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The American Journey of Barack Obama (LIFE) Books in Review
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The American Journey of Barack Obama (LIFE)
by the editors of LIFE
Little, Brown and Company
ISBN 978-0-316-04560-5
Published October 2008 - Hardcover - 176 pages - $24.99

This book reminds me so much of the old LIFE magazine, which I miss so much, in that it's full of gorgeous photos.  Many of these photos are stories in themselves, which I also love.  Just look at the spectacular picture of the Democratic convention on pages 14/15.  Our new president has much to celebrate, and this book is one way to relive his rise to the most powerful position in the world (arguably).  (The book was published before the election results.)  The book explains Obama's melting pot lineage, typical of Americans, and offers some wonderful photos, not only of Obama and/or his family members, but also of momentous moments in his life.  President Obama has achieved much, sets a fine example for young African American men in particular, has experienced poverty (which is a huge plus for any leader to even begin to understand what it means to be poor), appears to be a good listener, and he has much riding on his young shoulders.  I just hope he won't be bought by the powers that be.  If indeed Obama said this actual line, "I was trying to raise myself to be a black man in America," I personally feel that was perhaps the noblest of steps he could have taken - to know who you are and to do your utmost to be true to yourself.  Astonishing when you think how poorly he could have thought of himself in the '60s and '70s.  There is much text to be read in this book, from a diverse group, and much to learn about this unusual man.  My favorite photos are on these pages: 42, 114/115 (look for happiness, doubt, disbelief, concern, bewilderment, expectation, and more on these faces), 118 (top), and 134 (bottom).  I also love the family photo on page 138 (bottom).
Conclusion - Interesting and food for thought, a true LIFE production.

book cover

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