Barack Obama: The Story, Part 6

In this review article of David Marniss’s account of the early life and formation of Barack Obama I will now attempt to tie various loose ends together and draw some conclusions based upon this lively and well-written social biography of the early life of our 44th president. My seventh review article, published tomorrow, will complete this series. My personal conclusion, … Read More

Barack Obama: The Story, Part 5

In David Marniss’s fine book, Barack Obama: The Story, we learn that Obama himself would later reflect on his young adult life and say, once again from the White House: “There is no doubt that what I retained in my politics is a sense that the only way I could have a sturdy sense of identity of who I was … Read More

Barack Obama: The Story, Part 4

We have now seen several powerful influences in Barack Obama’s early formative years. Another influence that was pounded into him by a black leader at Occidental College, during his freshman year, “can be summarized in three words: listen, analyze, decide” (359, italics are author’s). One of Obama’s classmates at Occidental said he was a “floater” (376) in terms of his … Read More

Barack Obama: The Story, Part 3

Numerous conservative talk show programs and commentators have stirred a great deal of controversy about President Obama’s birth and background. David Maraniss plainly puts several of these myths to rest. (I will not, however, hold my breath that conspiracy theorists, especially if they hate the president, will stop spreading these ridiculous lies!) Barack Obama was legitimately born on American soil … Read More

Barack Obama: The Story, Part 2

Barack Obama grew up without a father and his mother was quite frequently absent from his life. This prompts David Maraniss to conclude that in a very real sense he “raised himself” (xix). He “worked his way alone through many confounding issues life threw his way” (xix). If this is true then an argument can be made against Maraniss’s idea … Read More

Barack Obama: The Story, Part 1

The much-anticipated book, Barack Obama: The Story, is a 641-page volume written by Pulitzer Prize winning author-journalist David Maraniss. I got more insight from this lengthy book into the early life, development and personality of our forty-fourth president than through anything that I have previously read. If you want a political study of the man, pro or con, then you … Read More

The Real Romney, Part 4

The Real Romney Michael Kranish and Scott Helman  (Harper: 2012) After reading The Real Romney, by reporters Michael Kranish and Scott Helman, I committed myself to  reading the new David Maraniss biography, Barack Obama: The Story. (I also got this book from my public library right after I returned the Romney book.) David Maraniss’s moving treatment of Bill Clinton, First in … Read More

The Real Romney, Part 3

The Real Romney Michael Kranish and Scott Helman  (Harper: 2012) There are several things that I can now say about Governor Mitt Romney, with some degree of confidence, after reading the interesting and fair-minded biography, The Real Romney. (This, by the way, is a well-written book that was quite easy to finish in a short time.) I can safely say that the real … Read More

The Real Romney, Part 2

The Real Romney Michael Kranish and Scott Helman  (Harper: 2012) Since our national election is less than four months away I recently concluded that I knew very little about Governor Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican nominee. (I have not read his memoir and believe that such political memoirs are not likely to reveal anything deeply important to my knowing the … Read More

The Real Romney, Part 1

The Real Romney Michael Kranish and Scott Helman  (Harper: 2012) Every four years America conducts a slightly troubling, but almost always peaceful, national process that we call a general election. We choose all 435 members of the House of Representatives, approximately one third of the 100 members of the Senate and, of course, a president to a four-year term. The … Read More