Book Review: Michelle Obama’s Becoming

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—Dominic Polycarpou
Michelle Obama’s new book,
Becoming, is a masterpiece in its

message, execution, and pur-
pose. Over the course of the

memoir, Obama demonstrates

her skill as a writer and storytell-
er while also providing catharsis

and honesty when describing her

life as a Harvard-educated law-
yer, charity worker, and First

Lady of the United States.
Obama’s book is the rarest
of things: a celebrity memoir

that provides inspiration, a polit-
ical work that shows light in a

time when all the world seems
dark. In the first part of her
book, titled “Becoming Me,” she
describes her young life and her
budding romance with Barack
Obama, displaying refreshing
honesty, as she discusses her
marriage counseling, inner
thoughts, and family tragedies.

She carefully references anec-
dotes from her early life as she

makes a point about reforms and

initiatives that are needed in Ameri-
ca.

Later in the book, Obama
brings to light how unlikely it was

for her husband to win the presiden-
cy and all of the trials they faced in

running and managing the country.
Her interests and thoughts strike a

chord within the reader, and her tri-
als and tragedies bring tears to the

eyes. When describing how her
close friend died at the age of 26,

she shows the emotions—and occa-
sional lack thereof—that follow the

death of a loved one. And when
describing her marriage to Barack,
she gives glimpses into what is an

actual fairytale romance. The mem-
oir gives readers a complete, nu-
anced picture of Obama that goes

far beyond her perfect image as the

former First Lady; it quickly be-
comes clear that she is, for better or

for worse, a human being
just like the rest of us.
Obama also shows something
else: she is not merely an American
by birth, but the very distillation of
what it means to be American.
Born to working-class parents, she
has worked for every inch of her

status, exemplifying values of indi-
vidualism and grit. Above all else.

Becoming is a beautiful piece of
writing. And while she will never

be president or step into the politi-
cal arena, Michelle Obama has a

story to tell. And it’s one that I think
we all want to listen to.