Great New Yorker article on Obama's Chicago roots.
Here is an excerpt:
As Saul Bellow once remarked, “Politics are politics, crime is crime, but in Chicago they occasionally overlap. The line between virtue and vice meanders madly—effective government on one side, connections on the other.”There were further changes under way in Chicago. Obama had won his first campaign by using old-fashioned Chicago machine tactics at a time when the notion of machine politics was increasingly anachronistic.