HOW DOES SHE DO IT: For many she's the quintessential high-achieving Black woman, the First Lady the world had been waiting for. But author and journalist Peter Slevin has a new dimension to reveal. The Washington Post veteran details his account of the Commander-in-Chic in Michelle Obama: A Life, which publishers Knopf have dubbed the first comprehensive account of the evolution of this formidable achiever and woman of purpose. As the bio unfolds, the author traces Mrs. Obama's roots from the working-class childhood she enjoyed in Chicago's South Side all the way to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. "The many new details," USA Today reports, "combined with a keen sense of the political and social dynamics at work during Mrs. Obama's formative years, makes this book a standout."
LIFE BEYOND MEASURE: Harry Belafonte's journey is already the stuff of legend. How this son of immigrant Jamaican parents parlayed his humble Harlem roots into global-icon status is the focus of Judith E. Smith's new 368-page biography Becoming Belafonte: Black Artist, Public Radical (University of Texas Press). By and large, it's an interpretive study that explores Belafonte the actor-musician, civil rights activist, humanitarian and family man ― spun in the context of class relations, human rights and Black pride. "[Becoming Belafonte] is so engaging," Kirkus Reviews raves, "readers will crave a sequel.