2/23/2018

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The American Journey of Barack Obama
by Life Magazine Editors

Foreword by Edward M. Kennedy

Synopsis

When millions of his countrymen first encountered the young politician from Illinois four years ago, they knew immediately that they had never seen or heard anyone like him before. As he spoke at the Democratic convention, his eloquent phrases followed one upon another and rose to an astonishing, inspiring level. The next morning people everywhere asked one another: "Did you see him?"

As America learned more about Barack Obama, they discovered an extraordinary life. The son of a father from Kenya and a mother from Kansas; raised in Hawaii , then Indonesia, then Hawaii again; educated at Columbia University and Harvard Law School, where he was the first black president of the Law Review -- this man named Barack seemed an uncanny example of success in the Melting Pot, a true original who had emerged from nowhere and risen to imaginable heights. His story is told in these pages in evocative words and intimate pictures, many of them seldom seen, several presented in a book for the first time.

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 richly.

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 an incisive narrative biography, a foreword by Senator Edward M. Kennedy and original essays by some of our finest writers. Gay Talese, Charles Johnson, Melissa Fay Greene, Andrei Codrescu, Fay Weldon, Richard Norton Smith, Bob Greene and several other astute commentators weigh in on various aspects of Obama: Who is this man? What makes him different? What, finally, does his emergence mean for our country?

Many readers who visit these pages will find compelling answers to these questions. All readers will feel that they are bearing witness to a singular, undeniably American story.

LIFE has long been one of the country's preeminent 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."

Biography

Barack Obama is the 44th President-elect of the United States. He has been U.S. senator from Illinois, and the author of The Audacity of Hope and Dreams from My Father. He lives with his wife, Michelle, and his two daughters, Sasha and Malia.

 

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