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Barack Obama

His unusual background and his ability to use it to articulate a hopeful version of the American dream have turned Barack Obama into a political star. But is the US ready for its first black president?

By James Crabtree   March 2007

On a cold December day in Manchester, New Hampshire, 1,500 Democrats are packed into a hall for an event that would normally attract a fraction of that number. They have come to see America’s new political sensation—Senator Barack Obama. The next day another 700 (and more than 100 journalists) flock to a signing event for his new book. William Shaheen, a prominent local Democrat, says: “Some of it is infatuation.” He is right.

As yet, Barack Obama has only taken the first step to a presidential run by establishing an exploratory committee. He is…

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