(Planet Me)
Friday, January 11, 2013
The Obamas : A Mission, A Marriage

An unusual title, this offers a somewhat candid overview of life inside the white house. It's been tried before, normally in boring and self-conscious Hollywood comedy films of mistaken identity, or perhaps in other ways. It offers a roughly chronological overview of the first term, starting sometime around the moment Obama considered election, and dealing with all the often hidden and mundane details. The title betrays the book, because it is more a classic-style reportage (similar, in many ways to Bill Flanagan's “Until The End Of The World” that details U2's 1991-93 world tour, or a restrained take upon Hunter S Thompsons “On The Campaign Trail”), that details how a once-ordinary couple cope with being suddenly amongst the most powerful in the world. The travails of Obama's political journey are not exactly irrelevant, but barely referenced : this is about how a life changes beyond all recognition, about how a family copes with the husband being suddenly powerful, about how they live, and how about how they survive as a couple and how an imposing state building has to become home to a family. It is a fascinating and astute view of life inside the world's most obvious goldfish bowl.

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