Becoming Book Review

Leo Nibbe, Reporter

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Michelle Obama, who was First Lady during both of her husband’s presidential terms, has written a thoughtful and reflective autobiography/memoir, Becoming. Her work stems from parts of her childhood through her time at the White House, and how she feels about the current state of the US government.

The first part of Becoming describes her own upbringing in 1960s Chicago, and a thoughtful reflection about her educational development. She observes some of the racial and societal differences that occurred during her childhood during this time. She goes into detail about how her family functioned, between her mother who stayed at home, and the decline of her father’s health due to multiple-sclerosis, and how it impacted her childhood and who she is today. She also notes how her intellectual ambition as a child lead her down the path towards a political career.

Later in the book she goes into detail about her experiences while at Princeton University, up until she meets her husband and they take office at the White House for two fruitful presidential terms. Overall, she vividly describes her childhood and past experiences with profuse yet modest use of comparison and contrast to tie into her later points, and make her arguments towards why she will not be running for president, and her distaste of Donald Trump.

The thing that sets this book apart from most, is the fact that Michelle Obama was the first African American first lady, and has been able to provide readers with a perspective that is not usually present in the minds of most. The best part of the book is how reflective she is of the past, and how she interprets the events of her past into her fruitful career. Further, Obama relates this to the readers, spreading the encouraging message that readers can shape a better future for themselves based off of past experiences.

Through her use of anecdote and compare and contrast, and her thoughtful reflectiveness towards the past, Michelle Obama conveys a truly moving and motivational story of her life. Obama encouraged readers to have an open mind despite her own political beliefs, spreading the general message for people to be kind to one another and stop the hate, and stand up for their rights in our democracy, which are stances that any political affiliation can associate with as long as no hate gets tied up into politics, despite that often being the case. However, this book was captivating and engrossing all the way through. No matter your political stance, I encourage you to read it, as Obama’s political insights could help you shape some of your own, or build off of what you already believe.   

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