To Obama

To Obama

With Love, Joy, Anger, and Hope

Book - 2018
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"Every evening for 8 years, at his request, President Obama received a binder containing ten handpicked letters from ordinary American citizens--the unfiltered voice of a nation--from his Office of Presidential Correspondence. He was the first President to save constituent mail, and this is the story of how those letters affected not only the President and his policies, but also the deeply committed people who were tasked with opening the millions of pleas, rants, thank yous, and apologies that landed in the White House mailroom. Based on the popular New York Times article, To Obama, Laskas now interviews the letter writers themselves and the White House staff who sifted through the powerful, moving, and incredibly intimate narrative of America during the Obama years emerges: There is Kelli, who saw her grandfathers finally marry--legally--after 35 years together; Bill, a lifelong Republican whose attitude toward immigration reform was transformed when he met a boy escaping M-16 gang leaders in El Salvador; Heba, a Syrian refugee who wants to forget the day the tanks rolled into her village; Marjorie, who grappled with disturbing feelings of racial bias lurking within her during the George Zimmerman trial; and Vicki, whose family was torn apart by those who voted for Trump and those who did not. They wrote to Obama out of gratitude and desperation, in their darkest times of need, in search of connection. They wrote with anger and respect. And together, this chorus of voices achieves a kind of beautiful harmony: here is a diary of a nation. To Obama is an intimate look at one man's relationship to the American people, and the intersection of politics and empathy in the White House"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Random House, [2018]
Copyright Date: ©2018
ISBN: 9780525509387
Branch Call Number: 973.932 LASK
Characteristics: x, 401 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Contents: Samples, 2008-2009. The letters
Bobby Ingram, Oxford, Mississippi
Samples, 2009-2010. The mailroom
Thomas and Joann Meehan, Toms River, New Jersey
The idea
Samples, 2010-2012. Bill Oliver, undisclosed location
Fiona picks the 10LADs
Marnie Hazelton, Freeport, New York
Samples, 2013-2014. Barack Obama, the White House
Marjorie McKinney, Boone, North Carolina
Red dot
Samples, 2015. Friends of the mail
Shane Darby, Killen, Alabama
Samples, 2015-2016. The writing team
Donna Coltharp and Billy Ennis, El Paso, Texas
Election day
Samples, 2016. Vicki Shearer, Renton, Washington
Obama in jeans
Samples, 2016-2017


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