What was Barack “Barry” Obama like when he was a young student trying to chart out his future and reconcile his multiracial background?
The accounts of Obama’s youth chronicled by two of his former girlfriends have illuminated his reserved demeanor, detailing what author David Maraniss termed as the “guardedness” of a young man searching for place in the world and trying to come to grips with his identity.
In his new biography of the president, Maraniss publishes love letters, thoughts and journal entries from Alex McNear and Genevieve Cook, who both happened upon the president-to-be when he was in the midst of his Ivy League education years in the 1980s. It was a time when he went by the name “Barry,” when the world knew of Pacman, long hair, jheri curls and MTV videos. Excerpts from the biography were published in Vanity Fair and offer a new glimpse into the president’s years after graduating from Columbia University.
Take a peek at the thoughts Barry Obama’s former girlfriends, through the eyes of author Maraniss, starting with McNear: