanding how this extraordinary leader rose from Chicago politics to the pinnacle of world power is not possible without the insights in Young Mr.Obama."--Stephen Kinzer, author of Overthrow: America's Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq
"Edward McClelland's Young Mr. Obama argues convincingly that our first black president couldn't have come from any place other than Chicago. If you want to understand the 'Chicago-style' politics that shaped our president--the real thing, not the right-wing cartoon--you have to read Young Mr. Obama."--Joan Walsh, editor in chief of Salon.com
"[McClelland] makes a convincing case that President Obama's experiences in his adopted city shaped him profoundly and helped make him the seasoned and formidable politician he is today. An engaging overview of the president's early political education." --Kirkus Reviews
"As Barack Obama's presidency is beset by falling ratings, a weak economy, and an antideficit mood, McClelland's examination of Obama's ascendency should encourage supporters and instill caution in opponents." --Publishers Weekly
"Richly details Obama's background in Chicago and how it impressed those who would eventually help his presidential campaign like senior advisor David Axelrod." --Paul Bedard, U.S. News & World Report's Washington Whispers blog
"A fine survey of how local Chicago politics shaped Obama."--Midwest Book Review
"A great read."--AND Magazine
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Top Customer Reviews
Young Mr. Obama is a fascinating and worthwhile look at the intricacies of a politician traveling through the sometimes new behaviors a recent outstanding graduate of Harvard Law School needed to learn in order to find his way through all of the varied communities of the city of Chicago.
The book covers Obama's career in Chicago as a community organizer on the far south side to his election as senator (his time at Harvard is not discussed). McClelland's basic argument is that Chicago's demographics gave the black community real political power, a power exemplified by the election of Harold Washington as mayor of the city. At the same time, this power was based on a history of identity politics which limited the ability of black politicians to reach state- and nation-wide audiences. Obama, he argues, was black enough to galvanize Chicago's local political scene, but white enough to engage a broader white audience. It was this unique mix, in Chicago's unique location, that allowed Obama to rise to national audience.
McClelland's book is written in wiry prose full of tough-guy verse. Candidates do not lose races, they are unhorsed. Staff writers from the New Yorker are not prominent journalists, they are bigfoot pencils. Lavish homes in Kenwood are Edwardian piles professors blow their Nobel Prize loot on.Read more ›
In reality, I wish this book had two weeks worth of material. Another 200 pages of reading to provide more depth would have have made this a world class book. As I was reading it, I kept saying to myself, this book has the potential to be like "Common Ground". Common Ground is one of the best books I have read and the characters and story in this book leave you wanting to know more about their background and how they all fit together, not just as they relate to Obama's rise as a politician. Including more chapters to provide more meat such as "Chicago Politics and the Machine"; "Black Leaders and Mayors in America." "Jesse Jackson and his run for President" would have been most welcome.
The only other thing that is missing is pictures. Who are all these people who played key roles in Obama's pre-political career? What makes the cover photo so great is the young Barack Obama knocking on a door of a run down house with bars. I want to see more of his early days' work and the people he met along the way to make the story more powerful.
That being said, I highly recommend this book to learn more about Barack Obama before he was famous and to learn more about how Chicago Politics work. I learned things I did not know before and had fun reading the book.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I attended a program with Mr. McCelland where I was very impressed by his knowledge and insights into Midwest and particularly Chicago issues. Read morePublished 3 months ago by DAVID K. ZUCKER
Young Mr. Obama is more than the early political years of our current president (44th), it's how politics in Chicago (and in other places as well). Read morePublished 17 months ago by Cliente de Amazon
An extremely interesting story about the President and Chicago (my old home town) politics. I read the Kindle edition and really enjoyed it. Read morePublished 23 months ago by John W. Spiech
This product does a great job. It is priced right and well constructed. I would recommend heartily. A real buy!Published on December 21, 2013 by Bartoomann
Want to know what really happened? I bought this books to see how well it matches my actual experiences. It is spot on.Published on November 23, 2013 by Zenotis Boyd Jr.
I learned so much about Black Chicago politics. This book is like the history book that's missing from regular classrooms. Read morePublished on April 17, 2013 by Regina Rodriguez-Martin
I loved this book because I live close to Chicago and I always wanted to know more facts about President Obama before he got to the White House.Published on March 29, 2013 by Lynne
This book explains a lot about how and why Obama came to run his campaign. I liked that it wasn't merely a book making him seem like God, but it outlined his struggles and... Read morePublished on January 25, 2013 by Shmojo