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Download A Singular Woman: The Untold Story of Barack Obama's Mother Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample A Singular Woman: The Untold Story of Barack Obamas Mother, by Janny Scott Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (613 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Janny Scott Narrator: January LaVoy Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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An unprecedented look into the life of the woman who most singularly shaped Barack Obama—his mother.

Barack Obama has written extensively about his father, but little is known about Stanley Ann Dunham, the fiercely independent woman who raised himthe person he credits for, as he says, “what is best in me.” Here is the missing piece of the story. 

Award-winning reporter Janny Scott interviewed nearly two hundred of Dunham’s friends, colleagues, and relatives (including both her children), and combed through boxes of personal and professional papers, letters to friends, and photo albums to uncover the full breadth of this woman’s inspiring and untraditional life—and to show the remarkable extent to which she shaped the man Obama is today.

Dunham’s story moves from Kansas and Washington State to Hawaii and Indonesia. It begins in a time when interracial marriage was still a felony in much of the United States and culminates in the present, with her son as our president—something she never got to see. It is a poignant look at how character is passed from parent to child, offering insight into how Obama’s destiny was created early, by his mother’s extraordinary faith in his gifts and her unconventional mothering. Finally, it is a heartbreaking story of a woman who died at age fifty-two, before her son would go on to his greatest accomplishments and reflections of what she taught him.

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Quotes & Awards

  • A 2011 Time Magazine Top 10 Book for Nonfiction

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Kerry | 2/15/2014

    " Super fascinating. not the best told story ever, but a really fascinating woman. goes into a lot of detail about her field work in Indonesia where she studied the informal economy and became a practitioner including a key Ford Foundation employee in Indonesia and wound up being an early promoter of microfinance. Also some interesting light on the health care problems she encountered - not quite accurately detailed during the campaign, but whatevs. She also had these crazy expat friendships that brought me back to Armenia. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Julie Fischer | 2/6/2014

    " I found the life of President O'Bama's mother interesting, but I felt that the book wasn't well written. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Deirdre | 1/31/2014

    " I debated giving this book a 3.5 or a 4. But as I finished the book I felt strongly about it being a 4. It well-researched, very thorough and well-written. I had not been so captivated by all of the details of all the particular programs and research Ann Dunham conducted in Indonesia even though I was a Non-Western History and Diplomacy major in college. I was really more interested in broader themes about this individual -- her childhood, her adult life as an anthropologist, mother and sometimes wife -- as well as the themes of race and women and careers in America, not to mention the history and culture of Indonesia. In the end, however, I think that the details were important in unveiling a complex woman, anthropologist and mom. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Linda | 1/25/2014

    " I knew practically nothing about Obama's mother, so I'm really glad I read this comprehensive book about her too-short life. To be remembered with love and affection by your children - what more could a mother want? Both of her children are a testament to her. "

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