65 of 79 people found the following review helpful
Excellent Journalism in a Book
, May 8, 2011
This review is from: A Singular Woman: The Untold Story of Barack Obama's Mother (Hardcover)
Janny Scott worked as a journalist for The New York Times. And just before President Obama was elected President in 2008, she wrote a piece for the Times about Stanley Ann Dunham, the about-to-be-elected President's dead mother. I have read Mr. Obama's books and have learned some about his mother. But I noted that very little seems to have been written about this woman who must have had a profound influence upon her son. And now Janny Scott has provided me with so many researched pieces.
This is what she did: she spent years interviewing people who knew the President's mother. And this book is filled with that information, presented in the chronology of Ms. Dunham's life.
However, I would want potential readers to know this: this is not written in the style of a fluid novel because it isn't a novel. Instead Ms. Scott has presented details through the mouths of those she interviewed which include a few members of Mr. Obama's family (we must remember that he has few family members who are still alive) and then dozens of people who knew this remarkable woman as friends and colleagues.
Several chapters are devoted to Ms. Dunham's professional life most of which was spent in Indonesia were she lived, for a while, with her second husband who was from that island-filled country. This is also where the President lived for a while and where his half-sister, Maya, was born and raised.
Ann Dunham (she dropped the Stanley when she moved to Hawaii--her father's name) was a rather usual mother. She was only seventeen when she found herself pregnant with the future president, newly arrived in Hawaii, a student at the University. She married the senior Barack H. Obama, but soon he was off to Harvard. She apparently was unaware that he was already married and a father, his wife back in Kenya. With the assistance of her parents--Stanley Ann was an only child--who had also just moved to Hawaii, she was able to continue her studies and to begin raising her son.
I won't go into any of the details. But I do want potential readers to know that if you are really interested in the life of his amazing woman, then by all means purchase this well written book. But beware that it is filled with details.
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