American Tapestry by Rachel L. Swarns

100%

8 Critic Reviews

Few important women come from such raw places. The book makes you remember why the Obamas, four years ago, seemed so new, so implausible.
-NY Times

Synopsis

A remarkable history of First Lady Michelle Obama’s mixed ancestry, American Tapestry by Rachel L. Swarns is nothing less than a breathtaking and expansive portrait of America itself.

In this extraordinary feat of genealogical research—in the tradition of The Hemmingses of Monticello and Slaves in the Family—author Swarns, a respected Washington-based reporter for the New York Times, tells the fascinating and hitherto untold story of Ms. Obama’s black, white, and multiracial ancestors; a history that the First Lady herself did not know.

At once epic, provocative, and inspiring, American Tapestry is more than a true family saga; it is an illuminating mirror in which we may all see ourselves.

 

About Rachel L. Swarns

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Rachel L. Swarns has been a correspondent for the New York Times since 1995. She has written about domestic policy and national politics, reporting on immigration, the presidential campaigns of 2004 and 2008 and First Lady Michelle Obama. She has been a foreign correspondent for the Times, reporting from Russia, Cuba and Southern Africa, where she served as the Johannesburg bureau chief. She has also worked for the Miami Herald where she covered the L.A. riots and the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew. She lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband and two children.
 
Published June 19, 2012 by Amistad. 413 pages
Genres: History, Biographies & Memoirs, Political & Social Sciences, War. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for American Tapestry
All: 8 | Positive: 8 | Negative: 0

Kirkus

Excellent
Reviewed by Kirkus Reviews on May 01 2012

Elegantly woven strands in a not-so-easy-to-follow whole, but tremendously moving.

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NY Times

Excellent
Reviewed by Edward Ball on Jun 14 2012

Few important women come from such raw places. The book makes you remember why the Obamas, four years ago, seemed so new, so implausible.

Read Full Review of American Tapestry | See more reviews from NY Times

LA Times

Excellent
Reviewed by Sandy Banks on Aug 25 2012

It is not about race and reconciliation, but about ordinary families in their untidy glory, and what we can learn by unearthing their stories.

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USA Today

Excellent
Reviewed by Bill Desowitz on Jun 18 2012

In a way, the real-life saga of struggle, survival, triumph and tragedy serves as an uplifting companion to Alex Haley's Roots and Alice Walker's The Color Purple.

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Denver Post

Excellent
Reviewed by Tucker Shaw on Jun 24 2012

A readable if occasionally weedy saga about one of our most famous citizens, "American Tapestry" holds rewards.

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The Miami Herald

Excellent
Reviewed by Martha Southgate on Jul 15 2012

This book is a worthy and significant endeavor.

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Birmingham Public Library

Excellent
Reviewed by Tressa on Jun 25 2012

At once epic, provocative, and inspiring,American Tapestry is more than a true family saga; it is an illuminating mirror in which we may all see ourselves.

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Insight News

Excellent
Reviewed by Kam Williams on Aug 28 2012

The First Lady's lineage is a most-intriguing, multiracial mosaic.

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Reader Rating for American Tapestry
70%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 64 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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