Obama from Kenya to Washington

Madison native David Maraniss's new book probes deep into the life of the president

If you’ve read a David Maraniss book—They Marched Into Sunlight, Rome 1960, Clemente, Clinton, Lombardi—you know what I mean when I say the commitment to its 571 pages is well worth the time and effort. The Madison native, Washington Post editor and author of the new Barack Obama: The Story once again digs deeper and probes further than most journalists of our time with his narratives of the remarkable people and events that define our country and culture. In his latest tome, Maraniss chronicles a breathtaking journey from Kenya to Kansas, Hawaii to Indonesia, and finally to New York, Chicago and the White House, exploring every nook and cranny of Obama’s history and biography. While his pot-smoking teens and the love letters and poems from his early relationships are fun, fly-on-the-wall page-turners, the most fascinating element is Maraniss’ account of the biracial and multicultural president’s emotional and intellectual path to his identity as an African American. You really have to read it to believe it.

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