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Michelle Obama: A Life by Peter Slevin

Michelle Obama: A Life by Peter Slevin

My Rating: 8 / 10

Over the past few years I have read many books on Barack Obama, therefore it seemed only fair to read something about Michelle Obama. Slevin’s book seemed the best choice and I listened to the audiobook format.

I enjoyed the first part of the book more as I were able to get a solid understanding of the Robinson’s family values. Treating people right, working hard and putting family first. This has helped Michelle throughout her life to where she has been successful both in her own right and in the marriage with Barack Obama.

Closer to the end the book gets more into the aspects of the Presidential campaign and Barack’s time as President of the United States. Whilst I did enjoy this part of the book I felt it was more focused on Barack than her role in all of this. There is a plethora of books on Barack Obama, however, not so many on Michelle Obama.

Without getting too political I would love to see Michelle have a run at the Presidency. A black woman president of her pedigree would only be a good thing for the country. She has the smarts, experience, humility and level-headedness to be successful in a role of that calibre. Unfortunately given what I have learned in this book I highly doubt she would go down that path given the impact on her family.

Three key takeaways from the book:

  1. Michelle Obama received her first C when at Princeton. It was a huge shock given her previous results that were always in the upper echelons of performance.
  2. Michelle was a mentor for Barack when he joined the same law firm. He was persistent in dating her and she resisted for quite some time until resistance was obviously futile
  3. There is a great theme in this book around strong values and working hard. Furthermore when it comes to bringing up children, not praising them for every little thing that they do. Although not a “ah-huh” moment for me it is yet another data point that putting your head down and bum up is the way to go.