A Singular Woman: The Untold Story of Barack Obama's Mother

A Singular Woman: The Untold Story of Barack Obama's Mother

by Janny Scott


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781594485596
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 01/03/2012
Pages: 400
Sales rank: 509,868
Product dimensions: 5.56(w) x 8.54(h) x 0.86(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Janny Scott was a reporter for The New York Times from 1994 to 2009, when she left to write this book. She was a member of the Times reporting team that won the 2000 Pulitzer Prize for national reporting.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“An ambitious new biography. . . . Scott pursues a more perplexing and elusive figure than the one Obama pieced together in his own books.”—The New York Times Book Review

“Even Obama knew that he had not his extraordinary mother justice. Janny Scott . . . does. She portrays Dunham as a feminist, an utterly independent spirit, a cultural anthropologies, and an international development officer who surely helped shape the internationalist, post-Vietnam-era world view of her son. Scott’s book is tirelessly researched, and the sections covering Dunham’s life in Indonesia especially are new and valuable to the accumulating biography of Obama’s extended global family.”—The New Yorker

“Janny Scott packs two and a half years of research into her bio of Stanley Ann Dunham, the quixotic anthropologist who raised a president.”—People

 “The restrained, straight-ahead focus—rather in the spirit, it turns out, of Dunham herself—pays off. By recovering Obama’s mother from obscurity, A Singular Woman adds in a meaningful way to an understanding of a singular president.”—Slate
“The key to understanding the disciplined and often impassive 44th president is his mother, as Janny Scott, a reporter for the New York Times, decisively demonstrates in her new biography A Singular Woman. . . . Scott [uses] meticulous reporting, archival research and extensive interviews with Dunham’s colleagues, friends and family, including the president and his sister. What emerges is a portrait of a woman who is both disciplined and disorganized, blunt-spoken and empathetic, driven and devoted to her children, even as she ruefully admits her failings and frets over her distance from them.”—The Washington Post
“Meticulously-researched and well-written . . . a necessary counterpart and corrective to Obama’s first book Dreams from my Father.”—Financial Times

“In her own right, Ann Dunham was a fascinating woman. . . . The story of the ‘singular woman’ at the center of this book is told, and told well, by Scott.”—San Francisco Chronicle
 “What emerges in this straightforward, deeply reported account is a complicated portrait of an outspoken, independent-minded woman with a life of unconventional choices.”—USA Today
“We get a much fuller story of Ms. Dunham’s life in A Singular Woman, Janny Scott’s richly researched, unsentimental book.”—The New York Times

“If you want to understand what shaped our president, don’t look to his father’s disappearance. It was his unconventional mother who made him. . . . [An] incisive biography.”—Newsweek
“A richly nuanced, decidedly sympathetic portrait of President Obama’s remarkably accomplished, spirited mother. . . . A biography of considerable depth and understanding.”—Kirkus

“Scott gives us a vivid, affecting profile of an unsung feminist pioneer who made breaking down barriers a family tradition and whose legacy extends well beyond her presidential son.”—Publishers Weekly (starred)

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A Singular Woman: The Untold Story of Barack Obama's Mother 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 54 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
if you are are not an admirer of the president you will get nothing from this book. but if you are it is a must read. she was an amazing woman and i am glad for the insight on her compassionate socially conscious life. what an exceptional role model for her children.
Jean Richardson More than 1 year ago
I do not understand why, but I am suprised at the number of reviews that profess hate for Ms Dunham because they dislike her son. On another site, one person stated that Republicans should have endorsed abortion in her case. We are not required to agree with the President, but these remarks about his mother are beneath comtempt. I doubt that they have the decency to be ashamed of their actions that prove that racism is alive in America.
GeGee More than 1 year ago
An interesting look into Barack Obama's Mother and some insight into his up bringing.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
STanley Ann Dunhanm was a woman before her time. Her influence on her son and daughter was immense. But not only is she an interesting woman but the extended family of her parents, grandparents, uncles and aunts are interesting. She was an admirable woman and should be admired by women of today. This book is a must for people who like the president and admire him. Even if you don't like him, this book will enlighten you as to the impact she had on Mr. Obama's intellect and his approach to the world. When I read at the end of the book of how she died, I actually had tears. Her son and daughter lost a great mother. The academia lost a great intellect and the poor lost an advocate. It is sad to think that her grandchildren would not know her.
Meshugenah More than 1 year ago
Ms. Dunham led a life ahead of her time, and she did it with integrity and humor and love. Unfortunately, Janny Scott has written in such a dry, old, uninteresting style that I felt I was reading her a collection of the author's expanded notes, not yet formed into a book that reflected the life it was reporting. Interesting subject. Poor writing. Poor editing. Let's hope someone else comes along and does a better job.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Regardess of ones political affiliation or opinion of our current President, this well-researched book illuminates a person who was much more than "the white woman from Kansas". In many ways the tale of her family and life reflect the archetypal American story. Her willingness to reach beyond boundaries is shown as evolving -- not in opposition to, but in continuation of, the values, beliefs and dreams of her forbearers.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have mixed reviews about this book. Didn't take full responsibility for raising her son, she became a mother of two children, yet she continued to live her life as she wanted to live it. In spite of all this her children turned out to be intellegent, highly educated, caring individuals. Look at her son. One of the greatest presidents of all time. I am glad the grandmother lived to see her grandson run for president, she must have been so proud.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As someone raised in Indonesia, I found this book very interesting and evoked many good memories of life in the Spice Islands. Janny Scott did a great job of interviewing family, friends and colleagues of Ann Duhnam.
Terry Vaught More than 1 year ago
Really an interesting read. I had trouble putting this book down. It was really a glimpse into another time and several other cultures.
catwak More than 1 year ago
I liked this, but somewhere in the middle, Ann the person was lost in the discussion of international development and microfinance, which was itself informative & new to me. I was intrigued by the ways in which the lives of Ann's parents were recapitulated in her own experience. The photographs were especially good. I'll also be permanently envious of a woman who never had to wear pantyhose until she was past 50!
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Zislaw More than 1 year ago
The can be boring at times, but that has more to do with the subject than the author, who was a very self-centered parent with her som. She raised her daughter, but not her son whom she handed off to her parents so she could pursue her "career" far away. It is a wonder that he did not become a drug dealer.
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