Meet the Obamas
Anders Pedersen reviews three essential books for those interested in getting to know the Obama family.
I can still remember where and when I bought my copy of Barack Obama’s second book ’The Audacity Of Hope’. It was late October 2007 in a book store in Honolulu, Hawaii. I must be honest with you and admit that my knowledge of the senator from Illinois who was now running for president against Hillary Clinton was limited.
Like most other people, I had seen him on TV back in the summer of 2004, where he gave a marvellous speech at the Democratic National Convention. And I had paid attention to the first debates between Obama, Hillary, Edwards and the other Democratic candidates.
By the time, I bought the book; it didn’t look like Obama would stand a chance against Hillary, who seemed to be the undefeatable candidate. But I was curious to learn more about Obama and figured that the best way of getting to know more about him, was to read his book.
It turned out to be a good decision. Because if there is one thing that is for certain, it is that ’The Audacity of Hope’ is worth reading. Not only because Obama candidly tells about himself and his family, but also because it will give you a clear picture of how Obama sees the world.
Then you might argue that the book is outdated now, being five years old, and Obama now being president. And yes, for instance the part of the book where Obama talks about the need for a health care reform, it is outdated. But on the other hand, one could argue that it would make good sense to know, why Obama invested so much of his political prestige in getting this reform passed; a reform that the Republican will use as a target point during the campaign.
’The Audacity Of Hope’ is a must read if you want to understand the political vision of president Obama, which will indeed be very useful before the debates begin. After all, these debates will be about Obama’s vision; either because it is wrong (the Republican approach) or because it is right and have worked (the Democratic approach).
Also, it is worth saying that Obama, unlike many other politicians who write books about themselves and their visions, actually is a gifted story teller. He combines the political parts and the private parts of the book in a good and light way, and there is a good flow in all chapters.
When reading ’The Audacity Of Hope’, you will quickly discover how much the president cherishes America’s First Lady, his wife Michelle, the mother of his two daughters, Malia and Sasha.
The story of Michelle Robinson mostly takes place in Chicago, where she was born and raised, before going to college. After graduating from law school, Michelle returned to Chicago, where she got a good job at a big law firm. This was where she met her future husband.
The story of Michelle is interesting in many ways and is presented in a short and informative way by author Liza Mundy in the book ’Michelle’, which is worth reading. It may seem strange to read about a First Lady, because in most countries the spouse of the president doesn’t play as big a role as the First Lady does in America. But you can be certain that she will play a major part in her husband’s re-election campaign, which is also why Mundy’s book is recommendable.
Michelle Obama is a very popular First Lady, who has done a lot of work to draw attention to make children do more sport, eating healthy food and so on. Secondly, she has become a fashion icon, but not in the same way as Jackie Kennedy was it, but in a more ’down to earth’ way. Best example is that she was wearing a 35 Dollar H&M dress in a recent appearance in ’The Today Show’, which made a lot of headlines that day.
Both ’The Audacity of Hope’ and ’Michelle’ tells the story about the Obama’s as a married couple. And by reading these two books, you will have a very good idea about who Barack and Michelle Obama are, and how their marriage is.
However, if you want to read a book that focuses more of the two of them as a couple, Christopher Andersen’s book ’Barack and Michelle’ is a good choice. There will be parts of the book that you don’t have to read as careful if you already read ’The Audacity Of Hope’ and ’Michelle’, but it adds on some new pieces to the story about the Obama’s. Especially the scene, where Andersen describes Barack Obama’s proposal is phenomenal, and will most likely make you smile.
It also gives you a good picture of how everyday life in The White House is for the Obama family, which also counts Michelle’s mother Marian, who moved in with The First Family to help looking after Malia and Sasha, just like she had done it back in Chicago, when Barack Obama was a U.S. Senator.
By reading these three books, you will have a strong knowledge about The First Family of the United States. You will get to know the president both as a person and as a politician, just like you will get a clear picture of why Barack Obama so often praises Michelle and talks about her as the rock of his life.
Modern politics is often about using your own story and your own experiences as a way of presenting your political vision. And by reading these books, you will get to know the story of the president, his loved ones and the vision he hopes will appeal to the American people the same way it did in 2008.
Title: The Audacity of Hope
Author: Barack Obama
Author: Liza Mundy
Title: Barack and Michelle
Author: Christopher Andersen