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A Game of Character by Craig Robinson

In A Game of Character by Craig Robinson, we get a glimpse into Barack Obama’s life, but what we get in quantity is a look into the life of the author and how his upbringing by his parents molded him into the man of character he is today. It matters now, when all his said and done, that his sister is the wife of the President of the United States. What matters is that she was also molded into the woman she is today by those same parents.

From comes the following review that I want to share since it sums everything up so well. “The news might have set off alarms in some past administrations: The president’s brother-in-law has written a book. But you won’t find dirty laundry in A Game of Character, the memoir from first lady Michelle Obama’s brother, Oregon State basketball coach Craig Robinson. Robinson writes that he and his parents didn’t think Barack Obama stood much of a chance with his sister when they  met him. They were on their porch on a summer night in Chicago when the couple stopped by on their way to a movie.

‘Well, he’s tall,’ Marian Robinson said while Obama was out of earshot.

‘Not a bad-looking guy either,’ said her husband, Fraser. But even though the suitor struck the Robinsons as a self-possessed man with a nice smile and firm handshake, they figured he wasn’t a keeper. ‘Too bad,’ Marian said. ‘Yep,’ answered Fraser. ‘She’ll eat him alive.’

Craig Robinson, 47, less than two years older than Michelle, was close to his only sibling. .In childhood, they shared a bedroom separated by a divider. Miche, as he calls her, was a disciplined girl who saved money, who learned to box at their father’s behest, and who once conspired with him, upset that their parents smoked, to destroy every cigarette in the house.

Fraser Robinson’s long struggle with multiple sclerosis is treated with compassion by his son, who writes that both parents urged him to excel and quotes his mother: ‘Knowledge acquired is something no one can take away from you.’

The book is sprinkled with life lessons on how this brother and sister excelled and how Robinson, when confronted with challenge–including a rocky start at Princeton University and a first marriage that ended in divorce–picked himself up.

But amid homespun stories of the family’s humble roots and Robinson’s climb to a college-level coaching career, people hungering for more inside information about Barack and Michelle Obama may be a bit disappointed.”

As there are countless books about Barack and Michelle, I was happy that Robinson wrote his memoir without leaning heavily on that particular family connection. It is, after all, his strength of charactger and commitment that makes him the man he is, the son, coach, father, and husband he is–not his existence as first brother-in-law. When his brother-in-law and sister no longer reside in the White House, Robinson will continue to be the strong man of self that he is today.

If you are looking for a book to life your spirits about man’s possibilities, this is the one to check out.



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