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The Bridge: The Life and Rise of Barack Obama


The Bridge: The Life and Rise of Barack Obama Cover

ISBN13: 9781400043606
ISBN10: 1400043603
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

No story has been more central to Americas history this century than the rise of Barack Obama, and until now, no journalist or historian has written a book that fully investigates the circumstances and experiences of Obamas life or explores the ambition behind his rise. Those familiar with Obamas own best-selling memoir or his campaign speeches know the touchstones and details that he chooses to emphasize, but now—from a writer whose gift for illuminating the historical significance of unfolding events is without peer—we have a portrait, at once masterly and fresh, nuanced and unexpected, of a young man in search of himself, and of a rising politician determined to become the first African-American president.

The Bridge offers the most complete account yet of Obamas tragic father, a brilliant economist who abandoned his family and ended his life as a beaten man; of his mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, who had a child as a teenager and then built her career as an anthropologist living and studying in Indonesia; and of the succession of elite institutions that first exposed Obama to the social tensions and intellectual currents that would force him to imagine and fashion an identity for himself. Through extensive on-the-record interviews with friends and teachers, mentors and disparagers, family members and Obama himself, David Remnick allows us to see how a rootless, unaccomplished, and confused young man created himself first as a community organizer in Chicago, an experience that would not only shape his urge to work in politics but give him a home and a community, and that would propel him to Harvard Law School, where his sense of a greater mission emerged.

Deftly setting Obamas political career against the galvanizing intersection of race and politics in Chicagos history, Remnick shows us how that citys complex racial legacy would make Obamas forays into politics a source of controversy and bare-knuckle tactics: his clashes with older black politicians in the Illinois State Senate, his disastrous decision to challenge the former Black Panther Bobby Rush for Congress in 2000, the sex scandals that would decimate his more experienced opponents in the 2004 Senate race, and the story—from both sides—of his confrontation with his former pastor, Jeremiah Wright. By looking at Obamas political rise through the prism of our racial history, Remnick gives us the conflicting agendas of black politicians: the dilemmas of men like Jesse Jackson, John Lewis, and Joseph Lowery, heroes of the civil rights movement, who are forced to reassess old loyalties and understand the priorities of a new generation of African-American leaders.

The Bridge revisits the American drama of race, from slavery to civil rights, and makes clear how Obamas quest is not just his own but is emblematic of a nation where destiny is defined by individuals keen to imagine a future that is different from the reality of their current lives.

Book News Annotation:

Remnick has honed his gift for storytelling, making this excellent and thorough biography of Obama, set within the story of race in America, a deeply engaging read. Annotation ©2010 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

About the Author

David Remnick was a reporter for The Washington Post for ten years, including four in Moscow. He joined The New Yorker as a writer in 1992 and has been the magazines editor since 1998. His last book was King of the World, a biography of Muhammad Ali, which was selected by Time as the top nonfiction book of 1998. Lenins Tomb: The Last Days of the Soviet Empire won a Pulitzer Prize in 1994.

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Lindy, January 3, 2011 (view all comments by Lindy)
Objective and sympathetic, so little hype about such a big deal.
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Product Details

The Life and Rise of Barack Obama
Remnick, David
Remnick, David
Presidents & Heads of State
cultural heritage
Biography-Presidents and Heads of State
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
9.54x6.60x1.73 in. 2.16 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Biography » General
Biography » Presidents and Heads of State
Featured Titles » History and Social Science
History and Social Science » Politics » United States » Politics
History and Social Science » US History » US Presidency

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