New York Times Bestseller
One of the Washington Post's 10 Best Books of 2017
Rising Star is the definitive account of Barack Obama's formative years that made him the man who became the forty-fourth president of the United States—from the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Bearing the Cross
Barack Obama's speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention instantly catapulted him into the national spotlight and led to his election four years later as America's first African-American president. In this penetrating biography, David J. Garrow delivers an epic work about the life of Barack Obama, creating a rich tapestry of a life little understood, until now.
Rising Star: The Making of Barack Obama captivatingly describes Barack Obama's tumultuous upbringing as a young black man attending an almost-all-white, elite private school in Honolulu while being raised almost exclusively by his white grandparents. After recounting Obama's college years in California and New York, Garrow charts Obama's time as a Chicago community organizer, working in some of the city's roughest neighborhoods; his years at the top of his Harvard Law School class; and his return to Chicago, where Obama honed his skills as a hard-knuckled politician, first in the state legislature and then as a candidate for the United States Senate.
Detailing a scintillating, behind-the-scenes account of Obama's 2004 speech, a moment that labeled him the Democratic Party's "rising star," Garrow also chronicles Obama's four years in the Senate, weighing his stands on various issues against positions he had taken years earlier, and recounts his thrilling run for the White House in 2008.
In Rising Star, David J. Garrow has created a vivid portrait that reveals not only the people and forces that shaped the future president but also the ways in which he used those influences to serve his larger aspirations. This is a gripping read about a young man born into uncommon family circumstances, whose faith in his own talents came face-to-face with fantastic ambitions and a desire to do good in the world. Most important, Rising Star is an extraordinary work of biography—tremendous in its research and storytelling, and brilliant in its analysis of the all-too-human struggles of one of the most fascinating politicians of our time.
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About the Author
David J. Garrow is Professor of Law & History and Distinguished Faculty Scholar at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. He is the author of four books, including Bearing the Cross: Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, which won the Pulitzer Prize for Biography. He is a regular contributor to the Washington Post, New York Times, and The American Prospect. He lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 The End of the World as they Knew It: Chicago's Far South Side March 1980-July 1985 1
Chapter 2 A Place in the World: Honolulu, Seattle, Honolulu, Jakarta, and Honolulu August 1961-September 1979 43
Chapter 3 Searching For Home: Eagle Rock, Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Hermitage, PA September 1979-July 1985 109
Chapter 4 Transformation and Identity: Roseland, Hyde Park, and Kenya August 1985-August 1988 197
Chapter 5 Emergence and Achievement: Harvard Law School September 1988-May 1991 327
Chapter 6 Building a Future: Chicago June 1991-August 1995 459
Chapter 7 Into the Arena: Chicago and Springfield September 1995-September 1999 543
Chapter 8 Failure and Recovery: Chicago and Springfield October 1999-January 2003 673
Chapter 9 Calculation, Coincidence, Coronation: Illinois and Boston January 2003-November 2004 795
Chapter 10 Disappointment and Destiny: The U.S. Senate November 2004-February 2007 959
Epilogue: The President Did Not Attend, As He was Golfing 1029