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Barack Obama's intimate memoir of his personal life

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Gorgeous writing from an amazing individual

  • Jun 4, 2009
  • by
I will admit that I hadn't heard of the author until his big speech and have obviously followed his career thus far. He is a wonderful speaker and make people want to listen to him. Gorgeous and amazing. I wasn't sure what to expect from his writing, but I was hoping it would be good.

This far surpassed my hopes. His writing is gorgeous, it has a certain flow to it that makes you want to slow down and really follow what he is saying and why. And his story is one worthy of being told. Not only do we learn about his early life and his start into the political arena, we also get to watch him go on this pilgrimage of self-discovery.

Throughout the book I did ask myself "what about his mom and grandparents?" He seemed to gloss over some of that. It seems that they worked hard to give him what they did. I lived in Hawaii myself for several years and I know how hard it is to live there. His family seemed decidedly middle class. I was disappointed to not hear more about those people in his life. He did talk about it a good bit, but I wanted to hear a little more.

Because of this, the title can be a puzzler, but for me, I think he was chasing those dreams. As someone who had only met his father for a brief period of time, he had his own ideas of who his father was, perhaps dreamed about what it would be like to be with him. I felt his going to see his family was more about trying to learn how much of that was his own dreams and how much was built in reality.

The trip itself was interesting. I was intrigued that he didn't seem to hold back about his family and was honest about the good and the bad.

Read this, no matter what your political leanings are, (this was written over a decade ago) you will probably enjoy this if you are into memoirs or tales of self-discovery - or if you want to be mesmerized by the beautiful prose.

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More Dreams from My Father: A Story... reviews
review by . July 21, 2009
 Barack Obama's auobiography, which starts at birth and ends before he enters law school, reads like a good novel and is filled with interesting characters.     There's "Gramps," the white grandfather who tells Hawaiian tourists that the young Barack is the descendent of a king. There's "Toot," the white grandmother who lets Barack watch the last five minutes of "How the Grinch Stole Christmas," despite dire warnings from his dad. There's …
review by . November 15, 2008
I am impressed by Obama's ability to analyze himself. In "Dreams from my Father," he readily points out his adolescent flaws, frustrations, and misunderstandings in a way no sitting politician ever could. Historians should be very grateful that he wrote this before he ran for elected office. I cannot think of another memoir by a politician that seemed so unfiltered and human.    By the way, Obama is a beautiful writer. His sentences are smooth and at times lyrical. I look forward …
review by . June 29, 2008
...which I read before anyone began to take Obama's chances of being nominated for president seriously. Still, it had the tenor of a campaign biography -- careful, modest, strategic, and yes, evasive at times. The most any campaign biography ever provides is a sense of the subject's priorities; in other words, you won't find many clues to Obama's specific positions on world issues in the account of his childhood. You will, however, get a feeling of the man, and you will discover an American who …
review by . May 22, 2008
Barack Obama must be the only person on the planet with a background like this: son of a free-spirited young woman who married a black student from Kenya while living in Hawaii with her parents, her father a World War II veteran seeking his fortune as a salesman and her mother a career woman who did not want to be called "Grandma." The family had come to Hawaii because Gramps (he didn't mind being called that) asked for a transfer when he learned the furniture company he worked for was opening a …
review by . April 26, 2005
Told from his earliest remembrance to his entrance to law school, Illinois Senator Barack Obama chronicles his coming-of-age story in Dreams of My Father. He lived under the shadow of a man for whom he was named but did not know; a man bigger than life and a man he did not meet until he was ten years old.    That "Barry" struggled with his identity was no small wonder. He was the product of white mother and an African father living with white grandparents in Hawaii. As a teen …
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Candy Beauchamp ()
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I'm the owner of OffAssist, a virtual bookkeeping company. I like what I do, most of the time ;) - My husband and I got married in '93, we have 2 kids born in 2000 and 2003. I truly love my life. … more
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About this book


Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance is a memoir by President of the United States Barack Obama. It was first published in 1995 after Obama was elected the first African-American president of the Harvard Law Review, but before his political career began. The book was re-released in 2004 following Obama's keynote address at the 2004 Democratic National Convention (DNC); the 2004 edition includes a new introduction by Obama, then a Senator-elect, as well as his DNC keynote address.

The autobiographical narrative tells the story of the life of Obama up to his entry in Harvard Law School. He was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, to Barack Obama, Sr. of Kenya, and Ann Dunham of Wichita, Kansas, both students at that time at the East-West Center of the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Obama's parents separated when he was two years old and divorced in 1964. Obama formed an image of his absent father from stories told by his mother and her parents. He saw his father only one more time, in 1971, when Obama Sr. came to Hawaii for a month's visit. The elder Obama died in a car accident in 1982.

After her divorce, Ann Dunham married Lolo Soetoro, an East-West Center student from Indonesia. The family moved to Jakarta. When Obama was ten, he returned to Hawaii under the care of his grandparents (and later his mother) for the better educational opportunities available there. He was enrolled in the fifth grade at Punahou School, a private college-preparatory school. ...

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ISBN-10: 1400082773
ISBN-13: 978-1400082773
Author: Barack Obama
Genre: Non-fiction, Biographies & Memoirs
Publisher: Three Rivers Press
Date Published: August 10, 2004
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