The Book Cellar
Join us at The Book Cellar as Jeanne Marie Laskas talks about her book, To Obama: With Love, Joy, Anger and Hope. She will be joined by letter-writers Noor Abdelfattah, Frank Heimbecker, Sam Kaplan-Goland, and Heather Wells.
About the author:
Jeanne Marie Laskas is the author of eight books, including the New York Times bestseller Concussion, the basis for the 2015 Golden-Globe-nominated film starring Will Smith. She is a contributing writer at The New York Times Magazine, a correspondent at GQ, and a two-time National Magazine Award finalist. Her stories have also appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, and Esquire. She serves as Distinguished Professor of English and founding director of the Center for Creativity at the University of Pittsburgh, and lives on a farm in Pennsylvania with her husband and two children.
About the book:
Every evening for eight years, at his request, President Obama was given ten handpicked letters written by ordinary American citizens – the unfiltered voice of a nation – from his Office of Presidential Correspondence. This is the story of the profound ways in which the letters shaped his presidency.
Obama was the first president to interact daily with constituent mail and to archive it in its entirety. The letters affected not only the president and his policies but also the people who were tasked with opening and reading the millions of pleas, rants, thank-yous, and apologies that landed in the White House mailroom. The mailroom became one of the most important rooms in the White House, a conduit between the most powerful and most powerless.
In To Obama, Jeanne Marie Laskas interviews President Obama, the letter writers themselves, and the White House staff who sifted through the unfolding narrative of America during the Obama years. To Obama is an intimate look at one man's relationship to the American people, and a record of a time when empathy intersected with politics in the White House.