Beverly's Reviews > Young Mr. Obama: Chicago and the Making of a Black President

Young Mr. Obama by Edward McClelland
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Jan 21, 2011

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bookshelves: african-black, non-fiction, politics
Read in January, 2011

Readable account of the early political career of President Obama. A major weakness is that the essay is entirely based on verbal interviews with no published (print or internet)documentation. A second weakness is that the author did not grow up in Chicago, and it subtly shows. However, McClelland overall does a credible job and presents an Obama that is no surprise: extremely hard working and intelligent but also arrogant, opportunistic, and cold with no understanding of the loyalties and dues that are part of politics, not just Chicago politics. The best insight is how Obama is a post racial politician and how black politics has changed between the generations of Jesse Jackson and Barack Obama. For the first time in American history, the elements have come together to enable a black(ish) politician to appeal to white voters.
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