Barack Obama is arguably the most dynamic political figure to grace the American stage since John F. Kennedy. His meteoric rise from promise to power has stunned even the cynics and inspired a legion of devout followers. For anyone who wants to know more about the man who would be president, David Mendell's Obama is essential reading. Mendell, who has covered Obama for the Chicago Tribune since the beginning of Obama's campaign for the Senate, had far-reaching access to the senator, the details of which he shares in this compelling biography. Positioning Obama as the savior of a fumbling Democratic party, Mendell shows how Obama conquered Illinois politics and paved the way brick by brick for a galvanizing, historic presidential run. With exclusive contributions by family members and advisers, and details on Obama's voting record, this is a complete, complex, and revealing portrait, a must read for anyone interested in American politics in general and Senator Barack Obama in particular.