Magazine June 7, 2010, Issue

A Bridge to Nowhere

President Obama talks in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington, D.C., May 20, 2010. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)
The Bridge: The Life and Rise of Barack Obama, by David Remnick (Knopf, 672 pp., $29.95)

The New Yorker, writes well, he’s reasonably fair-minded in his characterization of well-known events, and he has a talent for painting pen portraits of the lesser-known characters Obama interacts with. Remnick has interviewed a wide range of people, including Obama’s Kenyan relatives, and their accounts enrich the book. He makes occasional forays into a semi-fictional mode: He describes scenes as they must have been, with a sometimes annoying, but not excessively deployed, tendency to try to write as if he were standing over Obama’s shoulder. While, sentence by sentence, there is little in the book that can be described as …

Fred SiegelMr. Siegel is a contributing editor to the Manhattan Institute’s City Journal and a scholar in residence at St. Francis College in Brooklyn, N.Y.

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