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Capsule Review

Finding My Voice: My Journey to the West Wing and the Path Forward

In This Review

Finding My Voice: My Journey to the West Wing and the Path Forward
Finding My Voice: My Journey to the West Wing and the Path Forward
By Valerie Jarrett
Viking, 2019 320 pp. Purchase

As U.S. President Barack Obama’s longtime personal friend and a close adviser during his presidential administration, Jarrett had an unrivaled perspective on Obama’s years in power. Like most political memoirs, Finding My Voice is not a literary classic, but readers nostalgic for the Obama era will enjoy Jarrett’s account of a consequential presidency. At her best, Jarrett reminds readers that Obama, like Jimmy Carter and George W. Bush before him, possessed a human decency that dignified both the man and the office. Jarrett recalls how after meeting with a group of African American teenagers enrolled in a Becoming a Man program in Chicago, Obama kept in touch with the young men and invited them to the White House. Since the visit was scheduled to take place near Father’s Day, the young men decided to give the president a Father’s Day card. One of them told Obama: “I’ve never signed a Father’s Day card before.” “Me neither,” responded the leader of the free world.

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