The Bridge: The Life and Rise of Barack Obama by David Remnick - review by Jurek Martin

Jurek Martin

Insistent Reasonableness

The Bridge: The Life and Rise of Barack Obama


Picador 657pp £20

Comparing presidents is an old game. It is often played as soon as the new one sets foot inside the Oval Office or does almost anything. One venerable Washington pundit, even before the dust had settled on the Twin Towers in New York, put George W Bush in the same league as Abraham Lincoln, which seemed excessively sycophantic even by local standards.

Barack Obama was inviting comparisons even before he started running the country. The most frequent, and to a degree persuasive, was with Woodrow Wilson. Both had rocketed to the White House from academia at warp speed, with brief interim stops in elected politics, Wilson as governor of New

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