Barack Obama

  • by David Maraniss
  • Narrated by David Maraniss
  • 24 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

From the author of First in His Class, the definitive biography of Bill Clinton; When Pride Still Mattered, the best-selling biography of Vince Lombardi; and They Marched into Sunlight, the classic saga of the Vietnam era - a stunning new multigenerational biography of Barack Obama.
In a groundbreaking work based on hundreds of interviews, including with President Obama, and a trove of letters, journals, and other documents, one of our preeminent journalists presents a richly textured account of Barack Obama and the forces that shaped him.
This book begins in Kansas and Kenya, decades before Obama was born, and ends as he prepares for a political life. The listener gains a deeper insight into the first black president of the United States, revealing as never before the arc of his history, character, contradictions, and ambition. As with First in His Class, Maraniss's seminal book will redefine a president.
This seamless narrative moves through generations and around the world, evoking time and place so vividly that readers feel they are there. Maraniss explodes the myths as he explores the difficult and colorful lives of the president's forebears and then follows young Barack from Hawaii to Indonesia to Los Angeles to New York to Chicago as he struggles with self-identity and searches for home.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Solid Work @ Debunking Fairy-Tales & Dark Fantasms

Presidential biographies are tricky bits when written while the president is still in office. They tend to fall broadly into three groups (two of which are generally to be avoided):

1. Political hit jobs (President Obama is a _(noun) _, set to secretly destroy America and all our _(plural noun)_.

2. Political puff pieces (President Obama is a brilliant knight in shinning armour hunted by desperate, but wicked forces).

3. Journalists looking to take a strong wack at the first draft of history-making (see also David Remnick's "The Bridge", Richard Wolffe's "Renegade", Alter's "The Promise").

Maraniss' biography is solidly in door three. He isn't interested in myth-making or saving us from (scaring us about) some secret Chicago conspiracy set on destroying the Republic. Maraniss is interested rather in grappling with who Obama is/was. On balance, he does this without boring me (the reader) or indulging in too many of the cliches of political journalism.

Obama's story, as told by Maraniss, is more commonplace and usual than both sides of this hyper-political world would have you believe. Maraniss shows, like all good journalism and writers of early biographies should, that we don't need fairy-tales or dark fantasms to tell a compelling story.

I also prefer it when writers read their own work, so I was happy about that too.
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- Darwin8u "I write for myself, for my own pleasure. And I want to be left alone to do it. - Salinger ^(;,;)^"

Also known as "Too Much Information"

Would you try another book from David Maraniss and/or David Maraniss?


What do you think your next listen will be?

Confessions of St. Augustine

What does David Maraniss bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

A lot more that anyone could possibly want to know

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

This whole experiment with socialism is almost over.

Any additional comments?

Also could have been titled or perhaps "Requiem of a Light-Weight" of even "So What, Who Cares".

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- x "a22223344"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 06-19-2012
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio