American Tapestry

American Tapestry : The Story of the Black, White, and Multiracial Ancestors of Michelle Obama

3.62 (257 ratings by Goodreads)
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A remarkable history of First Lady Michelle Obama's mixed ancestry, American Tapestry by Rachel L. Swarns is nothing less than a breathtaking and expansive portrait of America itself.

In this extraordinary feat of genealogical research--in the tradition of The Hemmingses of Monticello and Slaves in the Family--author Swarns, a respected Washington-based reporter for the New York Times, tells the fascinating and hitherto untold story of Ms. Obama's black, white, and multiracial ancestors; a history that the First Lady herself did not know.

At once epic, provocative, and inspiring, American Tapestry is more than a true family saga; it is an illuminating mirror in which we may all see ourselves.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 391 pages
  • 132.08 x 200.66 x 30.48mm | 294.83g
  • HarperCollins Publishers Inc
  • HarperCollins
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • Halftones, color
  • 0061999873
  • 9780061999871
  • 942,566

Review quote

"The First Family becomes ever more fascinating--and ever more representative of the nation as a whole--in Rachel Swarns's terrific investigation into the roots of Michelle Obama. . . . This is a most compelling read and more evidence for our interconnectedness as a people."--Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Harvard University professor and host and executive producer of PBS's Finding Your Roots
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Back cover copy

Michelle Obama's family saga is a remarkable, quintessentially American story--a journey from slavery to the White House in five generations. In this prodigiously researched epic, New York Times correspondent Rachel L. Swarns traces that complex and fascinating tale--from the men who fought in the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, to the mothers and fathers who endured the horrors of slavery and the indignities of segregation to build a better future for their children--uncovering details about Mrs. Obama's black, white, and multiracial forebears that even the First Lady herself did not know.

Though an intimate family history, American Tapestry is also the collective chronicle of our changing nation, a beautifully rendered and singularly inspiring story with resonance for us all.
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Rating details

257 ratings
3.62 out of 5 stars
5 23% (60)
4 33% (86)
3 28% (72)
2 12% (32)
1 3% (7)
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