The Life and Times of ‘Barry Obama’

By Ed O'Keefe

Mar 24, 2007 11:33am

The Chicago Tribune, hometown paper of — and emerging experts on — Senator Barack Obama, D-Ill., conducted more than 40 interviews with former classmates, teachers, friends and neighbors of the political wunderkind and aspiring presidential candidate, producing a must-read tome tracing the arc of the Senator’s life to-date.

From Hawaii to Indonesia, Chicago and back, the Trib finds several of Obama’s “oft-recited stories may not have happened in the way he has recounted them, sometimes making him look better in the retelling, and sometimes omitting some of the most painful, private moments of his life.”

“The life stories, when the presidential candidate tells them, have a common theme: the quest to belong,” Tribune correspondents Kirsten Scharnberg and Kim Barker begin.

They continue, “A boy wants to find his place in a family where he is visibly different: chubby where others are thin, dark where others are light. A youth living in a distant land searches and finds new friends, a new language and a heartbreaking lesson about his identity in the pages of an American magazine.”

“But,” the authors shortly thereafter conclude, “the reality of Obama’s narrative is not that simple.”

Click here to read the amazingly detailed story from the reporters in the place where Obama now calls home.

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