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The Bridge: The Life and Rise of Barack Obama Paperback – January 11, 2011
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From Publishers Weekly
Remnick (Lenin's Tomb), editor of the New Yorker, offers a detailed but lusterless account of Barack Obama's historic ascent. As a piece of "biographical journalism," the book succeeds ably enough and offers familiar commentary on Obama's cosmopolitan childhood with strains of isolation and abandonment straight out of David Copperfield-rootless, fatherless, with a loving but naïve and absent mother, he suffered racial taunts and humiliations at the hands of his schoolmates. We read how Obama's famous composure was hard-won, how he constructed his personality in opposition to his father's grandiose self-regard, his transformation from "Barry" to "Barack," the drug use, the burgeoning racial and political consciousness-rehashing events that the subject himself has covered in his frank memoirs. But for the scope (and size) of the book, Remnick's interest is ultimately limited to a study of Obama's relationship with blackness, and Obama as the student and fulfillment of the civil rights movement-it's a rich vein but impersonal, and in the author's handling, slightly repetitive. Remnick is in deeply respectful court scribe mode, but he does shine in his treatment of more peripheral characters such as Jesse Jackson and Hillary Clinton, both of whom emerge as figures of Shakespearian psychological complexity. A well-researched biography that pulls many trends of Obama-ology under its umbrella but stints on fresh interpretations.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Bookmarks Magazine
Most reviewers were pleasantly surprised to find that anyone could find anything new to say about the president, since he is one of the most scrutinized people on the planet and has already written two memoirs. But Remnick pulls off The Bridge, in part, through innovative and exhaustive research. Several critics remarked how Remnick's reporting expanded their views of the Obama of Dreams From my Father; others were grateful for the author's elucidation of the president's crucial years in Chicago. But the book's key trait, and what may even find it some readers among skeptics of the president, is Remnick's nuanced reading of how Obama discovered an identity in the struggles of African American history--before he went on to be a part of that history. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
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While I knew a fair amount about Obama's early life, I did find it interesting to read more about his experiences in Hawaii and Indonesia and especially at Occidental College. That is an aspect that is not reported on much.
However, once we got into the real meat of the book, I found it exceedingly tedious. There was a multiple paged book review of Dreams of my Father, where a short synopsis would have sufficed. Speeches were quoted in length. Background information on people such as Mayor Daley and other local politicians was way more than you needed to know.
Finally, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. i am on the chapter On to the White House. I feel like I have been reading this for 18 month now. It does not go fast and at times things get so complicated that I can see where the readers attention can easily be lost.
It is okay, but not the best book on the subject.
It's worth the read and effort. It offers a very good explication of Obama's efforts to both positively address and to avoid the trap of the politics of grievance.
future generations will rely heavily on both of these splendid books.
Most recent customer reviews
I love the book. It is written very well.Read more