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on 23 April 2017
Finished this book just before Donald Trump's election, talk about chalk and cheese, what a fantasic, humble, decent guy Barack seems to be.I loved reading about his family life and how it formed his personality.
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on 25 July 2009
If this book is a reflection of Barack Obama's personality, then it is no wonder that he ran his presidential campaign with courage, poise and with a keen sense of the public mood. I was truly impressed with his personal story, his sound intellectual foundation, which seems to be partly genetic (both his father and mother had Ph.D's), and his calm - almost too calm - approach to the problems that dogged him in his youth.

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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on 16 September 2017
This is a fantastic read . In Barack's own words this book recounts his childhood growing up and his links with his extended African family. Well worth reading if you are interested in America's ex president.
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on 7 January 2017
This is a brilliant book about Barack before the politics. He has a fascinating story. Well worth a read.
Well done.
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on 20 February 2017
Truly shows the humanity of the most powerful man in the world. Well worth the read, thoroughly enjoyable good read
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on 10 May 2017
This is a mostinteresting read, great insight into his family background particularly on his father's side. I would recommend reading
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on 25 May 2017
I really enjoyed reading this on my way to work - interesting learning about Barack Obama's formative years.
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on 31 July 2017
It reads as a very honest account of Obama's attitudes and experiences of being a black man in the US. It is very readable and informative, giving me a new perspective on him and the US.
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on 24 November 2016
gift for a friend - she loves it
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on 22 July 2017
good
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