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Michelle Obama opens up in her new memoir 'The Light We Carry'

LEILA FADEL, HOST:

Former First Lady Michelle Obama is opening up in a new memoir. She writes about her daughters dating, the ebb and flow of her marriage and a phrase she didn't know would resonate - when they go low, we go high.

A MARTÍNEZ, HOST:

Michelle Obama declared those now famous words at the 2016 Democratic National Convention. And in a new interview, All Things Considered host Juana Summers asked the former first lady what going high means to her.

MICHELLE OBAMA: Going high doesn't mean sitting on the side of the road and watching injustice go by. Going high is about having a real, concrete strategy for change. It's taking the rage and turning it into reason, you know? I used to play this game with my communications staff before an interview where we would sort of walk through the questions. And there'd be some question that would be what I call a knucklehead question. And I'd practice my gut response because, sometimes, just playing it out loud helps to get it out.

But then, when you put your first gut reaction out there, and then you look at it for a minute and you go, oh, well, that's not even how I really feel. And what's going to be the outcome? If I start with my rage and anger, all I will do is play out my rage and anger. But I won't be able to affect any change. Going high is about the ultimate goal of, where are we trying to go? And what's the best way to get there.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

FADEL: Hear more of the former first lady's interview with Juana about her new book, "The Light We Carry: Overcoming In Uncertain Times," later today on All Things Considered.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.