‘We’re Finding The Light With Her’: NYT’s Gushing Review Of Michelle Obama’s New Self-Help Book

‘We’re Finding The Light With Her’: NYT’s Gushing Review Of Michelle Obama’s New Self-Help Book

On Tuesday, The New York Times ran a gushing book review of Michelle Obama’s new self-help book that claimed readers were “lucky” to take the journey with her.

Judith Newman, who writes the Help Desk column for the New York Times Book Review, began her paean to Michelle Obama, “It’s not easy being Michelle Obama. Fabulous, yes. Easy, no.”

After calling Obama a “world-class worrier,” Newman continues, “it is perhaps no surprise that Obama’s road map for uncertain times resonates in ways that other self-help books do not.”

“I want to hear from Michelle Obama, who doesn’t always like the way she looks, who felt like an outsider after becoming the ultimate insider; the one who easily becomes lonely; the striver who has spent a lifetime dogged by the question: Am I good enough?” Newman enthuses. “The person who sweats. Because this person does not blithely claim to have the answers. She is on a journey. Through her stories, experiences and thoughts, we’re finding the light with her. Lucky us.”

“I hate to use the word ‘relatable,’” Newman protests, then declaims, “But the woman is relatable.”

Newman then laments of the difficulty Michelle Obama faced in making friends as First Lady:

Although we are unlikely to face the problem of trying to acquire new kindred spirits while surrounded by the Secret Service, and most of us don’t have to worry that casual venting over nonsense will end up splashed across social media, the very act of trying to make new friends — the awkwardness, the profound desire to find people we can trust — that is very relatable. Who was the last first lady you could say that about?

Newman takes a gratuitous shot at the Trump administration: “(You think it was painful for you to see a reckless crew in the White House? Try being the Obamas, knowing as you toss them the keys that so much of what you had worked for was about to be shredded like a cheap dog toy.)”

In the book, Michelle Obama mocks those who offer thoughts and prayers after tragedies when she writes about her comment at the 2016 Democratic National Convention “When they go low, we go high.” Obama writes, “What does it really mean to go high? It seems possible that I might spend years trying to answer this question.”

“What does it mean when, as a nation, we suffer punches to the gut year after year — Charleston, Charlottesville, white supremacy, mass shooting, and the knee-jerk ‘thoughts and prayers’ that followed?” Newman asks.

Newman concludes, “And we just had a midterm election where the lows of big lies, fake outrage and charlatanism were (mostly) rejected by the electorate. As a country, we’re enjoying this moment — let’s hope it’s more than a moment — of ‘going high.’ That’s a light we can all carry.”

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