Barack Obama Letters From 1980s Will Soon Be Made Available At Emory University

The nine letters written and sent by Ex-President Obama

Have you ever wondered what Ex-President Barack Obama was like when he was younger, Emory University has obtained letters to his then-girlfriend that could tell us more about his youth — and they will be available to the public later in this week?

The nine letters were written and sent by Ex-President Obama to his then-girlfriend Alexandra McNear were obtained by Emory’s Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives and Rare Book Library, where students or visitors can read them in person by appointment when they become available on Friday.

Rosemary Magee, the director of the Rose Library, described them to our report as “very lyrical letters.”

“They reflect the search of a meeting of a young man trying to find his place in the world and a sense of identity,” she reported during a phone interview. “He has aspirations but he also has deep longings in trying to understand the world and himself. They are particularly appropriate for a college campus.”

Obama wrote the letters during 1982 to 1984 when transferring during college from California’s Occidental College to Columbia University in New York City.

He continued to send letters to McNear even after their relationship appeared turned into more of a friendship when he obtained a job at Business International.

The letters, written in cursive on lined or blank paper in black ink, detail his day-to-day of maturing and transitioning, Magee said. He often crossed words out within the text.

In one letter, he writes, according to Emory: “School. What intelligent observations can I glean from the first two weeks? I pass through the labyrinths, corridors, see familiar faces, select and discard classes and activities, fluctuate between unquenchable curiosity and heavy, inert boredom.”

Later, he writes: “I trust you know that I miss you, that my concern for you is as wide as the air, my confidence in you as deep as the sea, my love rich and plentiful.”

He signed that particular letter, “Love, Barack.”

Magee described them as “intimate letters, but in a very philosophical way.”

“(He was experiencing) a search for meaning and purpose,” she said. “He was sharing what people go through different moments in their lives.”

She added that the letters are particularly great for their university because much of what Obama writes in the letter is what student go through themselves and can relate.

“He was the age of our college students” when he started writing the letters, she said. “When you’re that age, you don’t know how your life is going to unfold for you. And he didn’t.

23 Comments on “Barack Obama Letters From 1980s Will Soon Be Made Available At Emory University”

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  2. President Donald Trump, who once called China an “economy enemy” whose trade relationship with the United States amounted to “rape,” put forth a notably softer stance when visiting the country on Thursday.

    “I don’t blame China” for trade imbalances, Trump said during a joint signing of new business deals worth $250 billion with Chinese President Xi Jinping. “After all, who can blame a country for being able to take advantage of another country for the benefit of its citizens? I give China great credit.”

    Trump instead blamed his predecessors “for allowing this out-of-control trade deficit to take place and grow.”

    Calling Xi a “very special man,” Trump described their relationship as “very warm” and having “great chemistry.” The Chinese leader, who is more powerful than ever, did not offer the same level of effusive praise.

    “Of course there are some frictions, but on the basis of win-win cooperation and fair competition, we hope we can solve all these issues in a frank and consultative way,” Xi said.

    Later on Thursday, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson did some damage control during his own Beijing news conference, telling reporters that Trump’s remarks were “a little bit tongue in cheek.” He emphasized Trump’s point that the blame lies with past administrations, who left the door open for China ― a “developing” nation ― to trample over the U.S.

    Trump said the new business deals with American companies such as Boeing, General Electric and chip giant Qualcomm would be “fair and tremendous for both of us.”

    Trump’s approach to dealing with China has been full of surprises from the start. After repeatedly attacking the country during his campaign, vowing to rebalance the trade deficit, he hosted Xi at his Mar-A-Lago resort in April. It was then that Trump began to scale back his rhetoric, expressing his personal affinity for Xi and outlining a strategy for dealing with North Korea ― which placed China front and center. China, he’s said, holds the key to de-escalating tensions with the rogue regime.

    Trump is about halfway through a 12-day visit to Asia, where the focus has so far been on the North Korean nuclear threat. His next stop is Vietnam, where he will attend an economic conference, followed by the Philippines, where he will meet with strongman president Rodrigo Duterte.

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