Synopses & Reviews
The biography of America's hottest political superstar Barack Obama from a journalist who has been covering Obama and his career since his successful run for U.S. Senate.
Barack Obama's meteoric rise from Hawaii high schooler to exemplary Harvard Law School student to well-groomed politico is the stuff of legend, a political story that has captured the attention of virtually every American. Since his headline-grabbing speech at the Democratic National Convention in 2004, Obama has come to represent the promise of unity among groups of all types blacks and whites; Democrats, Republicans, and moderates; the young and the old; the upper, middle, and lower classes. In this first-of-a-kind, groundbreaking biography, veteran journalist and Obama chronicler David Mendell gives an in-depth, comprehensive portrait of the boy named Barry who took inspiration from his hardworking parents and became the eloquent, suave Obama a man whose last name has become a catchphrase for hope in a politically jaded society desperate for a new star.
Mendell has covered Obama since the beginning of Obama's campaign for the Senate and as a result enjoys far-reaching access to the new senator. His research includes exclusive interviews with Obama's closest aides, mentors, political adversaries, and family most notably his extremely charismatic wife, Michelle. Mendell reveals the surprising, cutthroat campaign tactics sanctioned by Obama who has steeped his image and reputation with the ideals of clean politics and good government to win his Senate seat by employing some of the most ruthless operatives in the business.
Eye-opening, well researched, and compulsively readable, Obama: From Promise to Power is a necessary look at the evolution of a politician from public servant to candidate-savior a politician who has experienced fame, adulation, and criticism in equal parts and on a greater scale than the public eye has seen in quite some time.
"[T]he best thing one might say about this campaign biography is that it is one brick that might...help form the foundation of understanding the 44th U.S. president....If the senator is elected to the White House, every presidential biography of the man will cite Mendell. Not so bad for a first book." Chicago Tribune
David Mendell has covered Obama since the beginning of his campaign for the Senate and as a result enjoys farandndash;reaching access to the new Senatorandndash;andndash;both his professional and personal life. He uses this access to paint a very intimate portrait of Obama and his life pre and post Senate, including Obama's new status as a sex symbol now that going into a crowd to shake hands with constituents carries the added concern of being groped by women, and the toll this has had on his marriage. Mendell also describes the dirty tactics sanctioned by Obamaandndash;andndash;who has steeped his image and reputation on the ideals of clean politics and good government andndash;andndash; to win his Senate seat by employing David Axelrod, a Chicagoandndash;based political consultant (consultant to the John Edwards's campaign) with what the author describes as "an appetite for the Big Kill."
Mendell also positions Barack Obama as in fact the Savior of a fumbling Democratic party, who is potentially orchestrating a career in Senate to guarantee him at the very least a vice presidential nod, if not a nod for the top job in 2008. The dream ticket would be Hilary Clintonandndash;Barack Obama given his reception at the Democratic National Convention in 2004. Because he enjoys popularity among Whites (particularly suburban White women) and Blacks, it might not be such a farandndash;fetched idea.
Mendell, a journalist who has covered Obama since the beginning of the latters Senate campaign, paints an intimate portrait of the Senators life, from behind-the-scenes political tactics to his chances of winning the presidency in 2008.
About the Author
David Mendell, author of Obama: From Promise to Power, has been writing about politics and urban issues for the Chicago Tribune since 1998. Mr. Mendell lives in Oak Park, Illinois.