Barack Obama's 1st biographer, David Mendell: Michelle didn't care for the book

He’s Barack Obama’s first biographer. But journalist David Mendell doesn’t expect his award-winning 2007 book, Obama: From Promise to Power, to land a spot in Obama’s presidential library.

Mendell and I were colleagues at the Chicago Tribune through much of the 2000s, but we barely exchanged hellos back then because he was so busy covering Obama’s rise to the U.S. Senate.

So I learned a lot—including just how hard Obama worked to conceal his smoking habit—as Mendell and I finally got to catch up on-stage at Dominican University in River Forest, in this installment of the Wednesday Journal Conversations / Chicago Public Square Podcast series, recorded Nov. 20, 2019.

Listen here, on your favorite podcast player, via Spotify and Pandora, on Amazon’s Alexa-powered speakers* or on iTunes (say “Hey, Siri! Play Chicago Public Square Podcasts”).



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*Even if you don’t have an Alexa speaker, you can turn iOS and Android phones into Alexa devices for free—a low-impact way to experiment with the technology. (Photo: Charlie Meyerson.)

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