This is a lengthy biography of Barack Obama’s time when he became senator up to the end of his first term as president. The early section on his growing up has been covered before and yet gives little away how this man was destined to lead America.
It works fairly descriptively as a record of significant events during his time including the global financial crisis in 2008. His need to list everyone around him and their CV adds a lot to the record of events but little more.
As a casual read Obama is elegantly written in how takes you into the White House with him, without too much of the politics and plenty of the impact of fame on his personal life. However, he has a tendency to take every opportunity to reflect on situations with how it impacts on voters and America, whilst it shows contemplation and introspection it becomes tedious.
It lacks both the cut and thrust of politics between key players and the deeper insight into the politics of John Bolton’s ‘The Room Where it Happened.’ There are moments of tension such as his response to the 2008 financial collapse,and the efforts he went into to push through his Obama Care. The most readable moment is his decisive leadership on the capture of Osama Bin Laden. However his take on the Arab Spring and his military involvement in Libya are slight and questionable. The disastrous mid term elections also somehow come across as lacking the real tension of the situation. However, his take on racial politics, in a world of wokery, are refreshing.
There are moments of insight such as his involvement in global meetings that he shows rare cyncism for and often relied on his leadership skills, and the gradual evolution of Trump into American politics with its racist tinge (his birth certificate nonsense).
I would have enjoyed this more if it is less flabby and had more depth on his political views and how he pursued them. It harks back to a more human politics just as republicans begin their descent into divisiveness and full on attack. His gentlemanly respect for others and deference are missed.