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michelle obama

Ripped from the Headlines: New Releases that Blend Politics, Pop Culture, and Current Events

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Headline news changes as fast as it can, with each new viral video, political scandal or celebrity moment that’s caught on tape. But there are some headlines that stay with you, and over the past year we’ve definitely had a few we won’t be forgetting any time soon: from the beginnings of the Russia investigation, to The New Yorker‘s expose on Harvey Weinstein. While no one can predict the pace at which headline, breaking news is no longer worthy of being a headline, some events line up too perfectly for us not to comment on. Here we have a list of books on topics that have been dominating the news lately, whether they’re pop-culture, politics, or current events. War on Peace: The End…

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Early Bird Books: 13 Books Our Favorite Celebrities Love

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Stars—they read like us! We’ll be the first to admit that we love a bit of celebrity gossip—especially when it involves what’s on people’s shelves. Lately, stars like Reese Witherspoon and Emma Watson have been hopping on the book club train, selecting titles each month and leading thoughtful reading discussions with their fans. It’s been a great way to highlight the latest debut authors, or bring old, forgotten gems back into the limelight. We’re all about using fame to the benefit of a good book. Below, you’ll find recommendations that come straight from the mouths of our favorite celebrities. From childhood classics to later-in-life discoveries, these are the reads that have made lasting impressions on Academy Award winners, singers, and more. Tom Hanks Blood on…

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‘First, Be a Lady:’ The Impact of FLOTUS on American Politics

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Political scientists have failed to recognize the political importance of the president’s spouse. While the evolving role of the first lady over time from White House hostess to presidential advisor has been documented in historical narratives and news articles, the tremendous responsibility placed on her office to communicate the president’s message and shape his public image has received little attention according to Lauren A. Wright, Ph.D. in her book ON BEHALF OF THE PRESIDENT: Presidential Spouses and White House Communications Strategy Today. This responsibility has increased markedly in the last three presidential administrations, illustrated by the fact that Michelle Obama made more speeches and major public appearances in her first six years in office than any first lady in history.…

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A ‘Promise’ Fulfilled: How Joe Biden Found Purpose After Tragedy

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I have been looking forward to a number of new releases this month, including Jenifer Lewis’ The Mother of Black Hollywood (released Nov. 14) and Duane Tudahl’s Prince and the Purple Rain Studio Sessions: 1983 and 1984 (released Nov. 15).  As I set up my list of reads for the Thanksgiving holiday, the first of these on my list is the new book by Joe Biden (whom I affectionately call “Uncle Joe”), Promise Me, Dad: A Year of Hope, Hardship, and Purpose. Nearly a year after completing two terms in service to the country as Vice President for Barack Obama, Joe Biden is speaking about the last few years of his term in office marked by the pain of losing…

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Picturing Hope: White House Photographer Pete Souza’s ‘Intimate Portrait’ of President Obama

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“They called him analytical and cerebral. But the lasting impression of Barack Obama’s presidency is deeply human and emotional. This is his legacy.” ~ Scott Snowman, January 18, 2017 in The Prompt White House photographers are not just taking pictures; they are documenting history and preserving a legacy.  Whatever your political views, there is one thing that will not change about the Barack Obama presidency: he was the nation’s first African American elected to the highest office in the land.  This was a hard-won feat that many, particularly those who grew up during the era of Jim Crow, never believed would see accomplished in their lifetime. But it did and everything else that followed was equally historic. Now, a year…

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Who’s Whispering Sweet Nothings in the President’s Ear?

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In Dr. Lauren A. Wright’s latest book, On Behalf of the President: Presidential Spouses and White House Communications Strategy Today (Praeger, April 18, 2016), she argues that first ladies are far more than a decorative political spouse, but rather an essential team player who is mobilized to enhance the public reputation of a presidential candidate and their policy agenda and, according to her data, they make a profound influence on public opinion. No first lady better typifies this than Michelle Obama who made more speeches and public appearances in her first six years than any other presidential spouse in history. The book also documents the growing presence of the presidents’ wives in the communications strategies of the last three administrations (Clinton, Bush…

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