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3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (191 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Gwen Ifill Narrator: Gwen Ifill Publisher: Highbridge Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Gwen Ifill began her journalism career at the Boston Herald in 1977, covering race riots by telephone. It was too risky for a young black reporter to venture onto the grounds of South Boston High School. Thirty years later, a black man announced his candidacy for president of the United States.

Obama is the leading edge of a sea change in American politics, but his is by no means the only story. Ifill offers incisive, detailed profiles of other prominent black leaders including Newark Mayor Cory Booker, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, and U.S. Congressman Artur Davis of Alabama. She also covers up-and-coming figures from across the nation. Drawing on interviews with power brokers like Obama, former Secretary of State Colin Powell, Vernon Jordan, the Reverend Jesse Jackson, and many others, as well as her own razor-sharp observations and analysis, Ifill shows why now is a pivotal moment in American history.

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Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Julie Johnson | 2/5/2014

    " I found this to be a very well researched & unbiased book on modern politics by this journalist. I learned a lot, esp. about some of the new upcoming figures, and particularly one who may be running for governor in AL. where I live. Written shortly before Obama was elected, it gives one a better understanding of the fine line that politicans and voters face when it comes to race/gender issues and differences between the civil rights generation and current one. Leaves the reader with questions only the future can answer. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Ginny | 2/4/2014

    " Interesting book on the rise of President Obama and sections, chapters on other African-American politicians. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Jeremy | 1/31/2014

    " This book was a great disappointment. It failed to teach me much of any utility or freshness. Written almost entirely from journalistic sources, and based on a lot of interviews, it is a staid, standard, static analysis of racial politics, lacking originality and courage, as well as solid prose. Just to give you an example of what awaits you as a reader--her great analytic insight is "sandpaper politics". What's that? The friction that arises when one generation gives up power to the next, or one group takes power from another. Wow. Color me underwhelmed. If you have been reading magazine and newspaper coverage of the election of 2008, you will have nothing to learn from this book. The only virtue that this book has is the chapter length descriptions of some rising black politicians. These would make second tier Vanity Fair or New Yorker profiles, but you will learn somethings you don't know, I bet, about these figures. Also, you will find some astoundingly ignorant quotes from Andrew Young and Al Sharpton. The failure to distinguish (or even, aggressively critique their stupid comments) between a once-great like Young and a never-was like Sharpton is only one example of the lacunae herein. She never mentions the cynical exploitation of Sharpton's cupidity and narcissism by Republicans and Fox News, nor his execrable past statements and actions. This allows her to present him as a prominent voice in black politics without assessing what that says, and how it is figures like Sharpton who hold back mainstream black progress. She needn't agree with my conclusions, but there isn't even a mention of such issues. The Breakthrough is anything but an intellectual breakthrough. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Matthew | 1/30/2014

    " A good look at the achievements of breakthrough African American politicians, but leaves me wondering what's next. At the least, though, an excellent snapshot of current political leaders and their philosophies. "

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