Barack Obama
A Life in American History
by F. Erik Brooks and MaCherie M. Placide
October 2019, 218pp, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
1 volume, ABC-CLIO

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-5913-7
$69, £54, 60€, A95
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-5914-4
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

On January 20, 2009, Barack Obama was inaugurated as the 44th president of the United States.

An essential resource for readers analyzing the presidency of Barack Obama, this book provides a comprehensive summary of the life of 44th president of the United States.

Barack Obama stated, “Our destiny is not written for us. It is written by us.” Was the former president talking about himself and his rise to the American presidency?

On January 20, 2009, Barack Obama was inaugurated as the 44th president of the United States, the first African American to be elected to this office. Former President Obama’s politics of unity appealed to many segments of American society. When Obama became president, the United States faced challenges at home and abroad. Internationally, the country was stalled in two wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Domestically, the country faced a financial and banking crisis, and poverty was on the rise. Undaunted by these colossal challenges, former President Obama noted, “We did not come to fear the future. We came to shape it.”

Barack Obama: A Life in American History discusses the life of Barack Obama chronologically and discusses his post-presidential life. Readers of all levels with an interest in Barack Obama, politics, political parties, political ideology, presidential elections, government, and the U.S. presidency will find this book compelling.


  • Provides readers with insight into Barack Obama's rise in politics, from community organizer to president, the highest political office in the United States
  • Provides an understanding of how the Obama presidency had a significant impact on the United States
  • Deconstructs key events during the first and second terms of the Obama presidency
  • Examines the Obama administration's foreign and domestic policies
F. Erik Brooks is Dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences and the Director of Whitney Young Honors Collegium at Kentucky State University. He is coauthor of several books, including Thurgood Marshall: A Biography, How the Obama Presidency Changed the Political Landscape, and The Student Athlete's Guide to College Success.

MaCherie M. Placide is associate professor of political science at Western Illinois University. Her research interests include leadership and management in public administration, hiring practices in government administration—particularly within law enforcement—urban politics, and social policy issues.


"This condensed, readable biography, with its historical and contextual notes, is perfect for its intended audience of high school and undergraduate students. Summing Up: Recommended. General readers, lower-division undergraduates, and two-year program students."—Choice, May 1, 2020

Black History Lives

This biography series explores the lives of the most iconic figures in African American history, with material that supports state standards while highlighting the subject’s significance in our contemporary world. Each volume includes a narrative of the life of each subject, a chapter on the subject’s larger cultural and historical significance, a chronology, a comprehensive bibliography, and sidebars that offer pertinent cultural connections to the worlds of social, political, intellectual, and popular culture. An appendix of primary document excerpts rounds out each volume. Readers of the Black History Lives series will gain a greater understanding of the outside events and influences that shaped each subject’s world, from familial relationships to political and cultural developments.


Series foreword Biographical narrative chapters Why X Matters chapter that explores the subject’s importance within the context of American history Timeline Bibliography Primary Source Documents “Cultural Connections” Sidebars Index
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