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Betsy Recommends

  • A Promised Land Cover Image
    $45.00
    ISBN: 9781524763169
    Availability: On Our Shelves Now
    Published: Crown - November 17th, 2020

    Beginning at the West Colonnade of the White House, along which he walked most days for eight years, President Obama loops us back into his childhood, into courtship, into community organizing and his runs for office, tracking as he does so not only Michelle’s doubts and questions but also his own. His race against John McCain, which didn’t look easy; the insights he gleaned about the direction our country might be moving in from watching the startling enthusiasm engendered by Sarah Palin; his ultimate victory, so symbolically world-shaking, world-shaping; and the transition period (far different than Joe Biden’s today) followed by the domestic adjustments he and Michelle had to forge are an easy mix of the personal and the political, making the tale of Obama’s rise to power both absorbing and entertaining. But once he takes on the mantel of the presidency, aside from continued forays into his personal life, our 44th president winds us through the intricacies involved in maintaining political power: from artful diplomacy to the firing of General Stanley McChrystal; from confronting viral epidemics and cascading financial disaster to the passing of the ACA; from intractable political opposition at home to the animus of, among others, Vladimir Putin and Osama bin Laden. My attention was rapt as I viewed through this visionary, ever curious, hugely intelligent man’s eyes America’s politics, its economics, its warring cultures, its place in the world (or, lately, lack thereof), its racial history—and the promise it still represents to so many of us.


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