The Making of Barack Obama

By David J Garrow 

William Morrow

1,460 pages; $45

“Rising Star,” the voluminous 1,460-page biography of Barack Obama by David J. Garrow, is a dreary slog of a read: a bloated, tedious and — given its highly intemperate epilogue — ill-considered book that is in desperate need of editing, and way more exhausting than exhaustive.

Many of the more revealing moments in this volume will be familiar to readers of Mr Obama’s own memoir, Dreams From My Father; a host of earlier books about Obama …