Former first lady Michelle Obama writes about her accomplished life and her marriage to former President Barack Obama in her new memoir, but early attention likely will focus on some heavy criticism of the man who succeeded him, President Donald Trump.
In her much-anticipated memoir, “Becoming,” Obama says she reacted in shock to Trump’s 2016 election and tried to “block it all out.”
“Becoming” will be released Tuesday, but the Associated Press purchased an early copy. The former first lady will kick off a 10-city book tour the day of the memoir’s release, opening in her hometown of Chicago at the United Center in an event moderated by Oprah Winfrey.
Obama specifically rips Trump for his behavior toward women. She denounces him over the infamous 2005 “Access Hollywood” tape, which was released weeks before the 2016 election, in which he bragged about sexually assaulting women.
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She also criticizes him for his debate behavior toward 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. She refers to Trump trying to “stalk” Clinton by following her around the stage and “trying to diminish her presence,” the AP says.
Obama infers Trump’s message, which she conveys in darkened print: “I can hurt you and get away with it.”
The book covers many other topics. In an early news release, the publisher said the widely admired former first lady, who has not commented extensively on her White House years, would use “unerring honesty and lively wit” as it explored matters “both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it – in her own words and on her own terms. … ‘Becoming’ is the deeply personal reckoning of a woman of soul and substance who has steadily defied expectations – and whose story inspires us to do the same.”
According to the AP, Obama writes about racist commentary that’s been aimed at her and her marriage to Barack, including early struggles in her marriage as his political career required him to be away.
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The couple met with a counselor a handful of times, she writes, with her understanding she was more “in charge of her happiness than she had realized. “This was my pivot point,” Obama explains. “My moment of self-arrest.”
After Chicago, the tour, scheduled for large arenas, will move to Los Angeles, Washington, Boston, Philadelphia, New York, Detroit, Denver, San Francisco and Dallas. Guests at other stops include Reese Witherspoon and Sarah Jessica Parker and Obama and Live Nation are donating 10 percent of tickets to local charities, schools and community groups so some fans can attend for free.
“Becoming” is the product of a joint memoir deal entered into by Michelle and Barack Obama in 2017 with publishing giant Penguin Random House. It’s reportedly worth more than $60 million. Barack Obama’s book is expected next year and the Obamas have said they will donate a significant amount to charity, including the Obama Foundation.
In May, the high-powered couple also agreed to a deal with Netflix to produce TV series and films.
When Obama revealed the book jacket on Instagram in May, she included a message: “I’m thrilled to share with all of you the cover for BECOMING. The process of writing this book has been so personally meaningful and illuminating for me. As I prepare to share BECOMING this fall, I hope you’ll also think about your own story, and trust that it will help you become whoever you aspire to be. Your story is what you have, what you will always have. It is something to own.”
Contributing: The Associated Press
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