Four and a half INCISIVE Stars. This is a solidly researched book that is not the unflattering "tell all" that some have expected. Far from it, from the standpoint of the First Lady, it shows her as a strong, talented, loving, caring First Lady. It also succeeds in presenting President Obama, his family, staff and anyone else involved at a 'down to earth' level of assessment, not from a lofty perch of historical adoration. And while New York Times Correspondent/author Jodi Kantor 'pulls no punches' in giving an in-depth assessment of the First Couple and their personal and political environment from many viewpoints based on 'inside information', there is nothing here that can be viewed as embarrassing or unexpected and is actually flattering. Even the infamous Rahm Emanuel staff tirade 'pales' when put into the true chronological perspective of events in the book, and what happened next was a real surprise. The author assesses the give and take between the president and the first lady in both personal and public aspects, and with their staff: in the early years, and before, during, and after the presidential election. This book is also a cornucopia of very revealing facts and an enormous amount of information. Even the kids make a positive appearance ("Malia's Great Escape"). An important point made by the author is that Michelle, from the beginning in Chicago politics, was deeply involved in Barack's work and the staff knew she was taking note of their effectiveness. She went from the role of 'arbiter' in the Illinois elections to 'taskmaster' in the presidential race. The book also points out how hard the political races and political life was/is on Obama family life, a fact acknowledged by President Obama, but shows how they overcame all of the challenges. We get the origin of Obama's 2004 Democratic convention keynote speech, the unique 'window view' that many first ladies have used to watch over their husband's activities, and the Chicago involvement of familiar names: Valerie Jarrett, Robert Gibbs, Rahm Emanuel, et al.- "their friends had become their staff", stressing their relationships. Then there is the one staff selection that ended one of Obama's oldest friendships. Michelle's parents, Marian and Fraser Robinson, have a back story that is both warm and heart-tugging. And we learn of the complexity of White House operations; the difficulty of deploying to Chicago for visits; the complex role of Valerie Jarrett; how Rahm Emanuel stumbled into the Obama-vacated Illinois Senate seat 'mashup' that landed the governor in hot water; Emanuel's tension-filled relationship with many, and not only one but two First Ladies; the real place where the President does his detailed work; why the East Wing was referred to as "Guam"; and more background on the plan to get Osama bin Laden. The 'bubble within a bubble' family and friends alliances that help the first family cope with time 'off-duty' shows how much presidents and their families are isolated from the rest of us when it comes to day-to-day living, except when the touring public is unknowingly footsteps away from White House VIPs; even when they want to get out into the public, it becomes a pain for the Secret Service and an accommodation for the public. And there is much more, like Obama actually saying the 'situational' words: "I'm a Blue Dog at heart". This is a valuable book full of facts, general information, and a lot of interesting minutiae, some of which appears to have never been revealed before. This book does NOT deserve the unfavorable pre-publication negative hype over a couple of passing, inconsequential incidents that got blown way out of proportion. The final beautifully-written scene of a happy President and First Lady enjoying themselves at his birthday gala is the perfect ending. Highly Recommended. Four and a half INFORMATIVE Stars! (368 pages, with many photographs) (This review is based on a Kindle download in Mac and text-to-speech modes).