Dad, husband, President, citizen.

History will rightly remember today’s violence at the Capitol, incited by a sitting president who has continued to baselessly lie about the outcome of a lawful election, as a moment of great dishonor and shame for our nation. But we’d be kidding ourselves if we treated it as a total surprise.

For two months now, a political party and its accompanying media ecosystem has too often been unwilling to tell their followers the truth — that this was not a particularly close election and that President-Elect Biden will be inaugurated on January 20. Their fantasy narrative has spiraled further and further from reality, and it builds upon years of sown resentments. …

As 2020 comes to a close, I wanted to share my annual lists of favorites. I’ll start by sharing my favorite books this year, deliberately omitting what I think is a pretty good book — A Promised Land — by a certain 44th president. I hope you enjoy reading these as much as I did.

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  • Homeland Elegies — Ayad Akhtar
  • Jack — Marilynne Robinson
  • Caste — Isabel Wilkerson
  • The Splendid and the Vile — Erik Larson
  • Luster — Raven Leilani
  • How Much Of These Hills Is Gold — C Pam Zhang
  • Long Bright River — Liz Moore
  • Memorial Drive — Natasha…

Our choices reflect and determine who we are.

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Photos by Pete Souza

One of the first things I discovered as President of the United States was that no decision that landed on my desk had an easy, tidy answer. The black-and-white questions never made it to me — somebody else on my staff would have already answered them. And while few decisions in life are as complex as the ones you face in the Oval Office, I did walk away from my eight years as president with some thoughts on how to approach tough questions.

In March of 2009, just a couple of months into my presidency, the economy was in freefall. Unemployment was up to 8.5 percent, on its way to ten percent. 800,000 Americans lost their jobs that month, families across the country were losing their homes, a tanking stock market was depleting their 401ks, and a difficult credit market was making it hard for small business owners to take out the loans they needed. To turn around any of this required stabilizing the financial system, and to do that, I had settled on what was the least bad of three lousy options — subjecting the 19 largest banks to “stress tests” to see whether they had the capital to survive an even worse economy. …

I wrote my book for young people — as an invitation to bring about, through hard work, determination, and a big dose of imagination, an America that finally aligns with all that is best in us.

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Pete Souza

The Atlantic is pleased to offer, below, an adapted and updated excerpt from former President Barack Obama’s new memoir, A Promised Land, which will be published on Tuesday by Crown. The Atlantic’s editor in chief, Jeffrey Goldberg, sat down with President Obama to conduct the first interview for publication that he has given about the writing of his book, his time in office, and his analysis of the current political moment. The extensive interview is published here. …

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I could not be prouder to congratulate our next President, Joe Biden, and our next First Lady, Jill Biden.

I also couldn’t be prouder to congratulate Kamala Harris and Doug Emhoff for Kamala’s groundbreaking election as our next Vice President.

In this election, under circumstances never experienced, Americans turned out in numbers never seen. And once every vote is counted, President-Elect Biden and Vice President-Elect Harris will have won a historic and decisive victory.

We’re fortunate that Joe’s got what it takes to be President and already carries himself that way. Because when he walks into the White House in January, he’ll face a series of extraordinary challenges no incoming President ever has — a raging pandemic, an unequal economy and justice system, a democracy at risk, and a climate in peril. …

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I’m proud to endorse these outstanding Democratic candidates who will work to get the virus under control, rebuild the economy and the middle class, and protect Americans’ health care and preexisting conditions protections from Republican assault. They’re dedicated to shoring up and strengthening our democracy, a project that’s going to take time and require all of us — but it begins by electing Democrats right now. So give these candidates your vote — and vote early if you can, either by mail or in person.


Alyse Galvin, U.S. House, (AK-AL)


Mark Kelly, U.S. Senate

Tom O’Halleran, U.S. House, (AZ-01)

Hiral Tipirneni, U.S. House…

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Sixty years ago, Ruth Bader Ginsburg applied to be a Supreme Court clerk. She’d studied at two of our finest law schools and had ringing recommendations. But because she was a woman, she was rejected. Ten years later, she sent her first brief to the Supreme Court — which led it to strike down a state law based on gender discrimination for the first time. …

My remarks at the 2020 Democratic National Convention

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Photo by Pete Souza

Good evening, everybody. As you’ve seen by now, this isn’t a normal convention. It’s not a normal time. So tonight, I want to talk as plainly as I can about the stakes in this election. Because what we do these next 76 days will echo through generations to come.

I’m in Philadelphia, where our Constitution was drafted and signed. It wasn’t a perfect document. It allowed for the inhumanity of slavery and failed to guarantee women — and even men who didn’t own property — the right to participate in the political process. But embedded in this document was a North Star that would guide future generations; a system of representative government — a democracy — through which we could better realize our highest ideals. Through civil war and bitter struggles, we improved this Constitution to include the voices of those who’d once been left out. …

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I’m proud to endorse this diverse and hopeful collection of thoughtful, empathetic, and highly qualified Democrats. Together, these candidates will help us redeem our country’s promise by sticking up for working class people, restoring fairness and opportunity to our system, and fighting for the good of all Americans — not just those at the top. They make me optimistic not just about our party’s chances in November, but about our country’s future long after that. So if you’re in one of their districts or states, make sure you vote for them this fall. …

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Photo: Robert Elfstrom/Villon Films /Getty Images

James wrote to the believers, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing.”

It is a great honor to be back in Ebenezer Baptist Church, in the pulpit of its greatest pastor, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., …

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