"Never has the world needed strong and wise American leadership more than it does now. Abramsky's eminently readable description of Obama's personal gifts makes it clear that he is remarkably suited to be the president the moment requires." -Former New York Governor Mario M. Cuomo
From the moment he burst onto the national political scene, Barack Obama has fascinated people more than any politician in decades. Many biographers have already retold his story, but no previous book truly explains how his mind works, what passions drive him, or what makes him such an effective leader.
This concise profile explores the ideas, inspirations, and experiences that have shaped the president. It quotes a wide network of sources, including many who broke long-standing vows of silence to offer their candid and surprising observations.
Award-winning journalist Sasha Abramsky interviewed close to one hundred of Obama's current and former friends, colleagues, classmates, teachers, staff, mentors, basketball buddies, fellow Chicago activists, media consultants, editors, and even his next-door neighbors from Hyde Park. These people each know a part of Obama's life and career, which the author blends the pieces into a uniquely detailed analysis.
Abramsky explains the origins of Obama's extraordinary poise, focus, and self-confidence; his powerful storytelling and speaking skills; and his empathetic listening style. He shows why Obama's experiences as a community organizer are widely misunderstood and more influential than many people realize. And he explores how Obama found a unique way to bridge America's racial divides.
No previous book has delved so deeply into the events and people that helped make Barack Obama the man he is today.
This breezy, engaging book does not explicitly attempt biography; instead journalist Abramsky dissects the personality of Barack Obama, examining the qualities focus, self-confidence and curiosity that fueled his meteoric rise. The book, the fifth in this series, draws on an impressive number of interviews with Obama's friends and associates though not one with the president himself and includes illuminating anecdotes from every phase of the president's life. Case studies of the Iowa caucus, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright controversy and the appointment of Hillary Clinton as secretary of state bring the book's arguments into focus. Abramsky does little to conceal his enthusiasm for Obama, comparing him repeatedly to Lincoln and Kennedy and labeling him a potential "once-in-a-generation leader." Skeptics are likely to find the author's praise off-putting (he includes dissenting views but generally dismisses them). None of the book's insights are revelatory for example, Obama's poise and calm under pressure have been fodder for journalists and talking heads since the primaries began but supporters are likely to enjoy the book's concision and fresh approach to familiar material.