Academic journal article American Studies

THE ICONIC OBAMA, 2007-2009: Essays on Media Representations of the Candidate and New President

Academic journal article American Studies

THE ICONIC OBAMA, 2007-2009: Essays on Media Representations of the Candidate and New President

Article excerpt

THE ICONIC OBAMA, 2007-2009: Essays on Media Representations of the Candidate and New President. Edited by Nicholas A. Yanes and Derrais Carter. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company, Inc. 2012.

Since Barack Obama's 2008 presidential victory, media pundits, social commentators and academics have eagerly weighed in on the significance of our first black president. Obama's political victories, rhetorical strategies, racial identity, and often shifting stances on important contemporary issues have been the subject of numerous books and essays. The Iconic Obama, 2007-2009: Essays on Media Representations of the Candidate and New President contributes to this growing body of what we might call Obama studies. The president's complex personal history and sophisticated media representations, both those he has sought to manage and those he has been subject to, demand rigorous forms of interdisciplinary analysis.

The editors of this collection have gathered essays from a broad range of specialists which elucidate how, as they explain, "Barack Obama's campaign and transition into the American presidency created a space in which activists, politicians, fans, and artists converged, using Obama's image to represent their respective ideologies" (1). Contributors explore the various ways in which Obama's image has been utilized for a wide range of political ends, affirming one of the most important aspects of our president's media legacy: his remarkable malleability. This point is emphasized in the collection's first section, which focuses on Obama as a brand and summarizes his impressive rise. While much of this account retreads familiar territory, the five other sections offer fresh insights into Obama's image in popular culture, both in the United States and abroad. …

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