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Obama’s official White House photographer is bringing the ‘Shade’ to NC

This photo of President Barack Obama, taken by former White House photographer Pete Souza, is on the cover of “Shade: A Tale of Two Presidents,” his upcoming book that compiles photographic commentary about the current White House.
This photo of President Barack Obama, taken by former White House photographer Pete Souza, is on the cover of “Shade: A Tale of Two Presidents,” his upcoming book that compiles photographic commentary about the current White House.

This story originally was published July 13, 2018.

President Obama’s official White House photographer Pete Souza is coming to Chapel Hill to sign copies of “Shade: A Tale of Two Presidents,” his new book that uses photos to critique the current administration.

He will be at Flyleaf Books Oct. 26 at 6 p.m. The ticketed event — a book signing only — requires buying the book in advance. Books, which serve as tickets, are limited, but on Wednesday, the bookstore said books are available.

Souza was the official White House photographer for Presidents Reagan and Obama. He’s best-known for his tenure with the latter, which yielded up the 2017 best-seller “Obama: An Intimate Portrait.” It was drawn from the 1.9 million photos he took of Obama during his eight years in office.

Since Trump was elected, Souza doesn’t hide his feelings about his actions, regularly posting photos of Obama on Instagram comparing and contrasting his behavior with that of Trump. The snarky, not-so-subtly critical captions — also known as throwing shade — often are juxtaposed with the current events of President Trump’s day.

An old photo of Obama with Prime Minister Theresa May has the caption: “Back when Prime Minister Theresa May respected a U.S. President. And vice-versa.”

Another photo of Obama reading the newspaper is captioned: “Back when we had a President who read a newspaper and didn’t call it fake news even when he was criticized.”

In a May 23 Instagram post announcing “Shade,” Souza wrote that the book is his expression of concern over “the future of our democracy.”

“We have a president who clearly does not understand democracy and the rule of law,” Souza wrote, lamenting Trump’s “reality game show” tendencies with “ratings and wins” as the goal.

I’m thrilled to announce that my new book, “SHADE: A Tale of Two Presidents” will be published in October by Little, Brown. Like many of you, I have been distressed by the barrage of lies and hateful comments emanating from the current administration on a daily basis. We have a president who clearly does not understand democracy and the rule of law. To him, a critical news story is fake news, and our intelligence agencies are all corrupt. His presidency has become a reality game show, with his primal need to achieve ratings and wins–for himself. He does not respect women, minorities and immigrants. I have worked for two presidents in my life–one Republican (Reagan) and one Democrat (Obama). I spent almost every day with President Obama during his two terms, watching how hard he worked on behalf of all Americans. He was–and still is–someone who respected people from all walks of life. He made decisions based on facts. He respected democracy and the rule of law. Unlike his successor, he respected the office of the presidency. Since President Obama left office, I have been posting photographs and captions here that juxtapose his presidency with the current one. I do this not as a partisan hack, but as an American citizen concerned about the future of our democracy because of our current president. My commentary on Instagram has been subtle, sometimes humorous, and certainly more respectful than his commentary on Twitter. Through my photographs and commentary, SHADE will vividly show where we are as a country contrasted with where we were. To read more about the book, click on: bit.ly/souzashade (link also in my profile). We are still working on the cover and I will post that once it is finalized. Stay tuned!

A post shared by Pete Souza (@petesouza) on



Flyleaf Books is at 752 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Chapel Hill. For information, go to flyleafbooks.com or call 919-942-7373.

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