One of the Washington Post's 10 Best Books of 2017
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.
Just one year into Donald Trump’s term as president, Michael Wolff told the electrifying story of a White House consumed by controversy, chaos, and intense rivalries. Fire and Fury, an instant sensation, defined the first phase of the Trump administration; now, in Siege, Wolff has written an equally essential and explosive book about a presidency that is under fire from almost every side.
At the outset of Trump’s second year as president, his situation is profoundly different. No longer tempered by experienced advisers, he is more impulsive and volatile than ever. But the wheels of justice are inexorably turning: Robert Mueller’s “witch hunt” haunts Trump every day, and other federal prosecutors are taking a deep dive into his business affairs. Many in the political establishment—even some members of his own administration—have turned on him and are dedicated to bringing him down. The Democrats see victory at the polls, and perhaps impeachment, in front of them. Trump, meanwhile, is certain he is invincible, making him all the more exposed and vulnerable. Week by week, as Trump becomes increasingly erratic, the question that lies at the heart of his tenure becomes ever more urgent: Will this most abnormal of presidencies at last reach the breaking point and implode?
Both a riveting narrative and a brilliant front-lines report, Siege provides an alarming and indelible portrait of a president like no other. Surrounded by enemies and blind to his peril, Trump is a raging, self-destructive inferno—and the most divisive leader in American history.
In this timely book, Stephen Chan explores the historical and philosophical roots of difference and discord in the international system. He begins with the introduction of the Westphalian system, showing how, throughout the 20th century, new states - from the Middle East, Asia and Africa - entered that system with reservations, preconditions, and great efforts to introduce new forms of concerts and congresses but without seriously challenging the international status-quo.
By contrast, the 21st century has brought turmoil and change in the form of militant Islam - be it the Taleban, Al Qaeda, or ISIS - whose varied roots and fluid emergence have so far prevented the West from being able to understand and combat it. Developing Kissinger's suspicion of Saudi Arabia as an Islamic state in Westphalian dress, Chan argues that what is at stake today is not the development of a new Caliphate or an old radicalism - but the effort to supplant and replace the Westphalian system itself. This is the complex and challenging reality to which a truly modern and persuasively relevant plural international relations must now adapt. Whether it can do so remains to be seen.