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A History of Disappointment

Jackson Lears: Obama’s Parents

5 January 2012
The Other Barack: The Bold and Reckless Life of President Obama’s Father 
by Sally Jacobs.
Public Affairs, 336 pp., £20, July 2011, 978 1 58648 793 5
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A Singular Woman: The Untold Story of Barack Obama’s Mother 
by Janny Scott.
Riverhead, 384 pp., £18.99, May 2011, 978 1 59448 797 2
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... around the American West for years until they finally came to rest for a while on Mercer Island, Washington, near Seattle. Stanley Ann was self-sufficient and wilful. Her sympathetic biographer, JannyScott, pictures her dreaming of escape from provincial boredom as she pored over stacks of National Geographic magazines. She hated the jock culture of her high school and took refuge in the proto ...

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