The Skimmer

The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama

The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama By Gwen Ifill Doubleday; 277 pages

Gwen Ifill's book about the rising generation of African-American politicians caused a mini-tempest even before the presses rolled. Critics questioned whether the PBS journalist chosen to moderate the vice-presidential debate could do so impartially, given the book's theme. In her introduction, she dismisses charges that The Breakthrough is a "piece of pro-Obama puffery"--although it might have been better to use a photo on the back cover different from one of Ifill looking adoringly at Obama during an interview. Ifill has interviewed virtually every African-American politician...