• The Obamas

  • By: Jodi Kantor
  • Narrated by: Robin Miles
  • Length: 12 hrs and 16 mins
  • 4.0 out of 5 stars (109 ratings)

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The Obamas

By: Jodi Kantor
Narrated by: Robin Miles
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Publisher's Summary

Award-winning reporter Jodi Kantor takes listeners deep inside the White House in an "insightful and evocative" portrait of Barack and Michelle Obama (Chicago Tribune) that will surprise even listeners who thought they knew the two icons.

When Barack Obama won the 2008 presidential election, he also won a long-running debate with his wife Michelle. Contrary to her fears, politics now seemed like a worthwhile, even noble pursuit. Together, they planned a White House life that would be as normal and sane as possible. Then they moved in. 

In The Obamas, Jodi Kantor takes us deep inside the White House as they try to grapple with their new roles, change the country, raise children, maintain friendships, and figure out what it means to be the first black president and first lady. The Obamas is filled with riveting detail and insight into their partnership, emotions and personalities, and written with a keen eye for the ironies of public life.  

©2012 Jodi Kantor (P)2012 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"In lesser hands The Obamas would be an act of astonishing overreach, but Ms. Kantor, who covered the Obamas for The New York Times during the 2008 presidential campaign, and is currently a Washington correspondent for the paper, has earned the voice of authority. A meticulous reporter, Ms. Kantor is attuned to the nuance of small gestures, the import of unspoken truths. She knows that every strong marriage, including the one now in the White House, has its complexities and its disappointments. Ms. Kantor also - and this is a key - has a high regard for women, which is why hers is the first book about the Obama presidency to give Michelle Obama her due. In the process we learn a great deal about the talented and introverted loner who married her, and how his wife has influenced him as a president." (Connie Schultz, New York Times)

"Energetically reported...Kantor nails her story....We political gluttons will lick the spoon clean." (David Remnick, The New Yorker)

"The stories are titillating, and you'll gulp them down like salted peanuts." (Entertainment Weekly)

What listeners say about The Obamas

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  • Overall
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Great insight

This book is almost like a novel: young, smart idealistic couple from humble beginnings end up in the White House. If there is any criticism that comes through of the Obamas it is their naive view that if they just did good work, it would be enough. But no, every action must be second guessed through the fickle lens of a sensationalistic media and gullible public. This book provides a window into the Obamas as they learn to navigate the political side of the presidency. I thought Michelle Obama was portrayed as her husband's best advisor. I'm surprised that the news reports on this book seemed to suggest otherwise and I don't remember any discussion of how Rahm Emmanuel is portrayed. He definitely comes across poorly and I suspect accurately. I enjoyed this book and look forward to the Obamas own books on their lives in the White House.

5 people found this helpful

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I am an Obama supporter and I loved it

I don't understand what all the hoopla is about. Understanding that Michelle Obama is the only other Professional First Lady, besides Hillary Clinton, I would not expect any other behavior from her. She needs to feel relevant and she is protective of her husband and her family. She has a different agenda than the rest of the people that surround the President. I find the reactions described absolutely natural, I did not find anything offensive so far. I am in the middle of the book.

5 people found this helpful

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Pleasantly Surprised

If you could sum up The Obamas in three words, what would they be?

Insightful, Disturbing, Fascinating

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Obamas?

The PR crisis around the Gulf oil spill

Which scene was your favorite?

The weirdly fraught Halloween party

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Both

Any additional comments?

I'm not sure why i have to write a review in this format.

5 people found this helpful

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Great insight into a complicated presidency

I was once a huge fan, then he became in my opinion a great disappointment. This book renewed my faith in Obama although named "The Obamas" it is really about Michelle. You find out that he still holds the values that sent him to the white house, but as always things are more complicated than they seem.

If you are a fan or once was this book will sit with you and you will respect him again.

4 people found this helpful

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Awesome!

What made the experience of listening to The Obamas the most enjoyable?

I loved the inside look into the Obama White House.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Obamas?

While this doesn't sound thrilling, the inner workings of the staff meetings and especially one meeting where Robert Gibbs had a - shall we say expletive not deleted moment.

Have you listened to any of Robin Miles???s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I have not, to my knowledge heard her before, but she was perfect.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

There was so much, but Obama getting the Nobel Peace Prize was memorable.

3 people found this helpful

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Totally NOT what I thought it was going to be !

What disappointed you about The Obamas?

Everything !

Would you ever listen to anything by Jodi Kantor again?

NO !

How did the narrator detract from the book?

She tried to build up the Obamas to be something that they are NOT !!!!!

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Obamas?

All of them

3 people found this helpful

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Great Listen!

What did you love best about The Obamas?

Great flow. Lots of info but written in such a wonderful, easy way....Feel like you are in the White House with the Obamas. Couldn't put it down.

What did you like best about this story?

The way you feel you are really getting to know Michelle as she transitions into her role as First Lady.

Have you listened to any of Robin Miles’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

This was my first time listening to Robin. She is an excellent narrator.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Many great moments!

Any additional comments?

Recommend highly.

2 people found this helpful

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Entertaining, engaging, and honest

Entertaining, engaging, and most importantly, honest the Obamas you meet on page 1 are very different than the Obama's you meet on page 300. A narrative is the only way to capture such a transformational journey, and this one doesn't disappoint. So I encourage all of you to read it and go on this journey of exploration with the author. It's a journey of trying to fulfill lofty promises, in one of the most confrontational settings in the world. we see up close the struggles, trials, and burdens the office of the Presidentcy imposes on the people who occupy it

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Compelling

Well-written and beautifully narrated. I thought Kantor's perspective was really interesting and she made me ponder some things I had not thought of before.