"The phenomenon that is Barack Obama has intrigued us all. Who is Barack Obama? The editors of LIFE have gone a very long way toward helping us all answer this question. Senator Obama's singularly American life has been characterized by tragedy and triumph, drama and despair, anxiety and anticipation, and, ultimately, enormous excitement and the deepest historical significance. In this book, Obama's tale is told in all of its dimensions, from the mistakes he has made and the obstacles he has confronted and overcome, to his moments of almost sublime and glorious transcendence. With spectacular photographs--funny, surprising,exceptional in detail--combined with a highly readable narrative, Obama's biography comes to life, from his youth in Hawaii to his roots in Africa, from Harvard to Chicago and, eventually, to his life as a public servant in Washington. Who is Barack Obama? Read these compelling words and study these exceptionally candid and beautiful photographs and discover the answer for yourself."—Henry Louis Gates, Jr.