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The Breakthrough

Nonfiction: Political Science / Political Process
Unabridged   8.75 hour(s)
Publication date: 01/20/2009

The Breakthrough

Politics and Race in the Age of Obama

Available from major retailers or BUY FROM AMAZON
Audio CD ISBN:9781598878721
Digital Download ISBN:9781598878806


A veteran journalist surveys the American political landscape and illuminates the evolution of the African-American politician—and the future of American democracy.

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Product Description

Gwen Ifill began her journalism career at the Boston Herald in 1977, covering race riots by telephone. It was too risky for a young black reporter to venture onto the grounds of South Boston High School. Thirty years later, a black man announced his candidacy for president of the United States.

Obama is the leading edge of a sea change in American politics, but his is by no means the only story. Ifill offers incisive, detailed profiles of other prominent black leaders including Newark Mayor Cory Booker, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, and U.S. Congressman Artur Davis of Alabama. She also covers up-and-coming figures from across the nation. Drawing on interviews with power brokers like Obama, former Secretary of State Colin Powell, Vernon Jordan, the Reverend Jesse Jackson, and many others, as well as her own razor-sharp observations and analysis, Ifill shows why now is a pivotal moment in American history.


“Ifill’s great warmth, clear voice, and uncommon insights are sure to keep listeners engaged.”

“A strongly reported book, with some broad conclusions drawn from scores of interviews and peppered with interesting, revealing profiles. . . . Yet this is more than a book of connected profiles and narratives. Ifill bores at varying depths into race, class, gender and generational change.”
      —Los Angeles Times

“Ifill reports beyond [the] luminaries, drilling down to less-well-known African-American politicians on the state and local levels.”
      —The New York Times

“Listeners will be rewarded by a well-researched, well-narrated take on the implications of President Obama’s election on the strongholds of African-American political power.”
      —Publishers Weekly

Author Bio

GWEN IFILL is moderator and managing editor of Washington Week and senior correspondent of The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer. Before coming to PBS, she was chief congressional and political correspondent for NBC News, and had been a reporter for The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Baltimore Sun, and Boston Herald American. She lives in Washington, D.C.

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