In 1991, Jewish journalist Ethan Michaeli was hired by The Chicago Defender, the newspaper of the Windy City’s black community. Michaeli worked as an investigative reporter through 1996, and has now written a history of the influential weekly, The Defender: How the Legendary Black Newspaper Changed America (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt). Michaeli’s hefty tome, written in a lucid and engaging style, begins with a look at one Chicago politician’s relationship with The Defender. Illlinois state legislator Barack Obama sought the newspaper’s endorsement in his first failed run for a congressional seat. He didn’t get the paper’s nod; but, of course, he went on to greater heights. — M.S.
(American Jewish World, 2.26.16)