Little, Brown and Company, Hardcover, 9780316098755, 368pp.
Publication Date: January 10, 2012
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.
"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, and is currently a Washington correspondent for the paper, has earned the voice of authority. A meticulous reporter, Ms. Kantor is attuned to the nuance of small gestures, the import of unspoken truths. She knows that every strong marriage, including the one now in the White House, has its complexities and its disappointments. Ms. Kantor also-and this is a key-has a high regard for women, which is why hers is the first book about the Obama presidency to give Michelle Obama her due. In the process we learn a great deal about the talented and introverted loner who married her, and how his wife has influenced him as a president."
-New York Times
"Energetically reported...Kantor nails her story....We political gluttons will lick the spoon clean."
"Jodi Kantor offers a glimpse into the tensions of a culture that expects our women to achieve as highly as our men but our first ladies to take a back seat to their presidents. The result is a sympathetic portrait of both Obamas that could help to humanize an administration criticized as being aloof and inaccessible."
"The stories are titillating, and you'll gulp them down like salted peanuts."
"[Kantor's] writing is insightful and evocative, rich with detail... Her reporting rings true-and considering the administration's insistence on presenting a unified front, it is a considerable achievement."
"[Kantor's] thoughtful new book is fluidly written, with a canny sense for the way political marriages can be useful prisms to see into ambition, power, gender and the contradictions of public life...The Obamas is built primarily out of interviews....[and] the legwork pays off in some sophisticated perception into a 'friction-filled marriage that has proved strong nonetheless.'"
-The Cleveland Plain Dealer
"Kantor's book reveals many unknown stories and revelations about the connection between the personal and political in this presidency, and how the first couple's partnership affect us all."
New York Times Washington correspondent Jodi Kantor interviewed more than 200 sources, including White House aides and friends of the Obamas, to paint a portrait of the first family's life inside the White House. More at NPR.org
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