The Obamas by Jodi Kantor

83%

15 Critic Reviews

...is a meditation on balance, and not only between the personal and the professional but also between a high-flying husband and a hard-driving wife.
-Globe and Mail

Synopsis

When Barack Obama won the 2008 presidential election, he also won a long-running debate with his wife Michelle. Contrary to her fears, politics now seemed like a worthwhile, even noble pursuit. Together they planned a White House life that would be as normal and sane as possible.

Then they moved in.

In the Obamas, Jodi Kantor takes us deep inside the White House as they try to grapple with their new roles, change the country, raise children, maintain friendships, and figure out what it means to be the first black President and First Lady. Filled with riveting detail and insight into their partnership, emotions and personalities, and written with a keen eye for the ironies of public life, THE OBAMAS is an intimate portrait that will surprise even readers who thought they knew the President and First Lady.
 

About Jodi Kantor

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Jodi Kantor began her journalism career by dropping out of Harvard Law School to join Slate.com in 1998. Four years later, she became the Arts & Leisure editor of the New York Times. She has been covering the Obamas since 2007, and though she is a Washington correspondent for the newspaper, she lives in Brooklyn with her family. She can be followed at twitter.com/jodikantor.
 
Published January 10, 2012 by Little, Brown and Company. 354 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Health, Fitness & Dieting, History, Political & Social Sciences, Parenting & Relationships, Self Help. Non-fiction
Bestseller Status:
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Peak Rank on Jan 29 2012
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Weeks as Bestseller
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Critic reviews for The Obamas
All: 15 | Positive: 12 | Negative: 3

NY Times

Good
Reviewed by DOUGLAS BRINKLEY on Feb 17 2012

Taken as a whole, “The Obamas”is more valentine than vitriol.

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NY Times

Good
Reviewed by Connie Schultz on Jan 08 2012

In lesser hands “The Obamas” would be an act of astonishing overreach, but Ms. Kantor, who covered the Obamas for The New York Times during the 2008 presidential campaign...has earned the voice of authority.

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Guardian

Excellent
Reviewed by Sarah Churchwell on Jan 20 2012

The result is less a biography than an extended profile of Michelle Obama: her husband, naturally, plays a definitive role, but Michelle is at the book's heart

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Guardian

Excellent
Reviewed by Justin Webb on Jan 15 2012

The Obamas come across in this book as humane and decent and well-meaning but as naive and isolated.

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Globe and Mail

Excellent
Reviewed by David Shribman on Jan 13 2012

...is a meditation on balance, and not only between the personal and the professional but also between a high-flying husband and a hard-driving wife.

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LA Times

Above average
Reviewed by Kerry Luft on Jan 11 2012

Kantor...has not attempted a full historical accounting of the Obama administration's first years in office. Some major development...are passed over as she concentrates on the issues that engaged both the president and the first lady...

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The Telegraph

Excellent
Reviewed by Kate Figes on Jan 20 2012

She is rather, as Kantor skilfully shows, a strong, passionate woman with an unswerving loyalty to her husband.

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The Telegraph

Excellent
Reviewed by Frances Wilson on Jan 20 2012

...is as tense, tight and intimate a portrait of life in the White House as an episode of The West Wing

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USA Today

Below average
Reviewed by Bob Minzesheimer on Jan 09 2012

The book — a political dissection of a marriage and a chronological account of the rocky political education of the president and first lady — promises more than it delivers.

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The Washington Post

Excellent
Reviewed by Liza Mundy on Jan 13 2012

I came out of the book looking forward to the day...when the office of first lady is handed over to staffers and the spouse of the president is allowed to find a real channel for her energies.

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Chicago Tribune

Excellent
Reviewed by Kerry Luft on Jan 09 2012

This is also a portrait of a remarkable marriage, one with plenty of friction and contradictions.

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The New Yorker

Excellent
Reviewed by DAVID REMNICK on Jan 16 2012

A book about the Obamas’ marriage, though, starts out with a problem. As the author of “Anna Karenina” could have attested, an unhappy marriage can be unhappy—and interesting—in countless ways.

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Entertainment Weekly

Below average
Reviewed by Tina Jordan on Jan 10 2012

The Obamas doesn’t tell us more than we already know about Barack Obama, either. It’s really a portrait of Michelle — and it’s not a kind one.

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The New York Review of Books

Excellent
Reviewed by Ezra Klein on Sep 27 2012

Again and again, what comes through in Kantor’s book is that the Obamas’ marriage, and the Obama White House, works like most any other marriage, and most any other White House.

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A Series Of (Un)Fortunate Reviews

Good
Reviewed by Ms. Angie on Apr 04 2012

I recommend you read this book if you enjoy reading about behind-the-scenes in politics.

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Reader Rating for The Obamas
63%

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