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In “Barack Obama: The Story,” David Maraniss shows us who Obama is. Now, in a probing new biography, “Rising Star,” David J. Of the books that journalists and historians have written on the life of Barack Obama, three stand out so far. In “The Bridge,” David Remnick tells us what Obama means.He shares for the first time the story of a woman Obama lived with and loved in Chicago, in the years before he met Michelle, and whom he asked to marry him.Sheila Miyoshi Jager, now a professor at Oberlin College, is a recurring presence in “Rising Star,” and her pained, drawn-out relationship with Obama informs both his will to rise in politics and the trade-offs he deems necessary to do so. Or, as he confided to very few, including Jager, he would become president of the United States.Every step — whether his foray into community organizing, Harvard Law School, even his choice of whom to love — was not just about living a life but about fulfilling a destiny.It is in the personal realm that Garrow’s account is particularly revealing.So much so that even after Barack met his wife-to-be Michelle, he kept seeing Jager on and off for at least a year, the book claims.Michelle and Barack's (pictured in January) inspiring marriage may have been #relationshipgoals, but a new book claims he kept on seeing his earlier girlfiend for the first year of his relationship with FLOTUSThe couple were very much in love in the mid 1980s when they were living together in Chicago, according to Jager, who described them as being 'an island unto ourselves.'Their relationship quickly progressed and in the winter of 1986, while visiting his girlfriend's parents, Barack popped the question, Jager told Garrow.

According to a new 1,400-page biography, that approach even guided his closest personal relationships.

A review in the Washington Post highlights revelations about the woman Obama asked to marry him before he met Michelle.

That relationship began to fall apart because, according to friends, Obama became concerned a white partner would limit his political future: It is in the personal realm that Garrow’s account is particularly revealing.

Garrow, who received a Pulitzer Prize for his biography of Martin Luther King Jr., concludes this massive new work with a damning verdict on Obama’s determination: “While the crucible of self-creation had produced an ironclad will, the vessel was hollow at its core.” *** By now the broad contours of the Obama story are well known, not least because Obama has repeated them so often. Lofty stuff for a 20-something community organizer who struggled to write fiction on the side.

With Kansas and Kenya in his veins, he carries Indonesia in his memory, Hawaii in his smile, Harvard in his brain and, most of all, Chicago in his soul. Jager, who in “Dreams From My Father” was virtually written out, compressed into a single character along with two prior Obama girlfriends, may have evoked something of Obama’s distant mother, Stanley Ann Dunham.

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