Download To Obama: A Diary of a Nation Audiobook

To Obama: A Diary of a Nation Audiobook, by Jeanne Marie Laskas Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Jeanne Marie Laskas Narrator: Sullivan Jones, Jeanne Marie Laskas, Adenrele Ojo, Hillary Huber, Lauren Fortgang, MacLeod Andrews, Marc Thompson, Paula Christensen, Ramón de Ocampo, Robert Fass, Tara Sands, Michael Crouch, Kyla Garcia Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2018 ISBN: 9780525641049
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President Barack Obama received ten thousand letters a day from his constituents. This is the story of the private and profound relationship with letter writers that shaped his presidency. Their voices combine to reveal a diary of a nation.
 
Every evening for eight years, at his request, President Obama was given ten handpicked letters written by ordinary American citizens—the unfiltered voice of a nation—from his Office of Presidential Correspondence. He was the first president to interact daily with constituent mail and to archive it in its entirety. The letters affected not only the president and his policies but also the deeply committed people who were tasked with opening and reading the millions of pleas, rants, thank-yous, and apologies that landed in the White House mailroom.

In To Obama, Jeanne Marie Laskas interviews President Obama, the letter writers themselves, and the White House staff who sifted through the powerful, moving, and incredibly intimate narrative of America during the Obama years: There is Kelli, who saw her grandfathers finally marry—legally—after thirty-five years together; Bill, a lifelong Republican whose attitude toward immigration reform was transformed when he met a boy escaping MS-13 gang leaders in El Salvador; Heba, a Syrian refugee who wants to forget the day the tanks rolled into her village; Marjorie, who grappled with disturbing feelings of racial bias lurking within her during the George Zimmerman trial; and Vicki, whose family was torn apart by those who voted for Trump and those who did not.

They wrote to Obama out of gratitude and desperation, in their darkest times of need, in search of connection. They wrote with anger, fear, and respect. And together, this chorus of voices achieves a kind of beautiful harmony. To Obama is an intimate look at one man’s relationship to the American people, and at a time when empathy intersected with politics in the White House.


Read by Jeanne Marie Laskas with Sullivan Jones, and with Macleod Andrews, Paula Christensen, Michael Crouch, Donna Coltharp, Sheryl Cousineau, Shane Darby, Ramon de Ocampo, Robert Fass, Lauren Fortang, Kyla Garcia, Heba Hallak, Marnie Hazelton, Lacey Higley, Tom Hoefner, Hillary Huber, Bobby Ingram, Marjorie McKinney, Thomas Meehan, Bob Melton, Alex Myteberi, Adenrele Ojo, Bill Oliver, Christine Reisman, Tara Sands, Vicki Shearer, Marc Thompson, and Emily Woo Zeller Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • A sucker punch to the heart. Publishers Weekly
  • The real story of Obama’s America. The Sunday Times

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About the Author

Jeanne Marie Laskas is the author of six books, including Hidden America and The Exact Same Moon. Her writing has appeared in GQ, Esquire, the New York Times Magazine, O: The Oprah Magazine, and many other publications. Laskas serves as director of the Writing Program at the University of Pittsburgh, where she teaches creative writing. She lives on a horse farm in Pennsylvania with her husband and two children.

About the Narrators

Adenrele Ojo is an actress, dancer, and audiobook narrator, winner of over a dozen Earphones Awards and the prestigious Audie Award for best narration in 2018. She made her on-screen debut in My Little Girl, starring Jennifer Lopez, and has since starred in several other films. She has also performed extensively with the Philadelphia Dance Company. As the daughter of John E. Allen, Jr., founder and artistic director of Freedom Theatre, the oldest African American theater in Pennsylvania, is no stranger to the stage. In 2010 she performed in the Fountain Theatre’s production of The Ballad of Emmett Till, which won the 2010 LA Stage Alliance Ovation Award and the Los Angeles Drama Critics Award for Best Ensemble. Other plays include August Wilson’s Jitney and Freedom Theatre’s own Black Nativity, where she played Mary.

Hillary Huber, a Los Angeles–based voice talent with hundreds of commercials and promos under her belt, was bitten by the audiobook bug in 2005. She now records books on a regular basis and has been nominated for several Audie Awards and won numerous Earphones Awards.

Dan Bittner is an actor and voice talent and winner of several AudioFile Earphones Awards for audio narration. He has starred on stage and on the screen, in movies such as Men in Black, Adventureland, and the Producers: The Movie Musical. He has also appeared onstage as Macbeth and Sherlock Holmes in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

MacLeod Andrews is an actor, voice actor, and Earphones Award–winning audiobook narrator who earned the prestigious Audie Award for best narration in 2018. He has starred in a number of independent short and feature films and is a member of the Rising Phoenix Repertory Company in New York City.

Marc Thompson, a voice actor and Earphones Award–winning audiobook narrator, earned his BFA from New York University, Tisch School of the Arts, in 1997. He narrates many titles in the New York Times bestselling Star Wars series, and his voice can be heard in commercials, on radio, and on many cartoons, including MTV’s Daria, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Yu-Gi-Oh!, and G.I. Joe: Sigma 6.

Paula Christensen was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and raised in the suburbs of New York City. She studied acting at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, Michael Howard Studios in New York City, and the Antaeus Company. Christensen is a graduate of Amherst College, where she received her BA with honors in theater, dance, and anthropology. She currently resides in Los Angeles, where she teaches dance and continues to work on both stage and screen.

Ramón de Ocampo, an Earphones Award-winning narrator, was a cowinner in 2018 of the Audie Award for Best Multi-Voiced Performance. A graduate of the Carnegie Mellon School of Drama, he has been seen on television, film, and stages all over the world, including recurring roles on such television shows as The West Wing, 12 Monkeys, Sons of Anarchy, and Medium. He is the winner of a prestigious Obie Award for his stage work.

Robert Fass is a veteran actor and twice winner of the prestigious Audie Award for best narration. He has earned mulltiple Earphones Awards, including one for his narration of Francisco Goldman’s Say Her Name, which was named one of AudioFile magazine’s Best Audiobooks of 2011. He has given voice to modern and classic fiction writers alike, including Ray Bradbury, Joyce Carol Oates, Isaac Asimov, Jeffrey Deaver, and John Steinbeck, as well as to nonfiction works in history, memoir, health, journalism, and business.

Tara Sands is an American actress, television host, and voice talent who has won numerous AudioFile Earphones Awards for narration. She is former cohost of Fridays on the Cartoon Network. In addition to performing in plays and musicals, her voice can be heard on numerous commercials, audiobooks, cartoons, and video games.

Michael Crouch is an actor based in New York City. His audiobook narration has won the prestigious Audie Award for Best Narration, numerous Earphones Awards from AudioFile magazine, and Best of the Year accolades from Booklist, School Library Journal, and Publishers Weekly. He can also be heard on national commercials, cartoons, video games, and the animé series Pokémon XY and Yu-Gi-Oh! Arc-V.

Kyla Garcia is an AudioFile Earphones Award–winning narrator. Born and raised in Hoboken, New Jersey, she discovered acting at the age of eight when she played Lady Macbeth in a children’s adaptation of Shakespeare’s tragedy. She made her off-Broadway debut at fifteen when she played Dorothy in Oz: A Twisted Musical. Eleven years after she discovered her passion for acting, she would go on to play Lady Macbeth once again in London at the Globe Theatre, where she studied Shakespeare during her third year at Mason Gross School of the Arts. She received her BFA in acting from Rutgers University.

Sullivan Jones is a voice talent and Earphones Award–winning audiobook narrator.