Rising Star by David Garrow
The Making of Barack Obama

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Too long by half but consistently readable—an impressive work that will provide grist for the former president’s detractors and admirers alike.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

Rising Star is the definitive account of Barack Obama's formative years that made him the man who became the forty-fourth president of the United States—from the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Bearing the Cross

Barack Obama's speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention instantly catapulted him into the national spotlight and led to his election four years later as America's first African-American president. In this penetrating biography, David J. Garrow delivers an epic work about the life of Barack Obama, creating a rich tapestry of a life little understood, until now.

Rising Star: The Making of Barack Obama captivatingly describes Barack Obama's tumultuous upbringing as a young black man attending an almost-all-white, elite private school in Honolulu while being raised almost exclusively by his white grandparents. After recounting Obama's college years in California and New York, Garrow charts Obama's time as a Chicago community organizer, working in some of the city's roughest neighborhoods; his years at the top of his Harvard Law School class; and his return to Chicago, where Obama honed his skills as a hard-knuckled politician, first in the state legislature and then as a candidate for the United States Senate.

Detailing a scintillating, behind-the-scenes account of Obama's 2004 speech, a moment that labeled him the Democratic Party's "rising star," Garrow also chronicles Obama's four years in the Senate, weighing his stands on various issues against positions he had taken years earlier, and recounts his thrilling run for the White House in 2008.

In Rising Star, David J. Garrow has created a vivid portrait that reveals not only the people and forces that shaped the future president but also the ways in which he used those influences to serve his larger aspirations. This is a gripping read about a young man born into uncommon family circumstances, whose faith in his own talents came face-to-face with fantastic ambitions and a desire to do good in the world. Most important, Rising Star is an extraordinary work of biography—tremendous in its research and storytelling, and brilliant in its analysis of the all-too-human struggles of one of the most fascinating politicians of our time.

 

About David Garrow

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David J. Garrow is Professor of Law & History and Distinguished Faculty Scholar at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. He is the author of four books, including Bearing the Cross: Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, which won the Pulitzer Prize for Biography. He is a regular contributor to the Washington Post, New York Times, and The American Prospect. He lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Author Image 1
 
Published May 9, 2017 by William Morrow. 1472 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction
Bestseller Status:
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Peak Rank on May 28 2017
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Critic reviews for Rising Star
All: 2 | Positive: 1 | Negative: 1

Kirkus

Above average
on Mar 01 2017

Too long by half but consistently readable—an impressive work that will provide grist for the former president’s detractors and admirers alike.

Read Full Review of Rising Star: The Making of Ba... | See more reviews from Kirkus

NY Times

Above average
Reviewed by Brent Staples on May 09 2017

“Rising Star” seems to include every human being who came within arm’s length of the young president-to-be. The depth of detail allows the reader to see familiar parts of this story with fresh eyes.

Read Full Review of Rising Star: The Making of Ba... | See more reviews from NY Times

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