Obama in Europe: Background information when reading This Is How It Ends

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This Is How It Ends

A Novel

by Kathleen MacMahon

This Is How It Ends
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  • Published:
    Aug 2012, 352 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Norah Piehl

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Beyond the Book:
Obama in Europe

"Poor old Sarkozy," Addie remarks at one point in This Is How It Ends. "Poor Angela Merkel. They all seem so dowdy now, by comparison. It's like we all went to the movies in the middle of the afternoon and spent two hours swooning over George Clooney. Then we came home and found the husband sitting on the couch with his beer belly." She's referring to Barack Obama, of course. MacMahon's novel is set during and shortly after the 2008 U.S. presidential campaign, and one of the interesting juxtapositions she creates is that within a population increasingly skeptical of Americanization (from economic crises to excess litigation to the horrors of a chilled Guinness) they are still enamored of candidate Obama and all he represents.

Obama with a Guinness Four years after Obama's first presidential campaign, it's easy to forget just how much of a sensation he made during his first tour of Northern Europe (Britain, France and Germany) in July 2008. Europeans scrutinized the opinion polls as carefully as ...

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