- Hardcover: 448 pages
- Publisher: Crown Publishing Group; First Edition edition (November 13, 2018)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1524763136
- ISBN-13: 978-1524763138
- Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.4 x 9.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 6,026 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $5.37 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
Becoming Hardcover – November 13, 2018
|New from||Used from|
See the Best Books of 2018
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for the best books of the year in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
About the Author
Michelle Robinson Obama served as First Lady of the United States from 2009 to 2017. A graduate of Princeton University and Harvard Law School, Mrs. Obama started her career as an attorney at the Chicago law firm Sidley & Austin, where she met her future husband, Barack Obama. She later worked in the Chicago mayor’s office, at the University of Chicago, and at the University of Chicago Medical Center. Mrs. Obama also founded the Chicago chapter of Public Allies, an organization that prepares young people for careers in public service.
The Obamas currently live in Washington, DC, and have two daughters, Malia and Sasha.
Try the Kindle edition and experience these great reading features:
6,026 customer reviews
Review this product
Read reviews that mention
Showing 1-8 of 6,026 reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
What comes across most in this book is Michelle Obama’s lack of self-pity combined with clarity of vision. I suspect this was a difficult book to write—she knew that whatever she wrote, somebody, and maybe a lot of people, would criticize her for it. She therefore focuses quite a bit on what might be called practical insight and empowerment, rather than on settling political scores. That’s probably a wise choice—after all, her husband’s terms as President showed that very few people were interested in political settlements or compromise.
The first third of the book covers her childhood (“Becoming Me”). Contrary to the stereotype of Democrats as the party of the elite, Obama’s childhood, at least, was working class. She grew up in the lower middle class South Shore neighborhood of Chicago; her father was a boiler operator. Obama grew up in a stable household where her parents made their high expectations clear, though family life had its challenges, especially her father’s falling ill with multiple sclerosis. Still, she managed to go to Princeton, then Harvard Law, and then to work at the ultra-prestigious Chicago law firm of Sidley & Austin, where she met Barack (and where my wife worked, a few years after that time). I started law school in 1991, when Barack had just returned to Chicago from Harvard; he was much talked about even before he began teaching at the University of Chicago, because a high-powered Harvard graduate did not often choose to return to community organizing, rather than working for a white-shoe firm like Sidley. In contrast, Michelle Obama makes clear in this book she’s the organized, path-following one, who shows up on time, unlike her husband, which is probably why law firm life suited her better.
These initial years with Barack form the second third of the book (“Becoming Us”); one can tell that Obama struggled with her husband’s political ambition, because being a political spouse always imposes tremendous costs on the one not running for office (and she is explicit she has no interest in herself running for office). In fact, she talks at some length about the couples’ counseling they had to go through as a result, though it seems to have worked out for them! All of this is quite interesting, and much more readable than the massive biography of Barack that David Garrow wrote two years ago, “Rising Star,” which defeated my repeated attempts to read it, by having far too much irrelevant detail. Michelle Obama does not make that mistake here, for which the reader, or at least this reader, is grateful.
Obama closes the last third of the book with what was probably the hardest part to write, “Becoming More.” She talks about the stress, but also the opportunity to offer her vision, that being in the spotlight meant, and she criticizes Barack’s successor in office in no uncertain, but in measured, terms. At the end, she remains optimistic, but one gets a little of the feeling that she isn’t certain her optimism is warranted.
I have a lot of sympathy for Michelle Obama. Every person in power, whether that power is direct or indirect, is always ultimately frustrated, but it must gall her to see the contrast between her husband and Donald Trump. I think that she picked the right path of not making that the focus of the book, though. She’s a grounded pragmatist at heart, or at least so it seems from this book. And we could all use a lot more grounded pragmatism, so her contribution to public discourse with this book is (unlike many political autobiographies) both illuminating and valuable.
Michelle Obama has the empathy and the depth of character so missing in her media portrayal. I always felt worried that we were suffocating her. But there is a Michelle Obama who is bigger than the words on a page. She knows our pains, and she understands our lives. And we know her in this book. In this most private book, we know her in a way we could not have otherwise. Interesting that nothing here surprises me, it only affirms what I felt like I know: Michelle Obama is a person like us. She worked and suffered and overcame.
Her storytelling skills are exquisite. It left me a little breathless to hear her voice, unfettered and real.
I love the photographs.
When it comes to first ladies, I’ve liked and respected them all. My favorite was Barbara Bush, wife of George H. W. Bush. Michele Obama, though, ranks quite highly.
This work by Michelle is a definite eye opener into her life. The opening chapters show her youth, in which she grudgingly accompanied her father during his rounds in his groundwork fixing the fixable issues for the Democratic Party constituents of his boss, an alderman in Chicago.
Honestly, this early part of her life could have been trimmed. Still, my understanding of the plight of black Americans in history did benefit.
Despite the media’s fixation on everything Donald Trump, Michelle only mentions his name on nine separate pages. And, aside from her fear for her girls, she states nothing extraordinary about the man. I suppose it is significant that the only excerpts we have been provided by the news media is her statement that she will never forgive him for endangering her family in regards to the birther movement. In other words, for people looking for dirt, gossip, or controversy, this memoir is likely to go down as one of the least noted autobiographies in modern times.
I wish, though, that the First Lady had mentioned more of Malala Yousafzai and her courageous fight for women and girls and education.
BLUSH FACTOR: No worries here. Mrs Obama has set a refreshing standard, if you will, for politely apprising us of their political life without profanities.
Four stars out of five.
I am striving to produce reviews that help you find books that you want, or avoid books that you wish to avoid. With your help, my improvement will help you and me improve book reviews on Amazon. Together, you and I can build a great customer review process that helps everybody. Will you join me? It is people such as you who have helped me improve over the years. I'm still learning, and I have a great deal yet to learn. With your help, I'll improve every day.
One request: Be respectful and courteous in your comments and emails to me. I will do likewise with you.
Thank you so much for indicating if this review helped you, or for your comment. for indicating if this review helped you, or for your comment.