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Description de l’éditeur
One of the most important politics books of the year, To Obama is a record of a time when politics intersected with empathy.
'The real story of Obama's America' Sunday Times
Every day, President Obama received ten thousand letters from ordinary American citizens. Every night, he read ten of them before going to bed.
In To Obama, Jeanne Marie Laskas interviews President Obama, the letter-writers themselves and the White House staff in the Office of Presidential Correspondence who were witness to the millions of pleas, rants, thank-yous and apologies that landed in the mailroom during the Obama years. At once desperate, joyful, hateful and despairing, they form an intimate portrait of one man's relationship with the American people, and of a time when empathy intersected with politics in the White House.
New York Times Magazine contributor Laskas (Concussion) expands her popular article about President Obama's habit of reading 10 pieces of constituent mail each day into a moving narrative of the writers of memorable letters, the people who review and respond to the mail, and the impact of the daily readings on Obama, who said it "sustained" him. At the emotional center of the book are the letters some of which are reproduced between chapters received and sent during Obama's two terms. They range from heartwarming, such as the one beseeching the president to quit smoking, to gut-wrenching, as when a child writes to ask the president to send a child displaced by the Syrian civil war to live with him. In some, constituents express their dissatisfaction and the president makes his case to them, and the public. ("Your cynicism may be a bit misplaced; I know, and similarly care for, a lot of young people like your friend's son.") The cumulative effect of the letters, responses, and the stories behind them is a sucker punch to the heart. This book will leave Obama supporters nostalgic for his tenure in office and readers of all political leanings with a richer sense of America's citizens and their challenges, dreams, fears, hopes and handwriting.