Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama

A Life

Book - 2015
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A comprehensive portrait of the First Lady describes her working-class upbringing on Chicago's South Side, her education at Princeton and Harvard during the racially charged 1980s, and her marriage to the future forty-fourth president.
Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2015
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780307958822
Branch Call Number: 973.932092 OB15S 2015
Characteristics: 418 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (chiefly color) ; 25 cm


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Jun 15, 2015

I picked up this book because I wanted to read about amazing Michelle Obama and perhaps catch a glimpse of life through her eyes. I wanted to read about her childhood to where she is today. More importantly, I wanted to read about how she balances First Lady duties with raising two children. I did not want to read about Barack’s selfishness and work schedule (and the comprehensive reasons why) unless it directly related to Michelle’s plight. Heartless of me, I know, but I am a mother/wife too.

This book captures the life of Barack Obama quite well, with snippets of Michelle Obama in relation to what Barack was doing at the time. This biography had a great feeling at the beginning, but when it hit page 120, it suddenly became the Barack Obama biography. Sentences like “If Barack was a helium balloon, Michelle was the one holding the string” are throughout. That prose then goes on to details of Barack’s campaign trail. Another example is “As the appearances piled up, the staff discovered that Michelle possessed political skills her husband lacked.” Speaking of her ‘making the final sale’ after Barack had done his work. What about the woman who worked constantly apart from her husband? Surely she wasn’t attached to his side 24/7.

While her parents are portrayed as martyrs, Michelle comes off as a privileged individual. This however, does not negate all the good work she is doing today and all the great organizations she has created over the years. What I learned from Peter Slevin is that while Michelle Obama had a skewed outlook on life when she graduated from her prestigious university, she is now making it right with her work and associations outside of her First Lady position. I still do have much respect for Michelle Obama. I wished this book told me more about the great woman Michelle Obama is instead of the woman standing behind Barack Obama.

This is a very detailed account about everyone else in Michelle’s life. And this left me hanging and annoyed.
-- Tofts Reviews


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Jun 15, 2015

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