The first deeply detailed account of Michelle Obama’s life has been written, and as Elle Magazine reports, the “American Dreamer” text by political journalist and Northwestern University Professor Peter Slevin called Michelle Obama: A Life, is an engaging and authoritative window into life beyond the role of First Lady.
The text grounds itself in Michelle Obama’s Chicago roots, examining her life’s achievements and ascent to the White House through the lens of her working-class upbringing in Chicago’s segregated South Side. Slevin’s rich reporting winds a narrative across the span of decades, intertwining all the important elements of her life. Slevin shows a strong interest in her attendance at Ivy League universities during the racially charged 80s, her experience navigating through worlds separated by class and race, her first meeting with young Hawaiian law student Barack Obama and her community involvement work in Chicago’s South Side, to demonstrate how her history sets her up to take on the role of first black First Lady and then seeks to illuminate the true Michelle.
The book explores a world submerged in every-day human trials; faults, failures and successes in the scope of our broader cultural flaws and human perseverance. While recognizing her position as First Lady, Slevin constructs a relatable narrative. Most notably touched on are her choice to leave prestigious law firm Sidley Austin, her effort to stand as a pillar for her family during the long years of endless campaigning and her struggle to strike a balance in her life. Slevin looks pries at her marriage, remarks on her childhood, delves into her community engagement and casts aspirations on the legacy she’ll leave behind when the Obama term ends.
The literary biography has already garnered positive accolades from a swath of critics, and Elle Magazine is equally impressed with Slevin’s reporting. “Just as she’s [Michelle] consistently reiterated Barack’s humanness over the years, Slevin treats her and her accomplishments with the detail and nuance they deserve,” writes Elle.
Michelle Obama: A Life is the first chance readers will have to catch a glimpse into the inner world of Michelle Obama and possibly the closest they’ll ever get to really knowing her.