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The Other Barack: The Bold and Reckless Life of President Obama's Father
     

The Other Barack: The Bold and Reckless Life of President Obama's Father

by Sally H. Jacobs
 

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Barack Obama Sr., father of the American president, was part of Africa's "independence generation" and in 1959 it seemed his star would shine brightly. He came to the U.S. from Kenya and was given a university scholarship. While in the Hawaii, he met Ann Dunham in 1961, and his son Barack was born. He left his young family to gain a master's degree from

Overview

Barack Obama Sr., father of the American president, was part of Africa's "independence generation" and in 1959 it seemed his star would shine brightly. He came to the U.S. from Kenya and was given a university scholarship. While in the Hawaii, he met Ann Dunham in 1961, and his son Barack was born. He left his young family to gain a master's degree from Harvard.

After that, Obama's life became progressively more complicated. He was a brilliant economist, yet never held the coveted government job he felt should have been his. He was a polygamist, an alcoholic, and an ardent African nationalist unafraid to tell truth to power at a time when that could get you killed. Father of eight, nurturer of none, he was an unlikely person to father the first African American president of the United States. Yet he was, like that son, a man moved by the dream of a better world.

Now, thanks to dozens of exclusive new interviews, prodigious research, and determined investigation, Sally Jacobs tells his full story.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this fantastic biography, Boston Globe reporter Jacobs shows how Barack Obama, Sr. transcended the circumstances of his youth in colonial Kenya (where "No Africans or Dogs Allowed" was the norm), only to succumb to alcoholism and womanizing. Having gained entrance to the best secondary school available to a native, the remarkably gifted Obama, Sr. was dismissed after four years, in part due to his impetuousness and contrarian personality-a pattern that would continue throughout his life. However, with the providential help of Elizabeth Mooney, an American teacher in Nairobi, he attended the University of Hawaii. After three years, his second marriage (to Ann Dunham, president Obama's mother), fatherhood, and an undergraduate degree, he left for Harvard, where he was investigated by the INS for conflicting reports of his marital status and number of wives, as well as his claim that his child in Hawaii was to be put up for adoption. Dismissed by Harvard, the arrogant Obama, Sr. returned to Kenya without a Ph.D., but nonetheless expected an important position in the new government. Within this compelling story of Obama, Sr.'s squandered talents and opportunities, Jacobs weaves a picture of Kenya as colony and new nation. Photos.
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From the Publisher
The Daily, July 17, 2011
“Sally Jacobs, a reporter for the Boston Globe, reaffirms and deepens the record, drawing on interviews with the sprawling Obama family and their acquaintances, as well as on memoirs and other historical sources… It provides fascinating clues to understanding the President’s puzzle of a father.”
 
Tyler Cowen’s Marginal Revolution, July 19, 2011
Morozov's ‘The Net Delusion’ should be read by cockeyed optimists and pessimists alike. It's as important today as McLuhan's  books ("The Gutenberg Galaxy," "Understanding Media," "The Medium is the Massage," etc.) were in the 1950s through the 1970s.”

Mail on Sunday(UK),July 31, 2011
 “With admirable endeavour, Sally Jacobs has pieced together the hidden fragments of Obama Snr’s life, tracking down family members, friends and colleagues, sifting through official documents and prising out the quirks of fate that led him to Hawaii in the first place.”
 
Irish Times, July 30, 2011

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781586487935
Publisher:
PublicAffairs
Publication date:
07/12/2011
Pages:
336
Product dimensions:
9.36(w) x 6.36(h) x 1.17(d)

Meet the Author

Sally H. Jacobs lives in Boston. She has been a reporter for over three decades, most recently with The Boston Globe. She has specialized in political reporting and profiles including the famously reclusive Joan Kennedy, Michelle Obama, and Pat Patrick, Deval Patrick's father. This is her first book.

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