To Obama: With Love, Joy, Anger, and Hope, by Jeanne Marie Laskas

This book was a really good read. I don’t know why I didn’t know it, but I had not known that Barak Obama read ten letters every evening of his presidential career. The letters came from all over; from fans and supporters and from detractors and those who really couldn’t stand him at all. Far from being a collection of the only the most supportive and positive letters received, To Obama features a sample of, well, of the samples that Obama himself read during those eight years in office.

The author includes copies of a number of letters, which are unedited and fascinating to read. She also goes behind the scenes to introduce readers to the people–staff and volunteers–in the mailroom. There are some in-depth stories about the letter writers, as well, which are moving and quite memorable.

What I liked most about this book is that it isn’t truly about politics. It’s about the voices of fellow residents of the U.S. who are reaching out in moments of fear or anger or happiness or celebration to the president. It’s an intensely personal read–and one I highly recommend.

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