Obama by Pete Souza
Best for: Anyone who wants to be reminded of what it’s like to have a compassionate, intelligent person as US President.
In a nutshell: Official White House Photographer Pete Souza shares a history of the Obama Presidency in photos and text.
Line that sticks with me: The very last photo, of President Obama looking at the White House from Executive (formerly Marine) One, made me tear up.
Why I chose it: My stepmother-in-law gifted my husband and I this massive book for Christmas. We’re moving overseas in less than two weeks but I don’t even care that we now have an extra five pounds to pack.
Review: Sigh. I know that President Obama was not perfect. He made some decisions that I disagree with. He was not as progressive as I would have likes. But damn, I strongly believe that he was — and is — a very good human being. A kind person. A loving parent and partner. An intelligent person interested in doing good things.
These are qualities that I believe are missing from the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. And while that man does appear in two photos near the very end, the rest of this 350 page book documents — mostly in photos but also in words — what life is like for an active, engaged President. Specifically, what life was like for President Obama.
From extraordinarily challenging times like responding to the Sandy Hook massacre, to goofing off with his daughters or staffers’ children, this book captures it all. And yet you know it also shows just a small bit of what those eight years were like.
As I have said (probably more than necessary), we move to London in just a couple of weeks. This book will be coming with us. When I read about the latest thing the current President has done to harm the US, I’ll look back at this book and remember that we had someone who cared, and it is possible that we will have someone who cares again.