Emory University Acquires a Collection of Letters Written by Barack Obama in His 20s

The Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives and Rare Book Library at Emory University in Atlanta has acquired a series of letters written by Barack Obama. Many of the letters were written while he was a student at Columbia University in New York. The letters were written to Alexandra McNear, the future president’s girlfriend at the time, during the 1982-to-1984 time span.

Rosemary Magee, director of the Rose Library, stated the letters “reveal the search of a young man for meaning and identity. While intimate in a philosophical way, they reflect primarily a college student coming to terms with himself and others.”

Andra Gillespie, associate professor of political science at Emory University, added that “what is very striking about the letters is how they show President Obama’s intellectual development. You can see how intellectually curious he is, even in his early 20s.”


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