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Book Title: The Bridge: The Life and Rise of Barack Obama|
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Reader ratings: 6.3
The author of the book: David Remnick
Edition: Random House Audio
Date of issue: April 6th 2010
ISBN 13: 9780307734327
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 617 KB
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No story has been more central to America’s history this century than the rise of Barack Obama, and until now, no journalist or historian has written a book that fully investigates the circumstances and experiences of Obama’s life or explores the ambition behind his rise. Those familiar with Obama’s own best-selling memoir or his campaign speeches know the touchstones and details that he chooses to emphasize, but now—from a writer whose gift for illuminating the historical significance of unfolding events is without peer—we have a portrait, at once masterly and fresh, nuanced and unexpected, of a young man in search of himself, and of a rising politician determined to become the first African-American president.
The Bridge offers the most complete account yet of Obama’s tragic father, a brilliant economist who abandoned his family and ended his life as a beaten man; of his mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, who had a child as a teenager and then built her career as an anthropologist living and studying in Indonesia; and of the succession of elite institutions that first exposed Obama to the social tensions and intellectual currents that would force him to imagine and fashion an identity for himself. Through extensive on-the-record interviews with friends and teachers, mentors and disparagers, family members and Obama himself, David Remnick allows us to see how a rootless, unaccomplished, and confused young man created himself first as a community organizer in Chicago, an experience that would not only shape his urge to work in politics but give him a home and a community, and that would propel him to Harvard Law School, where his sense of a greater mission emerged.
Deftly setting Obama’s political career against the galvanizing intersection of race and politics in Chicago’s history, Remnick shows us how that city’s complex racial legacy would make Obama’s forays into politics a source of controversy and bare-knuckle tactics: his clashes with older black politicians in the Illinois State Senate, his disastrous decision to challenge the former Black Panther Bobby Rush for Congress in 2000, the sex scandals that would decimate his more experienced opponents in the 2004 Senate race, and the story—from both sides—of his confrontation with his former pastor, Jeremiah Wright. By looking at Obama’s political rise through the prism of our racial history, Remnick gives us the conflicting agendas of black politicians: the dilemmas of men like Jesse Jackson, John Lewis, and Joseph Lowery, heroes of the civil rights movement, who are forced to reassess old loyalties and understand the priorities of a new generation of African-American leaders.
The Bridge revisits the American drama of race, from slavery to civil rights, and makes clear how Obama’s quest is not just his own but is emblematic of a nation where destiny is defined by individuals keen to imagine a future that is different from the reality of their current lives.
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Read information about the authorDavid Remnick (born October 29, 1958) is an American journalist, writer, and magazine editor. He won a Pulitzer Prize in 1994 for his book The Bridge The Life and Rise of Barack Obama.
Remnick was born in Hackensack, New Jersey, the son of a dentist, Edward C. Remnick, and an art teacher, Barbara (Seigel). He was raised in Hillsdale, New Jersey, in a secular Jewish home with, he has said, “a lot of books around.” He is also childhood friends with comedian Bill Maher. He graduated from Princeton University in 1981 with an A.B. in comparative literature; there, he met writer John McPhee and helped found The Nassau Weekly. Remnick has implied that after college he wanted to write novels, but due to his parents’ illnesses, he needed a paying job—there was no trust fund to rely on. Remnick wanted to be a writer, so he chose a career in journalism, taking a job at The Washington Post. He is married to reporter Esther Fein of The New York Times and has three children, Alex, Noah, and Natasha. He enjoys jazz music and classic cinema and is fluent in Russian.
He began his reporting career at The Washington Post in 1982 shortly after his graduation from Princeton. His first assignment was to cover the United States Football League. After six years, in 1988, he became the newspaper’s Moscow correspondent, which provided him with the material for Lenin's Tomb. He also received the George Polk Award for excellence in journalism.
Remnick became a staff writer at The New Yorker in September, 1992, after ten years at The Washington Post.
Remnick’s 1997 New Yorker article “Kid Dynamite Blows Up,” about boxer Mike Tyson, was nominated for a National Magazine Award. In 1998 he became editor, succeeding Tina Brown. Remnick promoted Hendrik Hertzberg, a former Jimmy Carter speechwriter and former editor of The New Republic, to write the lead pieces in “Talk of the Town,” the magazine’s opening section. In 2005 Remnick earned $1 million for his work as the magazine’s editor.
In 2003 he wrote an editorial supporting the Iraq war in the days when it started. In 2004, for the first time in its 80-year history, The New Yorker endorsed a presidential candidate, John Kerry.
In May 2009, Remnick was featured in a long-form Twitter account of Dan Baum’s career as a New Yorker staff writer. The tweets, written over the course of a week, described the difficult relationship between Baum and Remnick, his editor.
Remnick’s biography of President Barack Obama, The Bridge, was released on April 6, 2010. It features hundreds of interviews with friends, colleagues, and other witnesses to Obama’s rise to the presidency of the United States. The book has been widely reviewed in journals.
In 2010 Remnick lent his support to the campaign urging the release of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, the Iranian woman sentenced to death by stoning after being convicted of ordering the murder of her husband by her lover and adultery.
In 2013 Remnick ’81 was the guest speaker at Princeton University Class Day.
Remnick provided guest commentary and contributed to NBC coverage of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi Russia including the opening ceremony and commentary for NBC News.
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