Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Obama, Barack "Dreams from My Father"

Obama, Barack "Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance" - 1995

I wanted to read this book for a long long time but that's what it is with books you buy and then you start borrowing more books from the library or get books from friends and your TBR pile gets longer and longer ...

But I finally did and I am happy I read this before a great President leaves his post. Might even be able to start "The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream" before that happens.

I have just been told on Facebook that this book is full of lies but all my research has shown that this is only stated by right wing newspapers. So, if anyone finds a reliable source, I'm happy to leave your comments up here but I will delete any insulting, name-calling posts. This is not a political blog, all I do is talk about the books I read. If you hate Barack Obama, I suggest you stop reading now and come back for the next book I review.

There is one thing to consider when reading this book. This memoir wasn't written by a president. It wasn't even written by a president-hopeful. It was written in 1995, a long time ago. He had just finished his law school and was starting in politics, so I believe he wanted a real book about his inheritence.

Another thing is for sure, Obama is a great author. His words flow of the page, you are there with him. I hope he will write more books in the future, I think we can learn a lot from him. He knows so much about race, politics, and culture in the USA, his experiences will be well worth many many more publishings. I thought it highly interesting to read how it feels to be treated as a "black" person. Personally, as a European, I am always surprised how someone who has one black grandparent or even great-great-grandparent is still considered black. Reminds me too much of the dark times of my country where we divided people into half-Jews, quarter-Jews etc. and none of them were considered human beings. And I think that's behind it, you're only a second class person if you are considered black. So sad.

But putting all that aside, If I hadn't liked him before, I surely would after reading this book. He comes across as a very amiable man, even though he does not hide his flaws and mentions a few times when he was wrong. Of course, this is an autobiography and anyone who writes that would like to be liked by people. But I doubt that he made up things just to be elected president one day. He seems very honest in his writings. And it is a great way to get to know someone better who is in the public all the time and who gets portrayed and trashed by so many different kind of people every day.

I wish him and his family a wonderful future after he will leave the White House. I have nothing but respect for all of them.

From the back cover: "In this lyrical, unsentimental, and compelling memoir, the son of a black African father and a white American mother searches for a workable meaning to his life as a black American. It begins in New York, where Barack Obama learns that his father - a figure he knows more as a myth than as a man - has been killed in a car accident. This sudden death inspires an emotional odyssey - first to a small town in Kansas, from which he retraces the migration of his mother’s family to Hawaii, and then to Kenya, where he meets the African side of his family, confronts the bitter truth of his father’s life, and at last reconciles his divided inheritance."


  1. I read this book in 2005 and like you I found it great. My thoughts after reading were that it would be wonderful to have him as President but I worried that his ideals would not survive the political process. Well, he did become President, one of the few great Presidents we have had in too long. And of course he had to compromise in order to get stuff done, not to mention the mess he inherited from the last guy but he did get quite a bit done. So, by those crazy race rules, we have now had our first Black President. Hopefully next we will have our first female President.

    1. I totally agree with you. And I read her book ages ago, too. ;)

      Anyway, yes, he achieved a lot given what he inherited fromt he guy before and the obstacles thrown in his way. Just imagine how much he could have achieved if he'd had a Democratic house.

      As I said, I have always admired him and still do. I wish you and your country all the best!

      Have a good weekend,