The Bridge: The Life and Rise of Barack Obama

The Bridge: The Life and Rise of Barack Obama

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Overview

The Bridge: The Life and Rise of Barack Obama by David Remnick, Mark Deakins

No story has been more central to America’s history this century than the rise of Barack Obama, and 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 behind his rise. Those familiar with Obama’s own best-selling memoir or his campaign speeches know the touchstones and details that he chooses to emphasize, but now—from a writer whose gift for illuminating the historical significance of unfolding events is without peer—we have a portrait, at once masterly and fresh, nuanced and unexpected, of a young man in search of himself, and of a rising politician determined to become the first African-American president.

The Bridge offers the most complete account yet of Obama’s tragic father, a brilliant economist who abandoned his family and ended his life as a beaten man; of his mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, who had a child as a teenager and then built her career as an anthropologist living and studying in Indonesia; and of the succession of elite institutions that first exposed Obama to the social tensions and intellectual currents that would force him to imagine and fashion an identity for himself. Through extensive on-the-record interviews with friends and teachers, mentors and disparagers, family members and Obama himself, David Remnick allows us to see how a rootless, unaccomplished, and confused young man created himself first as a community organizer in Chicago, an experience that would not only shape his urge to work in politics but give him a home and a community, and that would propel him to Harvard Law School, where his sense of a greater mission emerged.

Deftly setting Obama’s political career against the galvanizing intersection of race and politics in Chicago’s history, Remnick shows us how that city’s complex racial legacy would make Obama’s 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. By looking at Obama’s political rise through the prism of our racial history, Remnick gives us the conflicting agendas of black politicians: the dilemmas of men like Jesse Jackson, John Lewis, and Joseph Lowery, heroes of the civil rights movement, who are forced to reassess old loyalties and understand the priorities of a new generation of African-American leaders.

The Bridge revisits the American drama of race, from slavery to civil rights, and makes clear how Obama’s quest is not just his own but is emblematic of a nation where destiny is defined by individuals keen to imagine a future that is different from the reality of their current lives.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780307734327
Publisher: Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group
Publication date: 04/06/2010
Edition description: Unabridged
Product dimensions: 5.14(w) x 5.90(h) x 0.64(d)

About the Author

David Remnick was a reporter for The Washington Post for ten years, including four in Moscow. He joined The New Yorker as a writer in 1992 and has been the magazine’s editor since 1998. His last book was King of the World, a biography of Muhammad Ali, which was selected by Time as the top nonfiction book of 1998. Lenin’s Tomb: The Last Days of the Soviet Empire won a Pulitzer Prize in 1994.

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The Bridge: The Life and Rise of Barack Obama 2.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 67 reviews.
OsoChistoso More than 1 year ago
I felt so refreshed after finishing this book. I had been feeling disheartened and worried that so many of us seem to wish our president, and hence out nation, to fail. Now I feel confident that Obama will be among the top rank of US presidents, whatever the ignoramuses Limbaugh, Beck, Hannity, O'Reilly and the FoxNews dittoheads think. We are very fortunate to have such a balanced and brilliant man at the helm. I hope that many millions of Americans will read this informative, entertaining and at times very funny book. David Remnick is an eminently qualified author. Not only has he won the Pulitzer Prize for his writing but he is the editor of America's most respected literary weekly, The New Yorker. At almost 600 pages the book is long, but it's so well written it flies by. I finished it in four days! Thank you, Mr. Remnick! My hat's off to you... Go-bama!
Book-touched More than 1 year ago
A masterful story teller, Remnick gives voice to the people (current and past), events (historical and recent), and struggles (heroic and mundane) that shaped the life of our young President, Barack Obama and that led to the election of our nation's First African American president. As the collection of stories gathered from Remnick's exhaustive personal interviews and research unfold THE BRIDGE is at once informative, inspirational and thought provoking. Some of the stories and events are gloriously triumphant while others are bitterly painful causing the reader to experience a full measure of human emotions. Reading this book for me was reminiscent of listening to a parent relay wonderful memories at an early morning breakfast table or of sitting at the knee of an elder calling forth fond remembrances with a twinkle in the eye. Far from an elder, in fact the reverse is true, for me Remnick captures that experience of being transported into historical events. A word of caution here, at the beginning it may take some time to settle into Remnick's method of story telling however once mastered he holds the readers rapt attention, which is how I believe history should be taught.
TheReadingWriter More than 1 year ago
This dense and detailed look at a moment in history when Obama began his run for the White House in the end gives a reader the sense of a blind man running his hands over an elephant, or of Galileo gazing at the stars. The detail just makes one jealous to know those things we are not reading about--what was Obama thinking, not just what he was saying. One wants the man himself, not just the story of him. Every book about this period is bound to be a disappointment in itself. It cannot capture the utter impossibility of the moment--the day by day disbelief of hearing Obama is still in the race and gaining, rather than losing, adherents. Of Obama facing challenges (Reverend Wright) greater than those that had brought down more conventional candidates (Kerry's Swift boat controversy), and emerging even larger than before. It does not tell us, in the end, how this happened. But among books of the period, this will rank among the best. Remick's calm amidst the forest of details, and clear, thoughtful delivery make him a companionable guide. He is not so casual as to make one doubt his sources, but he does not flaunt his erudition or access. This must be one of the most readable tomes on a time when America suprised everyone--even Americans.
Anonymous 5 months ago
Putrid , sycophantic rubbish.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hah so true you rock my friend
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The only reason id read this book is "know thy enemt"
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Dont care for him
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