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Obama: The Call of History

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Nominated for a 2017 NAACP Image Award: Best Biography or Memoir Peter Baker’s authoritative history of the Obama presidency is the first complete account that will stand the test of time. Baker takes the measure of Obama’s achievements and disappointments in office and brings into focus the real legacy of the man who, as he described himself, “doesn’t look like all the pr Nominated for a 2017 NAACP Image Award: Best Biography or Memoir Peter Baker’s authoritative history of the Obama presidency is the first complete account that will stand the test of time. Baker takes the measure of Obama’s achievements and disappointments in office and brings into focus the real legacy of the man who, as he described himself, “doesn’t look like all the presidents on the dollar bills.”   With vivid color photographs by New York Times photographers and others of the events, major and minor, public and behind-the scenes, that defined Barack Obama’s eight years in office, Obama: The Call of History is a portrait in full of America’s first African-American president against the background of these tumultuous times.


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Nominated for a 2017 NAACP Image Award: Best Biography or Memoir Peter Baker’s authoritative history of the Obama presidency is the first complete account that will stand the test of time. Baker takes the measure of Obama’s achievements and disappointments in office and brings into focus the real legacy of the man who, as he described himself, “doesn’t look like all the pr Nominated for a 2017 NAACP Image Award: Best Biography or Memoir Peter Baker’s authoritative history of the Obama presidency is the first complete account that will stand the test of time. Baker takes the measure of Obama’s achievements and disappointments in office and brings into focus the real legacy of the man who, as he described himself, “doesn’t look like all the presidents on the dollar bills.”   With vivid color photographs by New York Times photographers and others of the events, major and minor, public and behind-the scenes, that defined Barack Obama’s eight years in office, Obama: The Call of History is a portrait in full of America’s first African-American president against the background of these tumultuous times.

30 review for Obama: The Call of History

  1. 5 out of 5

    Anna T

    Beautiful photography. This was a good book. It provided a well rounded summary of President Obama's presidency and I did not find it to be biased. As another reviewer mentioned, it weighs four pounds so I also got my exercise reading this book. Beautiful photography. This was a good book. It provided a well rounded summary of President Obama's presidency and I did not find it to be biased. As another reviewer mentioned, it weighs four pounds so I also got my exercise reading this book.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Laurie

    Clarification – I did not read this book. I did look at every single photo, and read many captions and multiple pages. And I winced and smiled and shook my head in wonder. My 86 year old Aunt Joan recommended I spend time with this book. She said the pictures alone would be worth the schlepping of the book home from the library. This is a large, coffee table size book weighing in at about four pounds (yes, I put it on our scale!) In any case, I agree with her. [PS She read this review and said "i Clarification – I did not read this book. I did look at every single photo, and read many captions and multiple pages. And I winced and smiled and shook my head in wonder. My 86 year old Aunt Joan recommended I spend time with this book. She said the pictures alone would be worth the schlepping of the book home from the library. This is a large, coffee table size book weighing in at about four pounds (yes, I put it on our scale!) In any case, I agree with her. [PS She read this review and said "it's a 'looking and thinking' book.] I have admiration for the Obama family, in general, and am a huge fan of Michelle. I was also an ardent supporter of Barack Obama during his first run for the presidency, taking off a day from work on election day 2008 to travel with a friend, her daughter, and another friend from our homes in New York to a small town in Pennsylvania where we canvassed for Obama. This book brings back memories, both positive, negative, high and low, of the amazing and tumultuous years of Obama's two terms, of the obstinacy of the Republican lawmakers to not see beyond their dislike of him, and of the wilting of the American democracy with the current administration. At some points, in looking thru the book, it is difficult not to grumble about how President Obama seemed to miss an important step here or there. Yet the book is also a reminder of the obstacles he faced as the first black president in a country where race is always an issue, be it on or just below the surface. I will not rush to return this book. Instead, I will pick it up periodically over the next few weeks (it's due back October 1st) and peruse the photos again, read different sets of pages, and spend a few minutes traveling down memory lane for better or worse, but always – as Barack Obama would say – with hope.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Reed A

    I just finished reading this book about Obama's Presidency titled, A Call to History written by, Peter Baker... "'His first line in the history books was written the day he won office as the first African-American president, but he was determined to offer more than simply a new complexion in the Oval Office.' So writes Peter Baker, Chief White House Correspondent for the New York Times, about the 44th president of the United States. This coffee table book is made up of beautiful full page photogr I just finished reading this book about Obama's Presidency titled, A Call to History written by, Peter Baker... "'His first line in the history books was written the day he won office as the first African-American president, but he was determined to offer more than simply a new complexion in the Oval Office.' So writes Peter Baker, Chief White House Correspondent for the New York Times, about the 44th president of the United States. This coffee table book is made up of beautiful full page photographs and the telling of the events,(at home and throughout the world) that transpired during the eight years of Obama's tenure in office. This book shines a light upon Obama's greatest policy accomplishments and his failures here in America and on the world stage. To me, Obama was the greatest President in my life...so visionary and forward thinking! Even in the worse of times, I felt secure knowing his hand was at the helm. He brought dignity, elegance, and glamour to the office, as well as hope too.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Tony Mistretta

    A very good account of Obama's successes and failures as president of the US. The author covers all of the major events that took place and gets into sufficient detail without getting bogged down and boring. We learn about the human side of Obama, his celebration of triumphs and his frustrations with the political divide that he was unable to harness. While the book paints Obama in an overall heroic light, it does not exaggerate and pays equal attention to both his accomplishments and mistakes. A very good account of Obama's successes and failures as president of the US. The author covers all of the major events that took place and gets into sufficient detail without getting bogged down and boring. We learn about the human side of Obama, his celebration of triumphs and his frustrations with the political divide that he was unable to harness. While the book paints Obama in an overall heroic light, it does not exaggerate and pays equal attention to both his accomplishments and mistakes. The account covers the 2016 election of Trump and what a blow that was to the Obama presidency given the very low opinion that Obama had of Trump, Trump's attacking of Obama with false rhetoric while he was president and Trump's promise to dismantle all of Obama's accomplishments. I enjoyed reading the book, my only complaint is that there are no photos!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Keith LaFountaine

    4.5 stars. While it doesn't have the emotional depth or resonance that Ben Rhodes' book did, Obama: The Call of History benefits from its even-keeled perspective in a variety of ways. Perhaps the best result of this objective approach is that it gives a more full, more informed vision of who Obama is as a man, and who he was as a President. It was especially interesting to read how his progressive nature battled against the antiquated and conservative gears of DC, and how - sometimes - his ideas 4.5 stars. While it doesn't have the emotional depth or resonance that Ben Rhodes' book did, Obama: The Call of History benefits from its even-keeled perspective in a variety of ways. Perhaps the best result of this objective approach is that it gives a more full, more informed vision of who Obama is as a man, and who he was as a President. It was especially interesting to read how his progressive nature battled against the antiquated and conservative gears of DC, and how - sometimes - his ideas did not win. While bittersweet, given the trajectory of 2016, this is an excellent account of Obama's tenure in the White House and is required reading for anyone interested in US politics.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Roger Smitter

    While this picture book brings back memories of the Obama presidency in beautiful it also provides a piece of history that we will not see for some time. In the print pages, we get a string of Obama’s successes in DC and the world. While praising the Obama’s accomplishments in office, the book also calls attention to several problems that remain with us. For example, the capture and death of Osama bin Laden is the high point of Obama’s international accomplishments (p. 102) \. The book also poin While this picture book brings back memories of the Obama presidency in beautiful it also provides a piece of history that we will not see for some time. In the print pages, we get a string of Obama’s successes in DC and the world. While praising the Obama’s accomplishments in office, the book also calls attention to several problems that remain with us. For example, the capture and death of Osama bin Laden is the high point of Obama’s international accomplishments (p. 102) \. The book also points to international and domestic issues that are not resolved. The book is exceptional in using pictures of Obama and his context to show us has happened in the past 10 years. The strength of the book is the clarity and the images of the pictures.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Ginny

    I don’t think this book could figure out what it was meant to be. Is it a coffee table picture book? Is it a historical written look at the Obama presidency. In the end, for anyone who read the daily paper on a semi-regular basis, there was little, if anything new. Also, the size of the book, it is big, made it hard to read while lounging in bed, or on the sofa - which would seem to lean toward it being meant as a picture book - but why writing then? In the end, I liked the stroll down memory la I don’t think this book could figure out what it was meant to be. Is it a coffee table picture book? Is it a historical written look at the Obama presidency. In the end, for anyone who read the daily paper on a semi-regular basis, there was little, if anything new. Also, the size of the book, it is big, made it hard to read while lounging in bed, or on the sofa - which would seem to lean toward it being meant as a picture book - but why writing then? In the end, I liked the stroll down memory lane, where for eight years we were a shining city on the hill. Now we are embroiled in fake news, and a disgrace of a person in the White House. My mind reels.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Judy Marino

    Absolutely wonderful!!! Who actually reads these "coffee table" books!?? This is well worth the time. Shows Obama as a president with a strong moral center. Is honest and balanced in its approach. Not all compliments, but presents highlights of the Obama years with openness and candor. Pictures are worth the book. Don't get as an e-book. This is a book to keep and flip through after reading. Absolutely wonderful!!! Who actually reads these "coffee table" books!?? This is well worth the time. Shows Obama as a president with a strong moral center. Is honest and balanced in its approach. Not all compliments, but presents highlights of the Obama years with openness and candor. Pictures are worth the book. Don't get as an e-book. This is a book to keep and flip through after reading.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Pamela Okano

    Pete Baker of the NY Times has written a fairly comprehensive retrospective of President Obama's two terms in office. It's all here, folks--the good, the bad, and the ugly. Don't expect this to be a detailed analysis of what happened. It's way too early for that. But it's a pleasure to remind oneself that we once had a President who was thoughtful, wanted to know everything he could about an issue, put his country first, and treated people with fundamental decency. I weep for those days. Pete Baker of the NY Times has written a fairly comprehensive retrospective of President Obama's two terms in office. It's all here, folks--the good, the bad, and the ugly. Don't expect this to be a detailed analysis of what happened. It's way too early for that. But it's a pleasure to remind oneself that we once had a President who was thoughtful, wanted to know everything he could about an issue, put his country first, and treated people with fundamental decency. I weep for those days.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Hasan

    A good first attempt at history. It includes anecdotes that I hadn't come across before and provided some clarity and insight into some of Obama's decision making. However, this is a first attempt at covering a historical presidency and over time will likely be filled with more explanation and clarity. I liked his previous book on the Bush administration: Days of Fire and hope for a similar book on the Obama Administration once we're a few years removed from it. A good first attempt at history. It includes anecdotes that I hadn't come across before and provided some clarity and insight into some of Obama's decision making. However, this is a first attempt at covering a historical presidency and over time will likely be filled with more explanation and clarity. I liked his previous book on the Bush administration: Days of Fire and hope for a similar book on the Obama Administration once we're a few years removed from it.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Steve Harvey

    Readable, and the photographs are wonderful, so it's a nice, easy book. But it didn't have much depth. I've enjoyed many of his articles in the NYT and his commentaries on TV, so perhaps my expectations were too high for this book. It provides nice memories and looks good on the coffee table, but I'm waiting for someone to write and in-depth, balanced biography of Obama. Readable, and the photographs are wonderful, so it's a nice, easy book. But it didn't have much depth. I've enjoyed many of his articles in the NYT and his commentaries on TV, so perhaps my expectations were too high for this book. It provides nice memories and looks good on the coffee table, but I'm waiting for someone to write and in-depth, balanced biography of Obama.

  12. 5 out of 5

    JDR

    If you want a biography of Obama presenting the most leftist leaning account that reeks of bias from the perspective it chooses of the policy decision, even down to the word choice present in every paragraph. No surprise seeing the New York Times on the cover. Utter waste of time and not trustworthy.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Du

    Fun way to view the life and times of a President. The oversized format worked well to really allow the pull quotes and pictures to pop. Didn't really learn anything as the President was just President, but it was good to remember the past. Fun way to view the life and times of a President. The oversized format worked well to really allow the pull quotes and pictures to pop. Didn't really learn anything as the President was just President, but it was good to remember the past.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Shekhar Mittal

    I crave such a book in the Indian context. Helps you understand the flaws of the man.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Blaine Morrow

    Baker gives a good overview of the Obama presidency, along with beautiful photos and some data.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Nick Penzenstadler

    Good 30,000 foot view of the Obama White House. Not the insider gossip- but more a reflective history and analysis. Great photography from NYT-ers like Mills and Hicks.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

    Beautiful photos and back stories.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Zach Benson

    Doesn't go super in-depth, but nice overview of President Obama's time in office, both successes and failures. Beautiful package. Doesn't go super in-depth, but nice overview of President Obama's time in office, both successes and failures. Beautiful package.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Ira

    The written content is good, though not the best book about Obama. What makes the book truly outstanding are the pictures and quality of the book as a display piece for any Obama fan.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Olatomiwa Bifarin

    'Tough decisions' (to summarize in 2 words). 'Tough decisions' (to summarize in 2 words).

  21. 5 out of 5

    Laurel Meyers

    This is a book I enjoy picking up periodically and reading passages. It has outstanding photographs, i.e."Touch it, dude", five yr. old Jacob Philadelphia, wants to know if his hair is just like Pres.Obama's. Obama replied see for yourself, Jacob was pleased to discover it feels the same. President Obama enjoyed having children from his staff meet with him. The book has many outstanding personal stories... The most gripping, the mass shooting of 20 children and 7 staff at Sandy Hook Elementary, co This is a book I enjoy picking up periodically and reading passages. It has outstanding photographs, i.e."Touch it, dude", five yr. old Jacob Philadelphia, wants to know if his hair is just like Pres.Obama's. Obama replied see for yourself, Jacob was pleased to discover it feels the same. President Obama enjoyed having children from his staff meet with him. The book has many outstanding personal stories... The most gripping, the mass shooting of 20 children and 7 staff at Sandy Hook Elementary, connecticut, totally shocked and consumed Pres. Obama. He describes the moment as his worst time in the White House. Among his many accomplishment listed in the "Promises and Results": Fix the economy: ...passed a stimulus package, bailed out the auto industry and took other measures to prevent a new Great Depression. Unemployment was cut by half (and fell each year from 2010 to present... resulted in lowest ever unemployment in 2018 among black population).automakers roared back to life. markets shot back up..( s&P shot up from 8000 to 19,700 at the end of Obama's term in office, almost 150% increase) . unfortunately most of the gains benefited the wealthy. Initiatives by Pres.Obama were thwarted by the Republican control of Congress. End wars in Iraq and Afghanistan ..With Obama's actions , American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan fell about 175,000 leaving a modest 13,000 troops by late 2016. Regulate Wall Street; pushed through Dodd-Frank law that set up a consumer financial prothection bureau. imposed rules that curbed abusive practices . Ponzi schemes that established loans to people that could not afford or pay back. End Bush tax cuts: ..restoring tax rates on incomes over $400,000 per year. Reach out to enemies: restored diplomatic ties with Cuba and opened travel between the US and Cuba. Reached agreement with Iran to curb its nuclear program. Liberalize immigration: used executive authority to allow young people brought into the country illegally as children to stay without fear of deportaion (DACA) Republican obstructionist stopped any efforts to revise descriminatory immigration laws. Expand Health Care: Established Affordible Health Care (Obama Care) law. expand health coverage to more than 20 million more Americans. creating state-based marketplaces and offering subsidies while enrolling additional working poor in Medicaid. International agreement on climate change; restrict power plant emissions. I hope to continue to check this book out occasionally and used as a reference for Obama's legacy! I enjoy reading the struggles Obama had to overcome in leading the economic recovery. In spite of the opposition he found a way to save the auto industry and the major banks. His policies restored the confidence of the stock market from a low of 8000 to 20,000; initiated the Dodd Frank bill that established the consumer finanicial protection agency to protect the future from reckless ponzi schemes of the financial industry. reduced unemployment and restored jobs. While 2 % growth was not great it clearly puts the American economny on a firm footing again and restores confidence. The rate of increase of the deficit was lowered. The republicans fought him all the way and obstructed any efforts to progress.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Ethan Purser

  23. 5 out of 5

    teddiesreader

  24. 4 out of 5

    Andrew McKay

  25. 4 out of 5

    Stephen Schenkenberg

  26. 4 out of 5

    Connie

  27. 4 out of 5

    Ray

  28. 5 out of 5

    Adam

  29. 4 out of 5

    Maria M. Gardizy

  30. 5 out of 5

    Cindy

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