“His first line in the history books was written the day he won office as the first African-American president, but he was determined tooffer more than simply a new complexion in the Oval Office.”

 So writes Peter Baker, Chief White House Correspondent for The New York Times, about the 44th president of the United States. In this vivid and in-depth illustrated account of Barack Obama’s years in
office, Baker chronicles a period of great hope, tumult, accomplishment and, yes, failure. His is the story of a young president who took on the worst financial disaster since the Great Depression, forged a controversial health care program, watched anxiously in the Situation Room after approving the raid that killed Osama bin Laden and endured mid-term election defeats. In a presidency buffeted by one crisis after another, he struggled with the Syrian civil war, a Russian invasion of its neighbor, the rise of the Islamic State, and, at home, often violent racial strife and a recalcitrant Congress.

Inspiring in a crowded stadium yet diffident behind the scenes, Obama was a master politician who loathed politics. To many, he was an enigma, often seen through the lens of the observer – a liberal zealot to the right, an overeager compromiser to the left. “I am like a Rorschach test,” he once noted. But he was the dominant figure of his age. After eight eventful years, he would never be the same – and neither would his country.

PETER BAKER is the Chief White House Correspondent for The New York Times and covered President Obama’s tenure from its inception. Previously he covered the White House for The Washington Post during the presidencies of Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. He is the author of three other books, including Days of Fire: Bush and Cheney in the White House, which was named one of the five Best Non-Fiction Books of 2013 by The New York Times Book Review.  He has won the Gerald R. Ford Prize for Distinguished Coverage of the Presidency twice, the Aldo Beckman Memorial Award for White House Reporting twice and the Merriman Smith Award. He lives in Washington with his wife, Susan Glasser, and their son, Theo.


"Peter Baker's Obama: The Call of History is a masterfully written and stunningly illustrated remembrance of our forty-fourth president. Baker has emerged as the go-to journalist and sage on recent U.S. presidential events. Obama is a full-bore testimonial to Baker's graceful prose style, judicious reporting, and sterling history-minded analysis. Highly recommended!"

(Douglas Brinkley author of Rightful Heritage: Franklin Delano Roosevelt and the Land of America)

"This is an elegant and evocative look back at the Obama years as history, combining narrative and commentary by Peter Baker, one of our most astute observers of the modern presidency, with striking, well-chosen photographs and other illustrations."

(Michael Beschloss, Presidential Historian)

"With his unique gifts as a diligent journalist and a first-rate historian, Peter Baker has given us a compelling first look at a consequential presidency—an eight-year reign that will be studied forever. And here is where we will all start that conversation: with Baker's graceful and insightful account of Barack Obama's victories, defeats, and evolving legacy."

(Jon Meacham, author of Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush)

"Peter Baker’s Obama is a coffee-table book, chock-a-block with stunning photos, that rises above its genre thanks to the quality of the author’s reporting and analysis."

(Joe Klein Foreign Affairs)

"This is the best book about President Obama I’ve ever read – it’s totally objective but beautifully written and filled with new little nuggets that even I, who covered the administration from start to finish, never knew."

(Mary Hager Executive Producer, Face the Nation)


10 x 12.1

320 pages

Published: 6/27/2017