- Audio CD
- Publisher: Canongate Books; Abridged edition edition (21 Aug. 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9781847673282
- ISBN-13: 978-1847673282
- ASIN: 1847673287
- Product Dimensions: 14.5 x 2.7 x 12.7 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (251 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 230,540 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Dreams From My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance Audio CD – Abridged, Audiobook
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One of the many refreshing things about Barack Obama is his self-deprecating sense of humour. Responding to the unrealistic expectations for his presidency, Obama said 'I've been sent by my father from the planet Krypton to save the Earth.' Unfortunately, the irony of this self-comparison to Superman was probably lost on many of his dedicated followers, who clearly believe that – once in office – he can exercise a few super powers and rid the world of all its thronging ills, economic and otherwise. But as Dreams from My Father proves, Obama is no fool, and knows the cold realities that face him, even though this intelligently written book is filled with optimism and hope. Which is understandable enough; after all, what else could Obama offer?
The politicians who can actually write may be counted on one hand, but on the evidence here, Barack is among their number (he reminds us that William Faulkner said the past is never dead and buried – it isn’t even past; can you imagine Barack's predecessor in the Oval Office quoting Faulkner – unless the allusion was written for him by one of his speechwriters?). In fact the book -- Obama’s remarkable life story – was, of course, written before his destiny was irrevocably changed by his success in the US presidential election, and it is a striking account of a young man coming to terms with the problem of his identity and issues of belonging in a racially divided country (a racial division that Obama – by the very example of his success – may do a considerable amount towards healing). The son of a black African father and a white American mother, Obama details the dramatic journey that constituted his parents’ life before his own trip to Kenya to confront the sobering realties of his father’s life. It is a book about coming to terms with the past – and comparisons with writers such as Proust in such areas are not as ridiculous as they would be if almost any other politician were involved.
Dreams from My Father gives real hope that ‘dumbing down’ – in order to appeal to the lowest common denominator – will not be the hallmark of the Obama presidency. --Barry Forshaw --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
* This may be the best-written memoir ever produced by an American politician. -- Joe Klein Time * A remarkable story, beautifully told. -- Robert McCrum Observer * Whatever else people expect from a politician, it's not usually a beautifully written personal memoir steeped in honesty. Barack Obama has produced one. -- Oona King The Times * Obama's writing is characterised throughout by a graceful eloquence, a generosity of perception and spirit rare in young men of many gifts and charisma ... here is a testimony for the ages. -- Candace Allen IndependentSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
To pick just one episode, as a school-age boy, he met his father for the first time (after some years of separation). Obama was embarrassed by bravado of the Old Man, and just wanted to get along, not stand out, among his childhood peers. Only later did his father's demeanour and behaviour intrigue him to discover more.
Brought forward, Obama recalls a trip that he and his sister Auma made, while in Kenya, to visit their father's youngest child, George:
"From the car, we watched George return to his friends, quickly indistinguishable from the others with round heads and knobby knees who were chasing a scuffed football through the grass. I found myself suddenly remembering then my first meeting with the Old Man, the fear and discomfort that his presence had caused me, forcing me for the first time to consider the mystery of my own life. And I took comfort in the fact that perhaps one day, when he was older, George, too, might want to know who his father had been, and who his brothers and sisters were, and that if he ever came to me I would be there for him, to tell him the story I knew."
Obama could have as easily been talking about his own children. Thus, he comes full circle with his father-son relationship, and is ready for the next generation. Otherwise known as signs of adulthood and maturity.
And that is why I enjoyed Dreams from my Father. Coming-of-age books are good reads, all the better when written with such sincerity. Let us see more of them.
Dreams from my Father by Barack Obama is a surprisingly open and honest account of his life. He discusses how his parents met in a no-name town during a time of great prejudice. He talks about his life as a headstrong young man trying to find his path. He is startlingly candid about his feelings to his father, his desire for a strong bond and the mixed feelings he had towards him. He even talks about drugs, which was very brave considering at the time of writing he was just starting his political career. Obama is clearly an excellent writer as he brilliantly conveys the scenes that he is retelling with his words. If he didn't have such a time-consuming job I would suggest he take up novel writing!
This book is about the American Dream as told through the eyes of one man. It is a story of personal struggle and ambition. With the support and love of his family, Barack Obama opened doors for himself when others told him they were closed. His actions mean that he has inspired the hopes of a demoralised nation, he is living proof that no matter how fanciful, anyone can achieve their dreams.
Returning to the author, it is truly hard to believe that this was written by a politician (although he wasn't at the time of writing). It is such a good read and provides such a thoughtful and open account of Obama's views and experiences, that it is truly breathtaking in this age of political posturing.
Read this to learn more about Obama. Read this to learn more about the divisions of America. Read this to learn about the black experience both in the US and in Kenya. Read this for the beauty of its writing, but above all, read it, you won't be disappointed.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book was exactly what I wanted - very pleased with both deliver and seller (who is very highly recommended).Published 3 days ago by Tessa Bastien
This is both sincere and candid, written before political aspirations took a hold, it explains Barry's young life as a black American with white parents, and an absent black... Read morePublished 6 days ago by Kevin Hallas
Excellent wounderful brilliant ideal fantastic good excited.Published 8 days ago by Sk Retnasingham
The book met my expectations and I will continue shopping on Amazon. I'm so impressed. Keep up the good workPublished 1 month ago by Nana Kwesi Coomson
You might have heard of Mr. Obama before – you know, he’s the president of that country that everyone keeps banging on about. Read morePublished 2 months ago by SocialBookshelves.com
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