Not often you read a bio on an author where she highlights being a college dropout, but Jodi Kantor did just that. She left Harvard Law School to join the online revolution with  Now this New York Times bestselling author is giving some insight in the power dynamics in her book The Obamas as she lectured before a packed audience at the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta. This talk is also a preview to the upcoming 55 expected authors as part of the 21st Edition of the Book Festival of the MJCCA in November.

In The Obamas, Kantor has attempted to pierce through the Presidential bubble and explore the dynamics of this first couple. She discovered four lenses that focus on this modern family.

First the isolation, Presidents and an extension their families are cut off from the rest of the word. They are very restricted on their movements, who they can speak to, and simply can go down the street and have a cup of coffee and experience a spontaneous random conversation.  The President even has lost his blackberry and unlike during the campaign can reach out to get first hand views.  It takes a staff of 33 to plan the presidential daily schedule.

Second is the Equality of the two.  Within the White House everything revolves around the President, POTUS. He even has two valets to make sure he dresses and looks good all the time.  Whereas the first lady does not have this dedicated service.

Kantor recounted a story of how Barbara Bush shared with Hillary Clinton, who shared with Laura Bush, who shared with Michelle Obama a small window where they can peek through and see the President when he is outside the Oval Office.  A fitting metaphor of how the first lady is there but often just peeking onto the Presidential institution, there but not there.

Third, the high stakes, everything is scrutinized, Michelle Obama once was criticized for wearing shorts. The President is always coming under attack and the current polarized political world, almost half of the individuals are not going to like what he does anyways.

Finally is the partnership, how this pressure environment puts an emphasis that these two, the Obama’s depend on each other. The first lady’s popularity is higher than the President’s and being a lawyer herself, she is able to give him the unfiltered personal advice that he may need.

Overall Kantor predicts that this Presidential race is going to be close and the nation is highly divided.  She hopes he book sheds light into the complexity of the inner dynamics of the first family.  She interviewed hundred of individuals and even got to have a sit down with the first couple.

To keep up with the Jodi Kantor :

Book facts:

The Obamas by Jodi Kantor

  • ISBN-10: 0316098760
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316098762


Mark your calendars for New York Times best selling author James Patterson on October 14 and R.L. Stine on October 15 with In the Dark.

To find out more about the exciting things at the MJCCA visit: or call the box office (678)812-4005


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