Books: Michelle Obama’s biographer enjoyed putting the puzzle of her life together

Editor’s note: This is part of the RoundTable spin-off series about the authors of Evanston.

Peter Slevin, a professor at Northwestern University’s Medel School, is a veteran journalist who has traveled extensively around the country and the world. In addition to teaching for college students, his journalistic career has included stints at three newspapers and a magazine. He has spent more than three decades covering local news, politics and world events.

Slivin’s reporting included stories about the collapse of communism in Central Europe and the Soviet Union, Supreme Court decisions, United States foreign policy, the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and their aftermath, abortion policies and political campaigns.

One of the political campaigns that Slevin followed closely became the impulse and passion to write a book about a particular former first lady in modern American history.

Students and visitors to Sliven’s tidy fourth-floor Medel office will see bookshelves filled with books and periodicals, although the most striking in the room is a large framed poster near the window: Michelle Obama in an orchid floral dress orders center of the poster, a cover replica of Slivin’s biography , Michelle Obama: Life.

Peter Slevin said what struck him most about Michelle Obama was that she “focused on race and class in a way that none of her predecessors, with the possible exception of Eleanor Roosevelt, did. She was determined to use her platform and say the things she had been thinking about for so long.” attributed to him: Judy Chase

After graduating from college from Princeton and Oxford, Slivin’s first job was at an afternoon newspaper in Hollywood, Florida, followed by work at the Miami Herald which included a seven-year stint as a European chief of staff. In 1998, Sliven joined The Washington Post and served as its chief diplomatic correspondent before moving to Chicago to become postmaster for six years. He now enjoys being a contributing writer for The New Yorker while also teaching undergraduate and graduate courses such as Politics, Media and Republic.

“I had just started teaching at Northwestern when I started writing the book on Michelle Obama, and it took about four years from start to finish,” Slevin said. “I was fortunate to be able to draw on my interviews while reporting on the Obama family, Starting in 2006 when they started the 2008 presidential campaign is underway.”

In the tributes at the end of Sliven’s book, he noted that “this book, like the Obama presidency, began in Iowa.” When Michelle Obama traveled across the state and then on to New York, Texas, South Carolina, Indiana and Ohio, she spoke to crowds of people about her husband and his life.

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