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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Review: The American Journey of Barack Obama from The Editors of Life Magazine

Title: The American Journey of Barack Obama
Author: The Editors of Life Magazine
Pages: 176
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company (part of Hachette Book Group) (October 7, 2008)
Genre: Biography/Memoir / Non-Fiction
Edition: Standard Hardback Edition

Perfect for : Personal reading, Gift book, Great coffee table/office book

In a nutshell: This is an absolutely beautiful book. The pictures are wonderfully candid and bright, and the information contained within the book gives us some wonderful information on the life of our soon-to-be 44th President of the United States. With an inspirational foreword by Senator Edward M. Kennedy, the book starts by allowing readers to see Obama's family tree, showing an impressive seven half-brothers and half-sisters! (Sorry - I find that bit of information amazing as I was an only child!) We then get to see photos (and read information) of his family, his childhood, his school years, and his early career and his entry into politics. As readers, we also get the opportunity to see him as a boy, a man, a teacher, a husband, a father, a politician, etc. This is a wonderful look at a fascinating life. There is no doubt that readers will learn a lot about our 44th President, and they will get to see the many sides of Barack Obama!

From Hachette Book Group USA (publisher):
For decades Americans have turned to LIFE to see,understand, and remember the most important events and people of our time. Just as LIFE once opened up the glittering Kennedy White House, LIFE now focuses its lens on Barack Obama. The American Journey of Barack Obama covers the candidate from his childhood and adolescence to his time as editor of The Harvard Law Review and his Chicago activist years, culminating with the excitement and fervor of the historic 2008 Democratic National Convention. The unfolding drama of Obama's life and political career is cinematic in scope, and never has it been presented so compellingly. In addition to a powerful array of photographs that were taken by many of the country's greatest photographers(and some that were snapped, in the quiet moments, by Obama family members themselves), this book also includes a Foreword by Senator Edward M. Kennedy, an incisive narrative biography and original essays by some of our finest writers,including Gay Talese, Charles Johnson, Melissa Fay Greene, Andrei Codrescu, Fay Weldon, Richard Norton Smith, Bob Greene and several others. Many readers will find a new understanding of Obama. All readers will feel that they are bearing witness to a singular, undeniably American story.

First Paragraph: (From the Introduction) Some lives are, no matter an observer's political, philosophical or cultural orientation, so inarguably and objectively fascinating that to gaze upon them - to see the twists and turns, the lucky breaks and the hard knocks - is a riveting pleasure. Barack Obama's is one of those unlikely, almost preposterous lives. His story is, no matter which side of the political aisle you are on, a thriller. And it is a story that (again, regardless of the reader's political leanings) you should know at this point in time - and in the days and years ahead. [pg. 16, The Editors]

My Review:
This is a beautiful book, which contains a multitude of pictures and facts about the 44th President of the United States. It was a joy to leaf through the pages of the book, pausing to read the captions of the pictures, or the information contained on the pages. Regardless of your political views, this is an interesting book, which I certainly recommend!

Characters: As a non-fiction book, the "characters" are Barack Obama and his family. We get to have a candid look at his life growing up, and as an adult. We also get to learn tidbits of the rest of his family, making his story that much more interesting.

Story-Line: This is the story of Barack Obama's life. It is amazing in that his father is from Kenya, and he has had to work hard to achieve his accomplishments.

Readability: The information in the book is easy to read, and broken up into a great time-line with lots of pictures. The pictures within the book are amazing, and fun to look through.

Overall: I highly recommend this book. It is a beautiful representation of an amazing life. Regardless of your political views, this is a wonderful way to gain some insight into the life of the 44th President of the United States. I particularly loved the photographs of him with his wife and/or girls. He seems to be a wonderful family man. This book would be a great addition to a personal book collection, as well as a professional/business collection (why not put a copy in your office or lobby?).

About the Author: (from Hachette Books)
LIFE has long been one of the country's pre-eminent publishers of periodicals and books, and is renowned for its presentation of photography. The editors who bring you The American Journey of Barack Obama are the same who created One Nation: America Remembers September 11, 2001, also published by Little, Brown, which reached No. 1 on The New York Times Best Sellers list and was hailed by The Wall Street Journal as "a thorough and thoughtful telling."

Do you want to win a copy of this book? I am hosting a giveaway here.


bermudaonion said...

Sounds like something we should all read.

Wendy said...

I'd love to own this book...if only for the historical significance. I was thrilled when Obama won the election - he is an amazing man who I think has something special as a leader. Great review here...I'm going over to enter your giveaway :)

Linda said...

I didn't start out as an Obama supporter, but as the campaign progressed and I heard him speak, I became more and more impressed. At this point I'm so proud he will be my president. I'd love to own this beautiful book.

HiHoOhio said...

icausgreat sounding...would love to read that one!

ChristyJan said...

I was interested in reading this book before, but after reading your review it is now a must have.

kalea_kane said...

I liked the way you broke down your review, Wendi. I think you are right too in that no matter what your political views this should be an informative book, and I would say a book someone would want to read.

:) Have a great weekend, girl!

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