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Reviews

"This is the best book I have read about the Obama presidency. Clegg offers a compelling portrait of the president, his policies, and his reception by the African American community. Beautifully connecting the personal with the political, Clegg offers an astute assessment of Barack Obama's many difficult choices as a candidate, leader, and public figure. The book is thorough, fair-minded, deeply researched, and fluidly written."

"For Black Americans, the Obama years brought dizzying heights of racial progress and frustrating lows of racial animus and inequality. In this engrossing new history of African Americans and the Obama presidency Claude Clegg explains why, placing the nation's first black president in the grossly unequal and politically polarized context of early 21st century America."

"Professor Clegg brings the style and substance of our first Black president back to center stage, revealing new perspectives and insights about a man and an administration we didn't know as well as we thought. When as a society we finally have begun to acknowledge that Black Lives Matter, Clegg shows us how and why Barack Obama mattered enormously."

"The Black President is an authoritative account of how America lurched from a president who led with love to an administration forged by fear. Told in vivid detail, Clegg's analysis is as insightful as it is accessible––pulling back the curtain on the forces that frustrated Barack Obama's vision and carried Trumpism from the margins to the mainstream. This volume is more than a history of the Obama presidency; it is a summary of the era's most searing lessons on race and identity, a prism through which to understand our nation's fractured present, and a roadmap for building a more just society."

"Clegg's prodigiously researched, authoritative study chronicles the first Black presidency and its complex, fraught relationship to African Americans, from its exhilarating start to its final, foreboding days. This lively, judicious, unsparing account of Obama's equanimity in the face of lofty Black expectations and the weaponized anti-Black racism of his opponents is a must-read for future researchers of his administration."