Barack Obama’s appointment as President of the United States has, of course, been one of the pinnacle moments in modern history, carving out an entirely new direction for the future of one of the world’s superpowers, and subsequently, the world.
Like the moon landing, September 11’s horrific events, and the day Princess Diana died, many of us will remember the heart-pumping moment Senator Obama stole the political sceptre from GWBII, and this new book by New Yorker editor David Remnick celebrates and defines every diminutive step made on that enthralling journey… arguably one of the world’s greatest political expeditions, not only for the semantics of its unfoldings, but for the sentiments entangled in its realisation.
Due to hit our Australian shelves today, The Bridge follows the rise of the man behind this most timely appointment – from Obama’s early years in Hawaii, born to a Kenyan father and white American mother – to his current role as President elect.
Author Remnick has taken an extensive view of the Obama phenomenon in this comprehensive 586-page book, utilising a plethora of on-the-record interviews with the President’s early teachers, friends, colleagues, mentors and detractors – and presenting a well-rounded view of a life and career steeped in uncertainty, coloured by the volatile political scene in Chicago – the source of the young politician’s rise.
Obama’s early political career was indeed shaped by the clashes he experienced in the Illinois State Senate and his career moves were not always considered wise – his disastrous decision to challenge former Black Panther Bobby Rush for Congress in 2000 and confrontation with former pastor Jeremiah Wright, for example, were as controversial as they were empowering.
Remnick’s take on the Obama tale is one of unbiased and carefully researched balance. This Pulitzer Prize-winning author has been the very first to take on a full biography of this historically vital man, and he does it with chutzpah, deep political resonance, and style.
Essentially, The Bridge showcases not only the man behind one of the world’s most significant titles, but also allows us to see inside the ambition and conviction that became the underpinnings for Obama’s journey. The author’s ability to illuminate the historical significance of each underpinning career moment is what sets this book apart from any of the numerous biographical tomes sure to follow.
The US 2008 election not only grasped, bundled and began to sre-hape the country of America, its effects continue to have resonance on a global scale. As the first black American elected to lead the United States, was Obama’s one a fated rise? The author thinks not. Most certainly he knows, as do others the world over, it was simply a long-awaited inevitability.
The Bridge: The Life and Rise of Barack Obama is published by Picador, A$39.99, paperback