The Black Presidency: Barack Obama and the Politics of Race in America
ISBN: 054438766X
EAN13: 9780544387669
Language: English
Pages: 368
Dimensions: 1.00" H x 9.00" L x 6.00" W
Weight: 1.00 lbs.
Format: Hardcover
Book Overview
A provocative and lively deep dive into the meaning of America's first black presidency, from one of the most graceful and lucid intellectuals writing on race and politics today (Vanity Fair). Michael Eric Dyson explores the powerful, surprising way the politics of race have shaped Barack Obama s identity and groundbreaking presidency. How has President Obama dealt publicly with race as the national traumas of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Freddie Gray, and Walter Scott have played out during his tenure? What can we learn from Obama's major race speeches about his approach to racial conflict and the black criticism it provokes? Dyson explores whether Obama s use of his own biracialism as a radiant symbol has been driven by the president s desire to avoid a painful moral reckoning on race. And he sheds light on identity issues within the black power structure, telling the fascinating story of how Obama has spurned traditional black power brokers, significantly reducing their leverage. President Obama s own voice from an Oval Office interview granted to Dyson for this book along with those of Eric Holder, Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, Andrew Young, and Maxine Waters, among others, add unique depth to this profound tour of the nation s first black presidency.
Editor Reviews
From the Back Cover Praise for The Black Presidency No one understands the American dilemma of race and Barack Obama s confounding and yet wondrous grappling with it better than Michael Eric Dyson. Douglas Blackmon, author of the Pulitzer Prize winning Slavery by Another Name The Black Presidency is at once scholarly and emotional; historically important and packed with the irony of the moment; mindful of past and present injustices but, like its subject, striving toward hope. Jesse Eisenberg, Academy Award nominated actor and author of Bream Gives Me Hiccups Dyson [is] in tip-top form on the essential and enduring dilemma of our republic and its expression by and upon the first black president. This is enormously clarifying. Diane McWhorter, author of the Pulitzer Prize winning Carry Me Home Michael Eric Dyson s account of Barack Obama and the politics of race is riveting, essential reading for citizens trying to understand the promises and pitfalls of America s racial maze. William Julius Wilson, Lewis P. and Linda L. Geyser University Professor, Harvard University A brilliant and searing analysis of what it means to be African American in the Age of Obama. Douglas Brinkley, professor of history, Rice University, and CNN presidential historian A provocative and important book on President Obama and his relationship with the black community. Whatever your views, it will help you understand the complex puzzle of race. Walter Isaacson, CEO of the Aspen Institute and author of Steve Jobs An urgent and vital contribution to any serious discussion of race in the waning moments and aftermath of Barack Obama s time in office. Gilbert King, author of the Pulitzer Prize winning Devil in the Grove
From the front Cover Michael Eric Dyson, one of our most graceful and lucid intellectuals writing on race and politics today ( Vanity Fair ), delivers a provocative exploration of the politics of race and the Obama presidency. Barack Obama s presidency unfolded against the national traumas of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Freddie Gray, and Walter Scott. The nation s first African American president was careful to give few major race speeches, yet he faced criticism from all sides, including from African Americans. How has becoming the face of America affected Obama s presidency and the nation s identity? Dyson explores whether Obama s use of his own biracialism as a radiant symbol has been driven by the president s desire simply to avoid a painful moral reckoning on race. And he sheds light on identity issues within the black power structure, telling the fascinating story of how Obama has spurned traditional black power brokers, significantly reducing their leverage. Perhaps most movingly, Dyson illuminates the transformative moments, especially in his second term, when Obama has publicly embraced his blackness and used it as a powerful lens onto America, black and white. President Obama s own voice from an Oval Office interview granted to Dyson for the book along with that of Eric Holder, Al Sharpton, and Andrew Young, among others, adds unique depth to this profound tour of the nation s first black presidency.