Jurek Martin

A Singular President

Barack Obama: The Making of the Man

By

Atlantic Books 641pp £25 order from our bookshop

Robert Caro, who is a considerable historian, has so far devoted four monumental volumes to the life and times of Lyndon Baines Johnson and has still not finished with him. David Maraniss, who writes far better than most journalists, does not introduce Barack Obama until the sixth chapter of his book and leaves the future president after 641 pages when he is just twenty-seven and off to law school at Harvard. If he wants to emulate Caro, the exercise might be well worthwhile, at least on the basis of this first foray.

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • 'The physical courage he demonstrated as a young man [...] gave way to intellectual power; radical thought, gifted… ,
    • 'While Jane Austen didn’t perhaps achieve the full recognition that she deserved in her lifetime, even then she out… ,
    • 'All I have is a voice To undo the folded lie, The romantic lie in the brain Of the sensual man-in-the-street And t… ,
    • 'You are interested in a particular subject; basic research hardens this interest into an obsession, after which th… ,
    • 'Keynes predicted that future generations would enjoy such an improved standard of living that they might work just… ,
    • 'Various dislocations ... emerge, iceberg-like, out of a troubled sea of unconscious motivation and confront Eisenb… ,
    • Today is the first today of the – they've got some excellent events coming up over the next two weeks.… ,