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Rising Star

The Making of Barack Obama

About the Book

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 Statesfrom 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.

Educator and Librarian Resources

Critical Praise

“Revealing. ... Probing. ... [Garrow] tells us how Obama lived, and explores the calculations he made in the decades leading up to his winning the presidency.”  —Washington Post

“Impressive. ... [A] deeply reported work of biography. ... The depth of detail allows the reader to see familiar parts of this story with fresh eyes.” —New York Times Book Review

“A prodigious work. ... Each page crackles with the strength of [Garrow’s] research.” —USA Today

“The authoritative biography of Barack Obama’s prepresidential years. ... Illuminating. ... Impressively researched. ... Readers will be richly rewarded.” —Library Journal (starred review)

“A convincing and exceptionally detailed portrait. ... Political history buffs will be fascinated.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Garrow is a demon for research. ... Eminently solid. ... Consistently readable -- an impressive work.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Gripping. ... [A] compelling read [that] should appeal to political junkies and insiders. ... Foundational.” —Washington Independent Review of Books

“Learned. ... May endure in the American presidential canon.” —Globe and Mail (Toronto)

Product Details

  • ISBN: 9780062641830
  • ISBN 10: 0062641832
  • Imprint: William Morrow
  • On Sale: 05/09/2017
  • Pages: 1472
  • List Price: 56.00 CAD
  • BISAC1: BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Presidents & Heads of State
  • BISAC2: BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Political

Rising Star by David Garrow

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