An adoring and unquestioning celebration of Obama’s presidency.

A concise and laudatory overview of Barack Obama’s presidency.

An alumnus of Morehouse College, Wilson (It’s Cotton Blossom Time, 2010, etc.) “always thought that if any black scholar should become President of the United States of America, it would be a Morehouse College graduate. Nobody else is qualified.” In that spirit, the centrality of Morehouse to African American experience (including a nearly 30-page overview of its distinguished graduates) is a theme in this otherwise eclectic tribute to President Barack Obama (a graduate of Columbia and Harvard Law School). At first dismissive of Obama’s swift rise to fame, Wilson soon changed his mind and in this book offers an unconventional biography of a man he loves: a basic sketch of Obama’s life and work through short essays, poetry, revealing vignettes from Obama’s time in the White House, and reproductions of his most important speeches. The book is at its best when Wilson evokes the pride African Americans nationwide felt about having a black family at their nation’s helm. In his reflections on one of Obama’s inaugural balls, for example, Wilson describes the “enchanted moment” of watching Barack and Michelle dance to Motown classics. Though accomplished first ladies had appeared at earlier balls, “nothing could replace the black beauty of Michelle.” Other musings deal with Obama’s athleticism, humor, love of food, religion, and other cultural markers that made him not just a personally beloved, but distinctly black president. In 2013, Obama received an honorary degree from Morehouse, proudly joining Wilson’s illustrious list of “Morehouse Men.” Obama’s fans, particularly those drawn to his roots in the African American experience, can revel in the author’s passionate poetry and prose that is constant in its affirmations of Obama. Some, however, may find the work too hagiographic, refusing to even acknowledge criticisms of Obama from the philosopher Cornel West (and other within African American community) for his close ties to Wall Street, his handling of immigration, and foreign policies that some see as militaristic.

An adoring and unquestioning celebration of Obama’s presidency.

Pub Date: Jan. 4, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-982211-66-0

Page Count: 138

Publisher: BalboaPress

Review Posted Online: Jan. 31, 2020



This is not the Nutcracker sweet, as passed on by Tchaikovsky and Marius Petipa. No, this is the original Hoffmann tale of 1816, in which the froth of Christmas revelry occasionally parts to let the dark underside of childhood fantasies and fears peek through. The boundaries between dream and reality fade, just as Godfather Drosselmeier, the Nutcracker's creator, is seen as alternately sinister and jolly. And Italian artist Roberto Innocenti gives an errily realistic air to Marie's dreams, in richly detailed illustrations touched by a mysterious light. A beautiful version of this classic tale, which will captivate adults and children alike. (Nutcracker; $35.00; Oct. 28, 1996; 136 pp.; 0-15-100227-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 28, 1996

ISBN: 0-15-100227-4

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996




An extravaganza in Bemelmans' inimitable vein, but written almost dead pan, with sly, amusing, sometimes biting undertones, breaking through. For Bemelmans was "the man who came to cocktails". And his hostess was Lady Mendl (Elsie de Wolfe), arbiter of American decorating taste over a generation. Lady Mendl was an incredible person,- self-made in proper American tradition on the one hand, for she had been haunted by the poverty of her childhood, and the years of struggle up from its ugliness,- until she became synonymous with the exotic, exquisite, worshipper at beauty's whrine. Bemelmans draws a portrait in extremes, through apt descriptions, through hilarious anecdote, through surprisingly sympathetic and understanding bits of appreciation. The scene shifts from Hollywood to the home she loved the best in Versailles. One meets in passing a vast roster of famous figures of the international and artistic set. And always one feels Bemelmans, slightly offstage, observing, recording, commenting, illustrated.

Pub Date: Feb. 23, 1955

ISBN: 0670717797

Page Count: -

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Oct. 25, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1955

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