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The Bridge: The Life and Rise of Barack Obama Paperback – January 11, 2011
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
From Bookmarks Magazine
Top Customer Reviews
Dreams From My Father, while a more revealing book than most, clearly falls into the category of a pro-Obama work. While it certainly included many of the warts of the President's early life, the ones that found their way into the story were usually carefully chosen anecdotes designed to shape the narrative he has sold to the public.
The Bridge is the first book that moves beyond this and can be called a "history." It relies heavily on Dreams, but doesn't take what was written as gospel. Scores of interviews with former classmates or colleagues are included, corroborating or refuting the tales that were told in this memoir. When the Robert Caros and Edmund Morrises of the next century write the "defining" Obama biographies, these primary sources will be heavily cited.
This work does a fantastic job of pointing out Obama's key role in American civil rights history while still maintaining a reasonable air of detachment as to the man and his policies.Read more ›
What makes this book worth reading and a book that will be referred to long after Obama has left office, is Remnick's ability to weave the person Barack Obama into a larger cultural context. In this case, the post-civil rights era and the new generation politics recently arisen. This skill of Remnick's is what struck me in "King of the World."
This is done by detailing important external components beyond Obama. In particular, the civil rights movement, social organizers, the political climate in Chicago pre- and post- Mayor Harold Washington, and the Clinton machine are all explored. The divergences to explicate these things are never too long-winded. The focus of the book remains Obama. But the attention paid to creating a full picture makes the book successful in rendering how improbable and significant Obama's rise was. Thus, Remnick illustrates that Obama's rise is both a consequence of his own volition and the perfect socio-political climate. In other words, the stars were perfectly aligned for this all to take place.
Obama's human nature is revealed through consistent anecdotes.Read more ›
In a literal sense, the bridge is the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, site of the "Bloody Sunday" march in 1965. In a more spiritual sense, Obama is the bridge himself. Author David Remnick's book gives Obama's political rise context, by analyzing the setting in which his rise occurred. Examined in vivid detail: the civil rights battles in the south before he was born; the volatile mix of race and politics in Chicago, where Obama first ran for office; his successes and failures in the Illinois State Senate; skirmishes with older black politicians; and the bitter presidential campaign--in particular the primary fight against Hillary Clinton.
Included are many quotes from Obama's friends, family and associates, and powerful recollections of events from his life. A childhood classmate remembers an incident when Obama's skin was deemed too "dirty" to touch a draw sheet before a tennis tournament: "the implication was absolutely clear: Barry's hands weren't grubby; the message was that his darker skin would somehow soil the draw." Obama's former college roommate recalls the party-time atmosphere in the dorm, even listing the some of the music pounding out of the future chief executive's room: the B-52s, Talking Heads, Bob Marley, Billie Holiday. Remnick gives indelible accounts of Obama's wife Michelle--including her insistence that he do his share of grocery shopping and car-pool duties--and his closely fought duel with Hillary Clinton over the nomination.
Richly detailed and full of life, The Bridge will not disappoint.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I am almost finished with the book. I wanted to contact him directly, but found it difficult.
I love the book. It is written very well. Read more
I am struggling to finish reading this overly long book. The research seems solid, the writing at least adequate, and I have yet to reach the conclusions part of the book. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Roderick T. Leupp
An objective, informative, and very interesting story. From the first day of his announcement to run for President, Barack Obama was criticized, scrutinized, and there was no let... Read morePublished 15 months ago by sharon waltz
Reading the behind the scene stories of BO is fascinating. BO is, like us his age, a bridge to our future. A strong, reliable, transformational bridge for us and next generations.Published 19 months ago by Solomon Melesse
The author went to Kenya to interview Barack Obama's kin and people who knew his father. It is very well-researched but I can only recommend it for those interested in Obama on a... Read morePublished 20 months ago by Dave Shapiro
This book was written by a Pulizer prize winning author who is decidedly an Obama supporter.
He believes that all of us opposed to Obama are racists, rather than folks... Read more
...like Barack Obama is impossible once he became President. A look at the forces that shaped him and made him aspire to the presidency, this is a partial portrait of a person... Read morePublished on June 22, 2014 by Aviott John