Jeanne Marie Laskas
One of the most important politics books of the year, To Obama is a record of a time when politics intersected with empathy.
‘The real story of Obama’s America’ Sunday Times
Every day, President Obama received ten thousand letters from ordinary American citizens. Every night, he read ten of them before going to bed.
In To Obama, Jeanne Marie Laskas interviews President Obama, the letter-writers themselves and the White House staff in the Office of Presidential Correspondence who were witness to the millions of pleas, rants, thank-yous and apologies that landed in the mailroom during the Obama years. At once desperate, joyful, hateful and despairing, they form an intimate portrait of one man’s relationship with the American people, and of a time when empathy intersected with politics in the White House.
Reminiscent of Tom Wolfe at his best ... It may be trite to say that To Obama is itself a love letter, but that's how it reads: like a letter to someone long lost. It is steeped in a powerful yearning for a period in time that slips further from us with every passing day. How did we fall so far? * New Statesman * A moving and inevitably nostalgic or even elegiac read, redolent of the human grace and statesmanship of the Obama presidency ... A beautifully researched and written book * Observer * To Obama gives us a glimpse of a secret and incredibly sweet world within his White House, and paints a portrait of a man deeply concerned with his citizens' problems, struggling to do the right thing. [A] startling, delicate and immensely readable story ... Another poignant reminder of what once was * Telegraph * Full of lovely details ... The insight into America provided by the letters cleverly selected by Laskas is fascinating * Literary Review * These stories, when you read them all together, tell the American story. It's inspirational, it's frustrating, it's angry, it's grateful, it's resilient -- Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to President Barack Obama Alternately heart-breaking and hopeful, angry and questioning - the empathetic, often poetic, polar opposite of the Trump twitter feed * Vogue * The heartbreaking, hope-inducing letters tell the story of a nation * Elle *
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