Becoming

Becoming is the memoir of former United States first lady Michelle Obama published in 2018. Described by the author as a deeply personal experience, the book talks about her roots and how she found her voice, as well as her time in the White House, her public health campaign, and her role as a mother. The book is published by Crown and was released in 24 languages. One million copies were donated to First Book, an American nonprofit organization which provides books to children.

It sold more copies than any other book published in the United States in 2018, breaking the record in just 15 days.

The book’s 24 chapters (plus a preface and epilogue) are divided into three sections: Becoming Me, Becoming Us, and Becoming More. The Preface of the book sets the stage for Michelle Obama’s story to open by sketching a scene in her post-First Lady life. Becoming Me traces Obama’s early life growing up on the South Side of Chicago with her parents – Fraser and Marian Robinson – in an upstairs apartment where she got her first piano lessons and learnt to be an independent girl under the nurturing care of her parents. There, Obama shared a bedroom with her brother Craig.

The book continues through her education at Princeton University and Harvard Law School, to her early career as a lawyer at the law firm Sidley Austin, where she met Barack Obama. While this section talks considerably at length about Obama’s Princeton experience and Sidley Austin, Harvard Law school’s experiences are mentioned marginally by comparison. Becoming Us departs from the beginning of the Obamas’ romantic relationship and follows their marriage, and the beginning of his political career in the Illinois State Senate. The book shares Obama’s balance between her position as the first African American First Lady of the United States of America, her motherly duties, and marital commitments. The section ends with election night in 2008 when Barack Obama was elected President of the United States.

Becoming more takes the readers through Barack Obama’s presidency, Michelle Obama’s focus on her Let’s Move campaign, and her role of “head mom in chief” to her two daughters – Malia and Sasha Obama, along with the other aspects of the Obama’s life as first family. The Epilogue talks about the last day of Obamas in the White House which was also Donald Trump’s inauguration ceremony and Michelle Obama’s reflection on Optimism. She also expresses her lack of desire to ever run for office.

  • Author: Michelle Obama
  • Genres: Memoir, Biography, Autobiography
  • Originally published: 13 November 2018
Best Quotes From "Becoming"
  • “Now I think it’s one of the most useless questions an adult can ask a child—What do you want to be when you grow up? As if growing up is finite. As if at some point you become something and that’s the end.”
  • “If you don’t get out there and define yourself, you’ll be quickly and inaccurately defined by others.”“For me, becoming isn’t about arriving somewhere or achieving a certain aim. I see it instead as forward motion, a means of evolving, a way to reach continuously toward a better self. The journey doesn’t end.”
  • “Do we settle for the world as it is, or do we work for the world as it should be?”
  • “Failure is a feeling long before it’s an actual result.”
About The Author:
Michelle Obama

Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama (born January 17, 1964) is an American attorney and author who was the “first lady of the United States” from 2009 to 2017. She is married to the 44th president of the United StatesBarack Obama. She was the first African-American first lady.

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