When Valerie Jarrett interviewed a promising young lawyer named Michelle Robinson in July 1991, neither knew that it was the first step on a path that would end in the White House. Jarrett joined the White House team on January 20, 2009 as the Obamas' personal adviser and departed with the First Family on January 20, 2017. In Finding my voice, She shares her optimistic perspective on the importance of leadership and the responsibilities of citizenship in the twenty-first century, inspiring readers to lift their own voices.
"History may not give Jarrett all the credit she deserves. When pressed, most might identify her simply as First Friend, based on her long-standing relationship with both Michelle and Barack Obama. And while true, that's a pejorative that fails to address the numerous professional accomplishments that preceded her association with the Obamas. Stanford-educated and holding a law degree from the University of Michigan, Jarrett gave up her career track at Chicago white-shoe law firms to enter public service, working with Mayors Harold Washington and Richard M. Daley to manage key city agencies. Jarrett's quiet determination, unparalleled work ethic, and deep commitment to a city rich with family roots won her respect at a time when, as a newly divorced single mother, she needed it most. Revisiting her illustrious career, from inner-city Chicago to the White House and beyond, Jarrett reveals the life-changing events that, though perilous at the time, enabled her to become a virtuoso corporate and philanthropic leader, and a valued presidential adviser.--Carol Haggas Copyright 2019 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review:
"In this insightful political insider memoir, Jarrett, a former senior adviser to President Barack Obama, tells of her career in the government. Raised in a prominent black family in 1960s Chicago, Jarrett graduated from Stanford and the University of Michigan Law School, and returned home to work in private practice. Realizing that public service was her calling, Jarrett took a job in the office of Mayor Harold Washington ("the chance to work with incredibly talented public servants gave me a purpose and satisfaction I'd never felt before"). As Mayor Richard Daley's deputy chief of staff in 1989, Jarrett hired Michelle Robinson, fiancée of Barack Obama, and the three forged a close-knit friendship; Jarrett later agreed to chair Obama's Senate race finance committee and to be an advisor for his presidential bid. After Obama's election, she became his senior adviser and writes proudly about how satisfying it was to have been part of an administration that addressed such issues as health care and passed a bill to allow "openly gay men and women in the military." Along the way, she includes such memorable moments as when a speechless Michael Jordan learned he would be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Jarrett movingly captures life as a public servant in this detailed, well-told memoir (Apr.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."