Rachel L. Swarns has been a reporter for the New York Times since 1995, reporting on domestic policy, the presidential campaigns of 2004 and 2008, the First Lady, and the modern American family. She has also worked for the New York Times in Russia, Cuba, and South Africa, where she served as the Johannesburg bureau chief. She lives in Washington, D.C.
"Riveting. . . . A microcosm of this country's story. . . . The real-life saga of struggle, survival, triumph and tragedy serves as an uplifting companion to Alex Haley's Roots."--USA Today
"The First Family becomes ever more fascinating--and ever more representative of the nation as a whole--in Rachel Swarns's terrific investigation into the roots of Michelle Obama. . . . This is a most compelling read and more evidence for our interconnectedness as a people."--Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Harvard University professor and host and executive producer of PBS's Finding Your Roots
"A grand, important book that shows how American bloodlines are rarely wholly black or purely white, neither one race nor another. Nowhere is that more true than in American Tapestry, an eloquent history of the First Lady's family."--James McBride, author of the New York Times bestseller The Color of Water
"Rachel Swarns has not only excavated, with painstaking care, the family tree that is Michelle Obama's, but, with great insight and beautiful prose, has revealed the complex, eye-opening, and disconcerting experiences that are America. This is a work of impressive historical imagination and deep cultural significance."--Steven Hahn, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of A Nation under Our Feet
"Illuminating. . . . Unforgettable in its sweep and movingly told, American Tapestry has the power to reshape our understanding of the phrase 'descended from slaves.'"--Janny Scott, author of A Singular Woman: The Untold Story of Barack Obama's Mother
"In this tour de force of biological sleuthing, Rachel L. Swarns explodes simplistic notions of life and love in the Old South.. . . . Swarns has bestowed upon all Americans a revelatory understanding of our shared racial heritage."--Fergus M. Bordewich, author of Bound for Canaan
"A completely fascinating look at the complex ancestry of one family, African Americans, and all Americans."--Booklist (starred review)