Rising Star: The Making of Barack Obama and the Limitations of Liberal Criticism

Posted in Barack Obama, Biography, Book/Video Reviews, Communications/Media Studies, Interviews, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States, Videos on 2017-06-13 20:30Z by Steven

Rising Star: The Making of Barack Obama and the Limitations of Liberal Criticism

iMiXWHATiLiKE!
2017-06-07

Jared A. Ball, Host and Professor of Communication Studies
Morgan State University, Baltimore, Maryland

Authors Dr. Todd Steven Burroughs and Paul Street discuss their reviews of David Garrow‘s Rising Star: The Making of Barack Obama.  We also discussed the liberal limitations of Garrow’s criticism and the omission of Left critiques by “alternative” and “Left” media outlets.

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A Long, Long Look at Obama’s Life, Mostly Before the White House

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, Biography, Book/Video Reviews, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2017-06-13 17:30Z by Steven

A Long, Long Look at Obama’s Life, Mostly Before the White House

Books of The Times
The New York Times
2017-05-01

Michiko Kakutani, Chief Book Critic

RISING STAR
The Making of Barack Obama

By David J. Garrow
1,460 pages. William Morrow. $45.

Rising Star,” the voluminous 1,460-page biography of Barack Obama by David J. Garrow, is a dreary slog of a read: a bloated, tedious and — given its highly intemperate epilogue — ill-considered book that is in desperate need of editing, and way more exhausting than exhaustive.

Many of the more revealing moments in this volume will be familiar to readers of Obama’s own memoir, “Dreams From My Father”; a host of earlier books about Obama and his family; and myriad profiles of the former president that have appeared in newspapers and magazines over the years. Garrow has turned up little that’s substantially new — save for identifying and interviewing an old girlfriend from Obama’s early Chicago years, who claims that by 1987, “he already had his sights on becoming president.”

In the absence of thoughtful analysis or a powerful narrative through line, Garrow’s book settles for barraging the reader with a cascade of details — seemingly in hopes of creating a kind of pointillist picture. The problem is that all these data points never connect to form an illuminating portrait; the book does not open out to become the sort of resonant narrative that Robert A. Caro and Ron Chernow have pioneered, in which momentous historical events are deftly recreated, and a subject’s life is situated in a time and a place. Instead, Garrow has expended a huge amount of energy — his bibliography, including interviews with more than a thousand people, runs to 35 pages — on giving us minutely detailed accounts of early chapters of Obama’s life, like his years at Harvard Law School, his time in Chicago as a community organizer, and his work in the Illinois State Senate. Garrow gets to Obama’s presidency only in an epilogue…

…It’s odd that Garrow should seize on one former lover’s anger and hurt, and try to turn them into a Rosebud-like key to the former president’s life, referring to her repeatedly in his epilogue. He even tries to turn her perception — about Obama’s having willed himself into being — into a pejorative, when the act of self-invention, as other biographers have noted, was the enterprising and existential act of a young man who essentially had been abandoned by both his black father and white mother, and who found himself caught between cultures and trying, as he wrote in “Dreams,” “to raise myself to be a black man in America.”…

Read the entire review here.

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Rising Star: The Making of Barack Obama

Posted in Barack Obama, Biography, Books, Media Archive, Monographs, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2017-06-13 16:13Z by Steven

Rising Star: The Making of Barack Obama

William Morrow (an imprint of HarperCollins)
2017-05-09
1472 pages
Trimsize: 6.25 in (w) x 9.25 in (h) x 2.703 in (d)
Hardcover ISBN: 9780062641830
E-book ISBN: 9780062641854
Digital Audiobook Unabridged ISBN: 9780062671745

David J. Garrow, Professor of Law & History and Distinguished Faculty Scholar
University of Pittsburgh School of Law

Rising Star is the definitive account of Barack Obama’s formative years that made him the man who became the forty-fourth president of the United States—from the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Bearing the Cross

Barack Obama’s speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention instantly catapulted him into the national spotlight and led to his election four years later as America’s first African-American president. In this penetrating biography, David J. Garrow delivers an epic work about the life of Barack Obama, creating a rich tapestry of a life little understood, until now.

Rising Star: The Making of Barack Obama captivatingly describes Barack Obama’s tumultuous upbringing as a young black man attending an almost-all-white, elite private school in Honolulu while being raised almost exclusively by his white grandparents. After recounting Obama’s college years in California and New York, Garrow charts Obama’s time as a Chicago community organizer, working in some of the city’s roughest neighborhoods; his years at the top of his Harvard Law School class; and his return to Chicago, where Obama honed his skills as a hard-knuckled politician, first in the state legislature and then as a candidate for the United States Senate.

Detailing a scintillating, behind-the-scenes account of Obama’s 2004 speech, a moment that labeled him the Democratic Party’s “rising star,” Garrow also chronicles Obama’s four years in the Senate, weighing his stands on various issues against positions he had taken years earlier, and recounts his thrilling run for the White House in 2008.

In Rising Star, David J. Garrow has created a vivid portrait that reveals not only the people and forces that shaped the future president but also the ways in which he used those influences to serve his larger aspirations. This is a gripping read about a young man born into uncommon family circumstances, whose faith in his own talents came face-to-face with fantastic ambitions and a desire to do good in the world. Most important, Rising Star is an extraordinary work of biography—tremendous in its research and storytelling, and brilliant in its analysis of the all-too-human struggles of one of the most fascinating politicians of our time.

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Race and the Obama Administration: Substance, Symbols and Hope

Posted in Barack Obama, Books, Media Archive, Monographs, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2017-06-08 01:57Z by Steven

Race and the Obama Administration: Substance, Symbols and Hope

Manchester University Press
160 pages
June 2017
Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-5261-0501-1
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-5261-0502-8
eBook ISBN: 978-1-5261-0503-5

Andra Gillespie, Associate Professor
Department of Political Science
Emory University, Atlanta Georgia

  • Employs a novel comparative analysis of the Clinton, Bush and Obama Administrations to determine if Obama’s performance on racial issues differed significantly from his immediate predecessors
  • Does distinct analyses of Barack Obama’s performance on substantive and symbolic issues of importance to African Americans
  • Uses a commissioned public opinion data set of black voters to probe attitudes toward President Obama and explanations for his performance on racial issues
  • Encourages readers to consider the ways that institutional constraints on the presidency and candidates’ campaign choices limit the role of the president to address racial issues

The election of Barack Obama marked a critical point in American political and social history. Did the historic election of a black president actually change the status of blacks in the United States? Did these changes (or lack thereof) inform blacks’ perceptions of the President?

This book explores these questions by comparing Obama’s promotion of substantive and symbolic initiatives for blacks to efforts by the two previous presidential administrations. By employing a comparative analysis, the reader can judge whether Obama did more or less to promote black interests than his predecessors. Taking a more empirical approach to judging Barack Obama, this book hopes to contribute to current debates about the significance of the first African American presidency. It takes care to make distinctions between Obama’s substantive and symbolic accomplishments and to explore the significance of both.

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Racism without Racists: Color-Blind Racism and the Persistence of Racial Inequality in America, Fifth Edition

Posted in Barack Obama, Books, Forthcoming Media, Monographs, Politics/Public Policy, Social Justice, Social Science, United States on 2017-05-23 17:34Z by Steven

Racism without Racists: Color-Blind Racism and the Persistence of Racial Inequality in America, Fifth Edition

Rowman & Littlefield
June 2017
360 pages
Hardback ISBN: 978-1-4422-7622-2
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-4422-7623-9
eBook ISBN: 978-1-4422-7624-6

Eduardo Bonilla-Silva, Professor of Sociology
Duke University


Features

  • Provocative and engaging—praised by adopters as a book that students actually read
  • Adopters say the book challenges many of their white students to see themselves and their attitudes towards race differently, while helping minority students find language to talk about their experiences
  • Highlights the problems with many of the phrases students often use to talk about race in America, such as “I don’t see race,” or “Some of my best friends are black”
  • Features a new chapter that is often requested by students—how to challenge racism on both the individual and the structural levels
  • Includes new material on the Black Lives Matter movement, the impact of the Obama presidency and its aftermath, the rise of Donald Trump and the 2016 elections, and more

Eduardo Bonilla-Silva’s acclaimed Racism without Racists documents how, beneath our contemporary conversation about race, there lies a full-blown arsenal of arguments, phrases, and stories that whites use to account for—and ultimately justify—racial inequalities. This provocative book explodes the belief that America is now a color-blind society. The fifth edition includes a new chapter addressing what students can do to confront racism—both personally and on a larger structural level, new material on Donald Trump’s election and the racial climate post-Obama, new coverage of the Black Lives Matter movement, and more.

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Barack Obama’s $400,000 speaking fees reveal what few want to admit

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2017-05-03 02:37Z by Steven

Barack Obama’s $400,000 speaking fees reveal what few want to admit

The Guardian
2017-05-01

Steven W. Thrasher


‘It seems like Obama will spend his post-presidency hauling in money as the Clintons have.’ Photograph: Susan Walsh/AP

His mission was never racial or economic justice. It’s time we stop pretending it was

The reason many of us have been critical of Barack Obama’s outrageous $400,000 speaking fee is that it robs us of a fantasy: that sooner or later, the first black president was going to use his considerable powers, in or out of office, to help the economic ravages of the poor, who are disproportionately black.

That Obama’s project was or ever would be racial and economic justice was always a dream – and the sooner we let go of this and recognize Obama for who he is and what he does, the better we’ll all be.

Some people who disagree with me believe I am racist for not lauding Obama’s right to cash in on the presidency the same way the Clinton and Bush dynasties have. I will never deny the representational and psychological value of having had Obama in the Oval Office and his beautiful black family living in the White House. I always liked the guy immensely, even as I’ve criticized the politician…

Read the entire article here.

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Obama on Our Minds: The Impact of Obama on the Psyche of America

Posted in Anthologies, Barack Obama, Books, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2017-03-15 20:21Z by Steven

Obama on Our Minds: The Impact of Obama on the Psyche of America

Oxford University Press
2016-09-01
312 Pages
6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches
Hardcover ISBN: 9780199390618

Edited by:

Lori A. Barker, Professor
Department Psychology and Sociology Department
California State Polytechnic University, Pomona

  • Examines the true psychological impact of Obama’s presidency on the nation’s collective psyche
  • Connects well-known psychological theories with contemporary issues, such as racism, ethnic identity, and stereotyping, and applies them to the historic election of President Obama
  • Offers expert critical approaches to widely disseminated rhetoric from political pundits, i.e.

On the evening of November 4, 2008, as news of Barack Obama’s presidential victory spread, television footage depicted the emotional reactions of people across the country and the globe. As Obama gave his acceptance speech in Grant Park that night, the camera focused on those in the audience who were overjoyed, tears streaming down their faces. People cheered. Spontaneous and joyful celebrations broke out in the streets. Change had finally come.

Analysts describe Barack Obama’s success as “unheard of”–a meteoric rise–leaving many in the elite political circles astonished at what he had accomplished in his campaign. With his success, many questions arose: How was a junior senator from Chicago able to do this? Why does he evoke such strong reactions? What cultural shifts took place in American society for this to happen? Do we now live in a post-racial society, and what will this mean for the next generation?

In Obama on Our Minds, Lori A. Barker leads a team of expert multicultural theorists and researchers studying racism, ethnic identity, sexual orientation, and immigration to answer these questions and analyze the enormous impact of this groundbreaking event in our nation’s history.

Table of Contents

  • Preface
  • Section I: Obama and Key Concepts in Multicultural Psychology
    • Chapter 1: Presidents, Prototypes, and Stereotypes, Oh My! Understanding the Psychological Impact of Obama / Lori A. Barker
    • Chapter 2: The Struggle for Identity Congruence in an Obama White House / Thomas A. Parham
    • Chapter 3: Academic Success of Black Americans: Stereotype Threat in the Era of Obama / Brian E. Armenta and Carey S. Ryan
    • Chapter 4: Teaching for Change: Post-racial or a Different Kind of Racism? / Jeffrey Scott Mio
    • Chapter 5: Changing the Course of Race Relations in America: From Prevention of Discrimination to Promotion of Racial Equality / John F. Dovidio
    • Chapter 6: The Obama Effect on Racial Attitudes: A Review of the Research / Curtis A. Thompson and Lori A. Barker
  • Section II: Obama’s Impact on Diverse Populations
    • Chapter 7: (Mixed) Race to the White House / Christine C. Iijima Hall
    • Chapter 8: Race, Masculinity, and Gendered Racism: President Obama’s Influence on Black Men / Christopher T.H. Liang, Carin Molenaar, and Shalena Heard
    • Chapter 9: Barack Obama and the LGBT Community: A Rocky Path to Real Progress and Ongoing Hopes for the Future / Laurie A. Roades
    • Chapter 10: New Hope for Immigrants in the Obama Era / Patricia Arredondo
    • Chapter 11: Has Change Come to America? College Student Attitudes Toward Obama’s Presidency / Andrea Aoun, Blake D. Daryaie, and Lori A. Barker
    • Chapter 12: The Obama Marriage: A Model for Moving Forward the ‘Stalled Revolution’ / Donna L. Franklin
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President Barack Obama Was Black and Imperfect

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2017-03-10 20:42Z by Steven

President Barack Obama Was Black and Imperfect

Teen Vogue
2017-03-01

Ashley Reese


Saul Loeb

A nation built on black subjugation elected a black man to be the president of the United States of America.

In this op-ed, writer Ashley Reese explores the nuanced legacy of Barack Obama’s presidency and what it means to her as a black woman.

I briefly met Obama in October of 2010. MTV was hosting a live question and answer session targeting young voters in an attempt to garner interest in the upcoming midterm election. The studio was filled with no more than a couple hundred young college students from the Washington D.C. area — Georgetown students mingling with Howard students, people who shared the same city quadrant but still managed to be worlds apart — looking dapper and polished as we asked the president about everything from war in the Middle East to gay marriage. During the live segments we were poised, poker-faced statues who wanted to make sure the president knew just how engaged we were. The commercial breaks were a different story. We were all abuzz with anticipation, waiting for our chance to have Obama shake our hands, give us a nod, acknowledge our existence. We weren’t allowed to have phones on us, so selfies were out of the question. It wasn’t about the photo op — though, God, I wish I had one for a #TBT at the very least — it was about the experience.

I shook his hand. He smiled. I introduced myself. His hands were soft.

So soft, in fact, a young black woman a few rows behind me vocally echoed my thoughts. “What lotion do you use?” she asked.

Cetaphil!” he said…

Read the entire article here.

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Mixed Like Obama

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Barack Obama, Gay & Lesbian, Media Archive, United States on 2017-02-19 00:44Z by Steven

Mixed Like Obama

Philadelphia Printworks
2017-01-30

Brianna Suslovic

I remember turning on the morning news in eighth grade, shoveling cereal into my mouth as my mother poured herself the second cup of coffee that morning. A man who looked like me was on-screen, announcing his candidacy for the presidency, answering questions from the nice white lady interviewer in the Rockefeller Center studio. When I got home from school that day, I googled that man, someone I’d never seen or heard of before. His name was Barack Obama.

Like Obama, I’m a half-black, half-white kid who was raised by a single white mother. Reading through his Wikipedia page that afternoon had me sold—I was ready to see myself represented in the Oval Office, ready to watch a man like me take the presidential oath of office. My fourteen-year-old hopes were suddenly bound up in this man’s trajectory toward the presidency. That fall, as a high school freshman, I campaigned my heart out for this man, holding Obama signs at the busiest intersection in my small upstate New York hometown on weekends leading up to the election.

After winning the election, Obama became America’s first black president, which left me in a strange sort of predicament…

Read the entire article here.

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“Obama, Post-Racialism and the New American Dilemma,” a lecture by Dr. Zebulon Vance Miletsky

Posted in Barack Obama, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Justice, United States on 2017-02-11 22:15Z by Steven

“Obama, Post-Racialism and the New American Dilemma,” a lecture by Dr. Zebulon Vance Miletsky

Frank Melville, Jr. Memorial Library
2nd Floor, E-2340 (Special Collections Seminar Room)
Stony Brook University
Stony Brook, New York 11794
2017-02-13, 14:00-15:00 EST (Local Time)

Zebulon Vance Miletsky, Assistant Professor of Africana Studies
Stony Brook University

The election of Barack Obama in 2008 as the 44th President of the United States, raised hopes for many that as a country we were entering a post-racial moment, that the twin legacies of oppression and slavery were overcome, not only in the United States, but the world. That same period, however, brought crises of authority caused by neo-liberalism, police violence, and mass incarceration that have consistently set back the very racial progress that Obama’s presidency seemed to inaugurate. Far from being post-racial, the Obama years were a period of constant racial crisis, the repercussions of which were felt daily since the killings of Eric Garner in New York and Michael Brown in Ferguson in the summer of 2014. It took the election of an African American to the nation’s highest office to uncover a level of racial hatred the likes of which we have not seen since the 1960s, requiring an analysis of the relationship between multiracialism and post-racialism, as well as how whiteness operates in the United States, to fully appreciate what has come to pass. The election of Donald Trump as President has been a clear rejection of the post-racial era ushered in by Obama. Much like our more recent experiment in racial democracy, there are parallels between what happened with the overthrow of Reconstruction, America’s startling experiment in biracial democracy after the Civil War and today. The historical roots of the “whitelash” that fueled Trump’s victory lie in a prior racial backlash to an unprecedented attempt to grant African Americans citizenship during the period of Reconstruction. Based on a book chapter-in-progress for a volume on the Black Intellectual Tradition in America, this presentation discusses how the 21st century could potentially mark a new low in American race relations—or a “new American dilemma”.

Dr. Zebulon Vance Miletsky is an Assistant Professor of Africana Studies and a historian specializing in recent African-American History, Civil Rights and Black Power, Urban History, Mixed Race and Biracial identity, and Hip-Hop Studies. His research interests include: African-Americans in Boston; Northern freedom movements outside of the South; Mixed race history in the U.S. and passing; and the Afro-Latin diaspora. He is the author of numerous articles, reviews, essays and book chapters and is currently working on a manuscript on the civil rights movement in Boston. Ph.D.; African-American Studies with a concentration in History, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, 2008.

For more information, click here.

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