An in-depth look at the new first lady of the United States of America, and the first African American first lady, Michelle Obama offers a fascinating look at an inspirational and accomplished public figure, beginning with her early years and continuing up through her recent time on the campaign trail with her husband, President Barack Obama.
Michelle Obama grew up on Chicago‘s South Side, during a particularly tumultuous era, but her parents provided a loving and stable environment. She attended Princeton University, then Harvard Law School, going on to become one of America’s most influential African American women.
The author David Colbert has written more than a traditional biography, placing Michelle Obama’s personal story within the context of American history. Her life is shown in relation to larger movements in African American history: slavery, the Reconstruction era, Jim Crow, and the civil rights movement. Her story is also the story of a woman growing up in a changing America—she began elementary school at about the time women’s liberation became a large movement, and her experience becoming a lawyer reflects both the new opportunities available to women and the struggles they may still encounter.
Colbert includes sixteen pages of full-color photographs, from her childhood as Michelle Robinson, daughter of a Democratic Party precinct captain and a devoted and strong mother, up through her time campaigning for Barack Obama, rounding out his coverage of this smart, funny woman. He also includes some facts readers may find surprising:
Michelle Obama was the first lawyer for Barney the dinosaur.
When she first met Barack Obama, she tried to set him up on dates with her friends.
To break the tension before Barack Obama’s keynote address at the 2004 Democratic national convention, she gave him a hug before he went on and told him, “Just don’t screw it up, buddy.”
One of her favorite toys as a kid was Easy-Bake oven.
Because her father had multiple sclerosis but was determined to continue living life as normally as possible, both Michelle and her brother, Craig, learned to be very organized and anticipate challenges.
America‘s history has shaped and challenged this strong and vibrant woman—as a lawyer, a wife, and a mother—and she in turn is sure to change American history. “Yes, Michelle is just a working mother who shops online to save time. She’s also the first White House resident to descend from slaves. That matters, and she knows it,” writes Colbert.
A self-described “political junkie,” David Colbert campaigned for Barack Obama in North Carolina leading up to the November 2008 presidential election. He is the best-selling author of twenty books. His Magical Worlds series has been published in almost thirty languages and has sold almost two million copies. The Times of London called it “irresistibly dippable” and “glorious.” J. K. Rowling called it the best of the books written about her novels. His acclaimed Eyewitness series of popular history has been hailed by The New Yorker as “wonderful,” by Smithsonian magazine as “dramatic and riveting,” by Publishers Weekly as “highly entertaining” with “a feeling for history that is both immediate and dramatic,” and by Parade, which said, “For a swift-moving, kaleidoscopic view of U.S. history, you can’t do better.” He has just launched a new biography series, “10 Days,” with books about Benjamin Franklin, Anne Frank, Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr., and Albert Einstein. A graduate of Brown University, where he studied anthropology and mythology, Mr. Colbert now lives in Toronto.