Rezensionen zur Biografie: Rising Star. The Making of Barack Obama, von David J. Garrow (2017)

Die Hardcover-Ausgabe dieser Barack-Obama-Biografie hat 1460 Seiten und basiert auf Gesprächen mit über 1000 Informanten.

Deutsche Kommentare:


Reizvoll ist das Buch aber in Wahrheit deshalb, weil es mal eine kritische Erzählung von Obamas Aufstieg vorlegt und den Ex-Präsidenten weniger als netten Graswurzelaktivisten porträtiert

Jan Bösche (ARD):

Kritiker sagen: zu intensiv; das Buch sei zu dick, zu voluminös. Es wird zum Beispiel jahresweise erklärt, was Obama im Senat in Illinois gesetzgebungstechnisch so getrieben hat


Es zeichnet das Bild eines einst jungen Mannes, der vom engagierten und selbstlosen Studenten zum zielorientierten Karrieremenschen mutierte

Englische Kritiken:

Michiko Kakutani in der NYT:

 A bloated, tedious and — given its highly intemperate epilogue — ill-considered book that is in desperate need of editing, and way more exhausting than exhaustive…

NYT 2:

… impressive if gratuitously snarly… Garrow credits Maraniss’s reporting, while diminishing it to enhance the importance of his own… Sex sells.


…unusually candid disclosures about Obama’s sex life and drug use… Garrow’s narrative cannot resist more references to sex than might be expected in an academic history, nor a chance to belittle rival biographers…

Obama-Biograf David Maraniss per Twitter:

David Garrow, author of new Obama bio, was vile, undercutting, ignoble competitor unlike any I’ve encountered…

The author relies heavily on interviews with a former girlfriend, Sheila Miyoshi Jager, with whom Obama lived in the 1980s, as if that relationship were the key to understanding his personality

Kirkus Review:

Sometimes the book feels like too much of a good thing… Garrow calls him “Barack,” familiarly, throughout… the core of this book is eminently solid

Publishers Weekly:

…without apparent political bias. Every fact, however small, is documented in the footnotes, which run to hundreds of pages… a convincing and exceptionally detailed portrait…

Washington Post:

At times Garrow delivers information simply because he has it; I did not need a detailed readout of all of Obama’s course evaluations from his years teaching at the University…


Mr. Garrow, I get it. The man not only survived not one, but two presidential terms without a scandal. So I don’t blame you for trying to go there.

USA Today:

Garrow’s research cries out for a discerning editor. There’s simply too much. Do we really need to know the title of Obama’s English textbook at the Punahou School


Garrow’s jabs at his rivals, especially the two other Davids who’ve authored major Obama biographies (Maraniss and Remnick), are unnecessarily sharp, and probably altogether unnecessary… gratuitous and even petty swipes at Obama himself…

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