Samantha's Reviews > Becoming

Becoming by Michelle Obama
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really liked it

I miss the Obamas in the White House. Moreso than any other first family in my lifetime, they seemed real, like people who might, at at least some level, understand middle class and aspiring middle class lives like mine. Whether or not I agreed with the various political movements surrounding them, they always filled me with hope just by their existence and position. They had empathy. They cared about bigger things than dollars and maintaining power and control.

I've seen very little of that in politics. In fact, my vote is usually against someone rather than for someone because most political races come down to figuring out who is going to do the least harm. So, that's why I picked this book up. I wanted to remember what it felt like, looking at my government and feeling hope that things would improve from where they stood now.

Hope is the major theme of this memoir. It was interesting to learn something of the woman she was before she married Obama and how being his wife pulled her onto paths she might otherwise have left untrod. In many ways, this is the story of a marriage, and the ways that who we partner with shapes us even while we shape our partners.

Hearing about political life from the inside bores me silly. If you're not a policy wonk yourself, then politicians talking politics is akin to listening to tropical birds squawk at the zoo, all noise and no matter. That's part of why this book was so fascinating. Politics from the inside, but as viewed by a person who is not a politician. It's like listening to an intelligent friend tell you about her interesting job.

I admire Ms. Obama all the more now, hearing from her persepctive about all the personal attacks and how hard it was to "go high when they go low" sometimes. The story is told with honesty and heart, but is never self-pitying or self-aggrandizing. I look forward to seeing what she becomes next.

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Reading Progress

March 27, 2019 – Started Reading
March 27, 2019 – Shelved
April 4, 2019 – Finished Reading

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