Rising Star

Rising Star

David Garrow

Pub date
William Collins
Trade Paperback 153x234mm
1472 pages

Book Overview

Barack Obama’s keynote speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention instantly catapulted the little-known state senator from Illinois into the national spotlight. Three months later, Obama would win election to the U.S. Senate; four years later he would make history as America’s first black president. Now, at the end of his second presidential term, David J. Garrow delivers the most compelling and comprehensive Obama biography – as epic in vision and rigorous in detail as Robert Caro’s ‘The Power Broker’.

Moving around the globe, from Hawaii to Indonesia to the American Northeast and Midwest, ‘Rising Star’ meticulously unpacks Obama’s life, from his tumultuous upbringing in Honolulu and Jakarta, to his formative time as a community organizer on Chicago’s South Side, working in some of the roughest neighborhoods, to Cambridge, where he excelled at Harvard Law School, and finally back to Chicago, where he pursued his political destiny. In voluminous detail, drawn from more than 1,000 interviews and encyclopedic documentary research, Garrow reveals as never before the ambition, the dreams, and the all-too-human struggles of an iconic president in a sure to be news-making biography that will stand as the most authoritative account of Obama’s pre-presidential life for decades to come.

About the author

David J. Garrow is Professor of Law & History and Distinguished Faculty Scholar at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. He is the author of four books, including ‘Bearing the Cross: Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference’, which won the Pulitzer Prize for Biography. He is a regular contributor to the Washington Post, New York Times, and The American Prospect. He lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.


‘Revealing … Probing … [Garrow] tells us how Obama lived, and explores the calculations he made in the decades leading up to his winning the presidency’ Washington Post

‘The authoritative biography of Barack Obama’s pre-presidential years … Illuminating … Impressively researched … Readers will be richly rewarded’ Library Journal

‘A convincing and exceptionally detailed portrait … Political history buffs will be fascinated’ Publishers Weekly

‘Garrow is a demon for research … Eminently solid … Consistently readable – an impressive work’ Kirkus Reviews

‘Rising Star is exhaustive … Garrow zooms his lens out far’ Washington Post

Praise for ‘Bearing the Cross’, Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Biography:

‘A foundation document…meticulous investigative scholarship’ New York Times Book Review

‘Provocative … a complex and convincing portrait’ Time

‘A monumental volume . . . Astoundingly comprehensive . . . Constructed on a rock-solid foundation of research . . . By far the most complete account of King’s life’ San Francisco Chronicle

Praise for ‘Protest at Selma’:
‘A valuable book, because it is a reminder of both the heroism and the brutality displayed in the great civil rights crusade’ New Republic

‘One of the most comprehensive studies yet of a single campaign within the civil-rights movement’ New York Times Book Review