David Maraniss has written what may be considered to be the best reporting of President Barack Obama’s early years. The time period starts well before his birth, tracing back Barack Obama’s Obama’s white and black ancestors through the mid-twentieth century.
The book takes us on this journey leading up to his entry into Harvard University Law School. The book takes you by the hand and walks you slowly through the history of Barack Obama. It is an exhaustive family history, told in an easy manner. But this is just no ordinary family history, because the main character happens to be the President of the United States.
It shows the climactic moments in Barack Obama’s life as he reaches adulthood and travels from Honolulu to Los Angeles to New York to Chicago. It gives in more detail how he found his home in Chicago, not only on a personal level, but on a political level.
The book parallels Barack Obama’s own story in Dreams from my Father, and Maraniss’ perspective based on his reporting of those same years and events.
When I learned that David Maraniss was writing a book about Barack Obama, my first thought was, “It’s got to be good.”
David Maraniss is a master at his trade. He has a rich history of chronicling the events and lives of modern culture. Maraniss has written the definitve biography of sports icon Vince Lombardi, When Pride Still Matter: Lombardi. He also penned compelling biographies of Roberto Clemente, Al Gore, and Bill Clinton. Clinton book is especially noteworthy in that it explored the complex character of the man as it developed in his youth.
However, his best and most acclaimed work might just be They Marched into Sunlight: War and Peace, Vietnam and America, October 1967. The book is the epic tale of Vietnam and the sixties told through the events of a few gripping, passionate days of war and peace in October 1967.
They Marched into Sunlight is a seamlessly written narrative, and the same can be said of Barack Obama: The Story.
The book advances the study of our 44th President of the United States. Maraniss will be publishing a second volume of his study of Barack Hussein Obama, which will pick up at Harvard Law School and take us through his political life.
If it is anything like the first book, we are in for a treat indeed.
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John is the author of an award-winning book, the 2010 Winner of the USA National Best Book award for African-American studies, published by The Elevator Group Mr. and Mrs. Grassroots: How Barack Obama, Two Bookstore Owners, and 300 Volunteers did it. Also available an eBook on Amazon. John is also a member of the Society of Midland Authors and is a book reviewer of political books for the New York Journal of Books