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The Bridge: The Life and Rise of Barack Obama
 
 

The Bridge: The Life and Rise of Barack Obama [Kindle Edition]

David Remnick
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Review

'Remnick's account of Obama's ascent is both lucid and judicious.' --Sunday Times

'Race is the theme that shapes this virtually flawless biography... incisive and written with flair.' --Guardian

Product Description

The rise of Barack Obama is one of the great stories of this century: a defining moment in American history, and one with truly global resonance. Until now, no journalist or historian has written a book that fully investigates the circumstances and experiences of Obama’s life or explores the ambition and conviction behind his journey to election. The Bridge – from a writer whose gift for illuminating the historical significance of unfolding events is unsurpassed – offers a portrait, at once masterly and fresh, nuanced and unexpected, of the man who was determined to become the first African-American president. Through extensive on-the-record interviews with friends and teachers, mentors and disparagers, family members and Obama himself, David Remnick allow us to see an early life coloured by absence and uncertainty: one that asked demanding questions of a rootless and literate man in search of himself, sending him firstly towards social work and then into law. Deftly setting Obama’s burgeoning political career against the volatile scene in Chicago, Remnick shows us how it was that city’s complex racial legacy that shaped the young politician and made his first forays into politics a source of controversy and bare-knuckle tactics: his clashes with older black politicians in the Illinois State Senate, his disastrous decision to challenge the former Black Panther Bobby Rush for Congress in 2000, the sex scandals that would decimate his more experienced opponents in the 2004 Senate race, and the story – from both sides – of his confrontation with his former pastor, Jeremiah Wright. In exploring the way in which Barack Obama imagined and fashioned an identity for himself against the backdrop of race in America, Remnick illuminates an American life without precedent, and reminds us that, electrifying though Obama’s victory may have been, there was nothing fated about it. Interrogating both the personal and political elements of the story – and, most crucially, the points at which they intersect – he gives shape to a decisive period of American history, and in turn, to the way it crucially influenced, animated and motivated a gifted and complex man.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1848 KB
  • Print Length: 673 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0330509942
  • Publisher: Picador (7 May 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003O2S2T2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #254,672 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Obama in context 4 May 2010
By Thomas Douglas TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover
The Bridge is a fascinating account of the rise of Barack Obama, from a fairly chaotic childhood through to the most powerful job in the world.

We have skimmed the surface of this story before - there is no shortage of magazine articles about the first black president, the non-establishment president, the president who pitched hope rather than policies.

But this book brings two things - huge depth (nearly 700 pages all told); and context.

The context is important. Barack Obama is the first black president because of when and where he grew into a man - Chicago, with its race and politics intertwined so much that a study of the politics of Chicago is a study of the politics of (black American) race.

It is a moving account and also an inspirational one. Obama created his calm thoughtful persona when plenty of his experiences could have generated bitterness and anger. His was the response that should guide others in adversity.

It is also a chilling reminder of the ugliness of racism. This wasn't so long ago, yet the tales are stomach churning, and there are plenty of people around today who are happy to mark their vote for the British National Party.

I wasn't expecting this book to be as good as it is - with Obama in office for 18 months already, I figured his history is less relevant than it was pre-election. But it is the context that makes it. Obama as the bridge between the past and future of race in America.

Five stars.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars OBAMA'S ARC 2 Jun 2010
By Diacha
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
David Remnick's "The Bridge" is an excellent "ascent narrative" of the most powerful and perhaps most enigmatic man in the world.

Remnick recounts President Obama's life and career in three stages. The first covers his highly unconventional upbringing in Indonesia and Hawaii and his extraordinary re-casting of himself in late adolescence as an African American (at school "I never thought of Barry as black" remarked a Punahou classmate), as well as the emergence of the professorial and - in the words of Jonathan Alter, author of the virtually companion book "The Promise" - Zen-like persona that is the 44th President's signature. The second describes his relatively brief political apprenticeship as first a community organizer and then a state politician in Chicago, followed by a two-year stint in the US Senate before his entry into the White House race in 2006. The third addresses the campaign itself, though with a deliberately narrow focus on the role played in it by "race."

Luck and good fortune played their parts in Obama's rise: luck, for example, in the scandal fuelled implosions of the campaigns of both his Democratic primary and Republican election opponents in the Senate race; good fortune as in his adoption by movers and shakers such as Newt Minnow, Jerry Kellman or Valerie Jarrett which helped the future president navigate his way through the Chicago power structure where he was educated in reality without being overly corrupted or tainted by its quintessential "old Politics," or as in his propulsion to national fame through being selected to address the 2004 Democratic Convention.

But, as Remnick makes clear, will, skill and sheer effort on the part of the candidate were equally instrumental.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The role of race in Barack Obama's life 29 May 2010
By MarkK TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
Barack Obama's victory in the 2008 presidential election represented not just a milestone in terms of American history, but a new stage in the nation's enduring struggle over race. It was an issue that Obama had to deal with throughout the campaign, not just from whites but from blacks as well, as he faced charges that he was not "black" enough. In this book David Remnick, the editor of New Yorker magazine, offers us a study of Obama's life within the context of the issue of race. In it, he addresses not just the issues that he faced over the course of his life, but how in many respects they reflect the broader challenges that African Americans and whites faced in an era of dramatic change in the notions of race and equality within the nation as a whole.

The issue of race emerged early on for Obama. Growing up in Hawai'i, he experienced a very different type of racial environment, one with far greater racial diversity and far less overt animosity, than was the case on the mainland at the time. It was in that unique environment that he first wrestled with the issues of his self-definition, a struggle that continued throughout his college career, first in Los Angeles, then in New York City. By the time he graduated, he was a man comfortable with his own identity and the role he wanted to play within the larger community. Remnick's account here is traditionally biographical in its scope, drawing considerably upon Obama's own memoir, Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance, but adding to it with the subsequent reporting.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A little slow to start
Quite a long book and though interesting read it isn't stimulating me to read regularly. It is too long when reading electronically and the percentage counter barely moves after a... Read more
Published 15 months ago by lokue
5.0 out of 5 stars OBAMA DRAMA
This is a big heavy book, so not for the faint of heart, but then the subject of the book is no light weight. Read more
Published on 30 July 2012 by K D
2.0 out of 5 stars A MODEL OF A BIASED BIOGRAPHY
In the universe of David Remnick, Obama was meant to be President since he came out of high school and all the doubts about him are products of Republicans, even conservative... Read more
Published on 9 Jan 2012 by Lucio Sergio Catilina
5.0 out of 5 stars Fine Book
I found this an excellent book and learned so much. I would like for people to buy this great book to develop a fuller understand of The President who is trying to solve such... Read more
Published on 30 Jun 2011 by Tony Laforce
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant insights into the man who bridged Selma and Pennsylvania Ave
If there is a point to Barack Obama becoming US President - and let's face it, how can we ever reduce anyone's life to having 'a point' - it is not his politics but his race. Read more
Published on 13 Jun 2011 by Mark Meynell
5.0 out of 5 stars Detailed & analytical !!!!!
Having read many of the books about OBAMA currently on the market, this is by far the very best!!!. The author has written a very detailed, analytical & thoroughly informative book... Read more
Published on 24 April 2011 by hoden
5.0 out of 5 stars A biography worthy of an extraordinary man...
I very much doubt there'll be a better biography of Barack Obama, at least not within the next decade or so, because this book is truly excellent. Read more
Published on 30 Jan 2011 by C. Ball
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Bridge
This is an outstanding account of the life of a complex person. It is sympathetic and tough as well. It is well documented and carefully researched. Read more
Published on 18 July 2010 by D. A. Osler
4.0 out of 5 stars THE BRIDGE LIFE AND RISE OF BARACK OBAMA
REALLY ENJOYED THIS BIIK. ALTHOUGH TOOK SOME GETTING INTO AT TIMES. OVERALL A VERY GOOD READ. HAVE RECOMMENDED SAME TO SOME OF MY AVID READER FRIENDS.
Published on 3 July 2010 by SHORT CAKE
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
This is the whole story, detailed and riveting, written by someone who's taken the time to unearth the facts. Read more
Published on 30 Jun 2010 by Seneca
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