What We Are Reading Today: Becoming by Michelle Obama

Updated 18 November 2018
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What We Are Reading Today: Becoming by Michelle Obama

  • As Michelle Obama writes in “Becoming,” she long ago learned to recognize the “universal challenge of squaring who you are with where you come from and where you want to go.”

Michelle Obama emerges in her memoir — “Becoming” — as a first lady who steadfastly believed in her husband’s abilities but had no illusions that the sludge of partisanship and racism would melt away under the sunny slogans of hope and change, according to a review published in the New York Times.

She is the wife of the 44th president of the US, Barack Obama, and is the first African-American first lady of the US.

According to NYT critic Jennifer Szalai: “The book is divided into three sections — ‘Becoming Me,’ ‘Becoming Us’ and ‘Becoming More’ — that sound like the bland stuff of inspirational self-help.” 

Obama’s friend and former NPR host Michele Norris, who will soon interview the former first lady at her book tour stop in Boston, says the memoir is about much more than politics; it contains “real-life lessons.”

“She is honest about how difficult it is to make a transition. She’s honest about dealing with people who doubted her or underestimated her,” Norris says.

As Michelle Obama writes in “Becoming,” she long ago learned to recognize the “universal challenge of squaring who you are with where you come from and where you want to go.”


What We Are Reading Today: The British are Coming by Rick Atkinson

Updated 21 May 2019
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What We Are Reading Today: The British are Coming by Rick Atkinson

  • The British Are Coming “is a tale of heroes and knaves, of sacrifice and blunder, of redemption and profound suffering”

Rick Atkinson’s flair for the colorful detail of a country at war is demonstrated again in The British are Coming.

“This is a remarkable history of the first two years of the American Revolution. The research is deep and the topics covered are broad,” said a review published in goodreads.com.

The narrative “is told in chronological order making it easy to follow the events as they unfolded and making the connections between various dimensions clear to see. One gets a clear understanding of the context that underlies the action taken by both sides in the early years of the conflict,” it added.

Atkinson’ prose “is outstanding and makes the read pleasurable. It should be known by prospective readers that this is not just a military history; it is very much as well a fascinating political and cultural look at the times,” the review added. 

It said The British Are Coming “is a tale of heroes and knaves, of sacrifice and blunder, of redemption and profound suffering.”

Atkinson is a Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist and historian who worked for 25 years as a correspondent and editor for The Washington Post.