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Democratic nominee Barack Obama fights rumours about his Chicago past

By Sarah Smith

Updated on 18 August 2008

Ahead of next week's Democratic convention, Barack Obama's life is subject to intense scrutiny.

His rhetoric sounds like he is running as an "outsider", not just another politician, almost an anti-politician.

But is the real truth about Barack Obama that he is really an insider and that he has spent years mastering the rules of the political game?

His life and background are now subject to intense scrutiny, in particular his dramatic rise through the politics of Chicago.

Timed for next week's Democrat convention, a new and hostile biography about the man who would be president has hit number one on the New York Times bestseller list.

Meanwhile, rumours about his religion and his past in one of America's most corrupt cities swirl round the internet.

Channel 4 News went to Chicago to trace Obama's story, meeting friends and adversaries, as well as gaining an exclusive peak inside his campaign headquarters.

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