Obama: An Intimate Portrait

Pete Souza. Little, Brown, $50 (352p) ISBN 978-0-316-51258-9
Souza, who served as chief official White House photographer for President Obama’s two terms, captures the grace of his former boss and the highs and lows of the job of commander-in-chief in this frank and powerful collection of images. Beginning with the eve of Obama’s first inauguration and concluding with the inauguration of Donald Trump, Souza organizes the selections chronologically, noting significant events, such as Congress passing the Affordable Care Act, in chapter headings. Souza’s images show Obama in mid-speech, in meetings with foreign dignitaries, and strategizing with members of his inner circle. He captures Obama comforting a Sandy Hook victim’s family and, in a well-publicized image, bowing forward so an African-American boy can feel his hair. Photographs of Obama alone in moments of contemplation speak to the loneliness that can be an aspect of the presidency. Snapshots from the Obamas’ vacations or casual occasions at the White House are among the most charming. Obama writes affectionately about Souza in the introduction, saying, “Pete became more than my photographer—he became my friend, confidant, and brother.” In addition to being a collection of masterfully crafted images, the volume is a time capsule, capturing an era in pictures—one still fresh in collective memory. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 12/04/2017
Release date: 11/07/2017
Hardcover - 352 pages - 978-0-316-51259-6
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