I recently finished reading Obama: From Promise to Power, a biography of Barack Obama written by veteran Chicago Tribune journalist David Mendell. Mendell has covered the president-elect since late 2003 when Obama’s U.S. Senate campaign began. In this book, first published in August 2007, Mendell chronicles Obama’s career leading up to when Obama announced his presidential bid outside the Old State Capitol in Springfield, Illinois, in February 2007. Mendell also includes pertinent information about Obama’s personal life, but generally doesn’t expound upon what Obama himself had already written in his two books.

I bought this book on a whim the day after Obama was elected the 44th president of the United States. I spotted it in the literary aisle of my local grocery store, read an excerpt and decided to buy it so I could learn more about Obama. That was a good decision. Mendell clearly researched his subject matter extensively, talking to numerous people within Obama’s inner circle to create a well-written, balanced biography of the man who inspired the national electorate like nobody else has since Ronald Reagan.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn more about Obama without having the information filtered through a pro- or anti-Obama lens.