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Barack Obama: Dreams from My Father (A Story of Race and Inheritance) Paperback – 5 Jun 2008
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"An American classic, written with grace and precision" (Observer)
"Thoughtful, moving and brilliantly written" (The Times)
"A man with a phenomenal life story" (Spectator)
"Extraordinary . . . It's unique. It's his. There are no other ones like that" (TONI MORRISON)
"A bestseller because of its freshness and honesty" (CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS Sunday Times)
"A well-written account of Obama's struggle to establish his own views on identity and race, and all the more entertaining for its honesty" (Financial Times 2007-11-03)
"The only politician's life I have read that made me cry . . . elegant and surprising prose as well as a solid personal statement" (IAN KELLY The Times 2008-07-03)
"[Obama] writes with candour about racism, bigotry and hardship, but always there is a sense of wisdom - you feel you are in the presence of a very mature man . . . You will not fail to be moved by Obama's warmth and humility" (Good Book Guide 2008-05-01)
"With its honesty and cool language, and by virtue of having a story worth telling, the book impresses far more than the typical political memoir" (COLIN WATERS Sunday Herald 2008-06-01)
"Obama has written a memoir . . . that evokes the anguish of miscegenation yet culminates in a cry of faith in human community . . . Obama is a born narrator, with a mastery of colour, scene and personality, deftly stirring them into the melting pot of a shared American identity. Rarely has that identity found so vivid a portraitist" (SIMON JENKINS Sunday Times 2008-06-15) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Obama's writing is characterised throughout by a graceful eloquence...here is a testimony for the ages. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product description
Top customer reviews
Everyone knows Barack Obama's story by now, so I am not going to rehash it in this review. What Dreams of My Father reveals, however, is Barack Obama's struggle for identity in a country that is obsessed with race and identity. The principal influences on his life seem to have been his mother, his Indonesian step-father, his maternal grandparents and his absentee father.
Dreams of My Father is a very personal story of how Barack Obama struggles to hew out meaning from his multiple racial and cultural heritages. As a boy living in Indonesia, he seemed to soak in the sights and sounds of this tropical 'paradise'. However, it was clear to him that all was not well in 'paradise. He was impressed by his step-father's hard-headedness as he climbed up the ladder of achievement in Indonesia. As a teenager living in the United States, he never seemed to fit in; he was always on the outside looking in - not quite white, and yet, not quite black. He seemed to have made a conscious effort to identify himself as a Black Man without falling for the crass stereotypes that this identify entails.
The book ends with his 'homecoming' to Kenya to meet his father's extended family after his father's depth. Unlike many African-Americans for whom Africa is just an idea - of ancient kingdoms, warrior clans and proud histories, which serve as an anchor for their sense of dislocation in America, Obama's experience in Kenya served to heal an open wound: not knowing who his father was. His 'homecoming' seemed to have helped him close the loop on a troubled Odyssey in search of identity.
Dreams of My Father is a refreshing, 'unputdownable' read. I loved every page of the book. Obama tells the story of his life with honesty, fluency and pathos. He does an excellent job of expressing his original sense of dislocation, which is inextricably linked to the African American experience, and his subsequent journey to find his place within American society. There is no anger, no recrimination, no political-correctness; this is just the story of a man who, like Simba in Disney's Lion King, finally takes in place in the circle of life.
As an African, I salute Barack Obama and the possibility that he embodies; Dreams of My Father has challenged me, more than any other autobiography that I have read. It deserves my 4 stars.
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