My Journey Through the Best Presidential Biographies

David Remnick’s “The Bridge: The Life and Rise of Barack Obama” was published in 2010 and covers the 44th president’s life from his birth through his 2009 inauguration. Remnick is a Pulitzer Prize-winning author and has been editor of The New Yorker since 1998. He began his reporting career at The Washington Post in 1982.

This 586-page biography is clearly the result of exhaustive research which included interviews with an impressive array of Obama’s family, friends, colleagues and competitors – as well as with Obama himself. Tracking his political ascent up to the presidency, this biography is a synthesis of the unique personal influences and public forces which shaped his character and catalyzed his extraordinary success.

The book’s first half reviews Obama’s ancestry, his childhood, schooling and pre-political career. While generally interesting, some of this coverage is dense and difficult to follow. The relative complexity of Obama’s youth…

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