Monday, June 1, 2009

Small Miracles- Barack and Michelle




I just had the opportunity to read a great book for young readers: Obama: The Historic Journey by the New York Times. This was the "young readers" edition but carried much of the same content as the adult version. Packed full of information about his life, this book brings more miracle to the already miraculous rise of our current president.

I'm inspired by his story, probably in the most pedestrian of ways. Barack Obama appears to be a man who has dealt with the crap in his life and has been able to rise above it. It wasn't poverty that dealt him challenges as much as the lack of a father, instability in his home life, and a bi-racial heritage. He didn't take much time to feel sorry for himself, in life. Instead he chose to dive head first into everything he did. One of his greatest accomplishments, in my opinion, was his marriage to a woman who is probably even smarter than he is (can you tell I LOVE Michelle Obama?). The woman supported him when he was a community organizer and pro-bono laywer. Now she has the strength to step back and be a mother first when she has the opportunity to yield great power as the first lady. The girl knows what she wants!

Ok, but this book isn't about Michelle, it's about Barack. From his childhood through his first days in office, this book covers it all in great detail. I'm sure I'll hang on to this book as a memory of that day he stood in front of all of us and said, for the first time as our President (and I cried tears of real amazement that we managed to elect someone like this):

"We remain a young nation, but in the words of Scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things. The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness."

A few disapointments about this book:

1) The author doesn't seem to know his audience. The text alternates between incredibly simplified to obtuse and boring. This is a young reader's edition and could have been crafted a little more carefully with the audience in mind. Especially the first chapter, which should be the attention getter (not the overview, as in a short article).

2) A full page devoted to the foibles of Sarah Palin and barely a scratch on Joe Biden. I understand the pop-culture mania around Palin at the time of this book's publication, but it's a little annoying in an intented historical perspective of a campaign.

3) Most of the material in this book came directly from New York Times articles or from Obama's two published books, "Dreams of My Father" and "The Audacity of Hope." These are all great sources, but seemed a little heavy in the annotations.

Thanks to Mom Central and Mothertalk for the great opportunity to review this book and to relive the campaign days of 2008.!

1 comment:

adriel, from the mommyhood memos said...

Hi Tori! Thanks for sending me the link to your blog!! :) I clicked on this article from one of your "link within" links... cuz I am a fan of the Obama family. :) I wonder if you still are too? And Michelle? She really is an awesome woman as far as I can tell through the media. I love her!