Rising Star

  • by David Garrow
  • Narrated by Charles Constant
  • 56 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Barack Obama's keynote speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention instantly catapulted the little-known state senator from Illinois into the national spotlight. Three months later Obama would win election to the US Senate; four years later he would make history as America's first black president. Now, at the end of his second presidential term, David J. Garrow delivers the most compelling and comprehensive biography ever written of Obama in the years preceding his presidency.
Moving around the globe, from Hawaii to Indonesia to the American Northeast and Midwest, Rising Star: The Making of Barack Obama meticulously unpacks Obama's life, from his tumultuous upbringing in Honolulu and Jakarta to his formative time as a community organizer on Chicago's South Side, working in some of the roughest neighborhoods, to Cambridge, where he excelled at Harvard Law School, and finally back to Chicago, where he pursued his political destiny. In voluminous detail, drawn from more than 1,000 interviews and encyclopedic documentary research, Garrow reveals as never before the ambition, the dreams, and the all-too-human struggles of an iconic president in a sure to be news-making biography that will stand as the most authoritative account of Obama's pre-presidential life for decades to come.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Refreshingly Objective Biography

What made the experience of listening to Rising Star the most enjoyable?

I was interested in a scholarly and objective treatment of Barak Obama and this book delivers in spades. It is probably the longest book I have ever listened to or read, and it would have been fine with somewhat less detail, but I knew the length before I began listening. Had I stopped reading prior to the epilogue, I would not have rated it so highly, but the last 90 minutes really pulled everything together. The author clearly demonstrates not only how, but why the Obama presidency was such a disappointment----more so to those closest to him than to his foes. If anyone purchases this audiobook and, due to its length, is tempted to stop listening, I strongly encourage him/her to invest an additional 90 minutes and listen to the epilogue.
The narrator did an admirable job and gets a solid five star for no glaring mispronunciations, despite the plethora of obscure surnames.

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- Roman

Well-Researched Narrative on the Life of Obama

Where does Rising Star rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

One of the most well-written and researched books I've listen to thus far far.

What did you like best about this story?

I appreciated how well the authored researched the subject and the objectivity of analysis. The author doesn't take over with editorializing the decisions of his life. Respecting the intelligence of the audience to develop their own conclusions. As a fan of the former president, I feel like the book validates my perception of the man at the same time acknowledging his imperfections. You don't accomplish what Obama has in his life without being extremely exceptional and I appreciated how well the author captured that for the reader. I would rate this book as high as Caro's books on LBJ in terms of the depth of research. However, Caro's writing style is flawless and this book, although close, is not as beautifully written as Caro writes. High praise for this exceptional book and I enjoyed every minute.

Have you listened to any of Charles Constant’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Unfortunately never before but this is an author I will begin to follow.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

The Audacity to Follow an Improbable Dream.

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- Alexander

Book Details

  • Release Date: 05-09-2017
  • Publisher: Harper Audio