A Singular Woman: The Untold Story of Barack Obama's Mother
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The New York Times bestseller-an unprecedented look into the life and character of the woman who raised a president.
Barack Obama has written extensively about his father but credited his mother for "what is best in me." Still, little is known about this fiercely independent, spirited woman who raised the man who became the first biracial president of the United States. This book is that story.
In A Singular Woman, award-winning New York Times reporter Janny Scott tells the story of this unique woman, Stanley Ann Dunham, who broke many of the rules of her time, and shows how her fierce example helped influence the future president-and can serve as an inspiration to us all.
adult, for an unusual hobby. Over forty-five years, he built, fine-tuned, and continually updated a fully functioning scale model of an oil refinery, made largely out of glass. The model refinery, which had two catalytic cracking units and actually produced gas from oil, traveled to high schools and colleges all across the country. Frank McCurry’s daughter, Margaret McCurry Wolf, told me on a sweltering summer day in her kitchen in Hutchinson, Kansas, “Next to godliness and cleanliness, my dad
men. “These boys were eating out of her hand,” Nayar remembered. “They weren’t looking at us, they were all around Ann. I think she was probably one of the most sensual women I have met in my life. Size didn’t matter, it was what was inside. She just exuded woman.” The young male host assigned to Ann’s group turned out to be an anthropology major, fluent in English, who did modeling on the side. Soon, he, Ann, and Nayar were in a taxi, heading to an archaeological dig. Ann took Nayar to the
studies. Hindi, Sanskrit, and Javanese entered the curriculum in 1961. The center attracted speakers like Dick Gregory and Gloria Steinem. There were weekly discussions of topical issues, such as civil rights, internationalism, and the conflict between India and Pakistan, with panels of students and scholars from the countries involved. “Some of the most politically active students the university had were on East-West Center grants,” said Jeannette “Benji” Bennington, who worked for the center
farmers, Saman had moved to Jakarta as a teenager to find work. When he worked for Ann and Lolo, his duties included gardening; taking care of a pet turtle, dog, rabbit, and bird; and taking Barry to school by bicycle or becak. Ann and Lolo paid Saman well and treated all four members of the household staff equally. Saman remembered Lolo as stern and Ann as kindhearted. When he accidentally knocked over an aquarium that Lolo used for freshwater fish, Lolo insisted that Saman pay the
packages of homemade Indonesian snacks. “Please, take these,” Yang Suwan remembered Ann saying. “You’ll help the poor women if you eat the snacks.” Often, Ann had guests. After Vayda introduced her to a graduate student of his who was doing fieldwork in East Kalimantan, the student, Timothy Jessup, became a regular guest when he was in town. Was there a place in Jakarta to play squash? Vayda asked Ann. Soon she had arranged, through Lolo, for Vayda to become a member of the Petroleum Club. Ann