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Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and…

Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance (edition 2008)

by Barack Obama

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6,554170579 (3.94)208
Title:Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance
Authors:Barack Obama
Info:Canongate Books Ltd (2008), Paperback, 464 pages
Collections:Read in 2012
Tags:non-fiction, memoir, America, Africa, race, Mount TBR, swapped, November

Work details

Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance by Barack Obama

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» See also 208 mentions

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Showing 1-5 of 161 (next | show all)
Great book with shades of Langston Hughes and Richard Wright. Great dialogue at times and he probably could have been a successful novelist. At times he is a bit too introspective, like Wright, and he pours his heart out about his and the black man's place in the universe which got a bit cringey. Though I am sure he grew out of a lot of that. Some of the writing is beautiful like the Africa section with lovely characters and descriptions. ( )
  Gary_Power | Jul 10, 2016 |
I feel as though I am much closer to my President, having read his thoughts...
  JulsLane | Jun 15, 2016 |
The desire to find family who are a myth even when you have a loving present family is nothing new. It is an inexplicable pull that sets in motion many interesting adventures and new relationships. ( )
  GeneHunter | Mar 13, 2016 |
I greatly enjoyed Dreams from My Father. It seemed to be a surprisingly honest and thoughtful account of Obama's early years (basically until just after he finished law school), recounting his search for his own identity within race and family. ( )
  Booklover889 | Feb 25, 2016 |
Narrated by President Barack Obama. I enjoyed this book more than "Audacity of Hope" which to me was just the presidential campaign all over again. This was much more personal: he describes his life growing up in Hawaii and Indonesia, his college years, the community iorganizing in Chicago, and significantly, his trip to Kenya to meet his father's people. Through his retrospective he tries to gain an understanding of his various identities: as a man of color, as a black man who didn't really understand what being black in America meant, as a boy growing up without a father. Entertaining highlight: Obama imitates the Kenyan accent. Bonus material: his speech at the 2004 Democrat convention. ( )
  Salsabrarian | Feb 2, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 161 (next | show all)
All men live in the shadow of their fathers -- the more distant the father, the deeper the shadow. Barack Obama describes his confrontation with this shadow in his provocative autobiography, "Dreams From My Father," and he also persuasively describes the phenomenon of belonging to two different worlds, and thus belonging to neither.
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"For we are strangers before them, and sojourners, as were all our fathers. I Chronicles 29:15.
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A few months after my twenty-first birthday, a stranger called to give me the news.
They are NOT my people.

(No quotation marks.)

Pg. 47

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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0307383415, Hardcover)

Nine years before the Senate campaign that made him one of the most influential and compelling voices in American politics, Barack Obama published this lyrical, unsentimental, and powerfully affecting memoir, which became a #1 New York Times bestseller when it was reissued in 2004. Dreams from My Father tells the story of Obama’s struggle to understand the forces that shaped him as the son of a black African father and white American mother—a struggle that takes him from the American heartland to the ancestral home of his great-aunt in the tiny African village of Alego.

Obama opens his story in New York, where he hears that his father—a figure he knows more as a myth than as a man—has died in a car accident. The news triggers a chain of memories as Barack retraces his family’s unusual history: the migration of his mother’s family from small-town Kansas to the Hawaiian islands; the love that develops between his mother and a promising young Kenyan student, a love nurtured by youthful innocence and the integrationist spirit of the early sixties; his father’s departure from Hawaii when Barack was two, as the realities of race and power reassert themselves; and Barack’s own awakening to the fears and doubts that exist not just between the larger black and white worlds but within himself.

Propelled by a desire to understand both the forces that shaped him and his father’s legacy, Barack moves to Chicago to work as a community organizer. There, against the backdrop of tumultuous political and racial conflict, he works to turn back the mounting despair of the inner city. His story becomes one with those of the people he works with as he learns about the value of community, the necessity of healing old wounds, and the possibility of faith in the midst of adversity.

Barack’s journey comes full circle in Kenya, where he finally meets the African side of his family and confronts the bitter truth of his father’s life. Traveling through a country racked by brutal poverty and tribal conflict, but whose people are sustained by a spirit of endurance and hope, Barack discovers that he is inescapably bound to brothers and sisters living an ocean away—and that by embracing their common struggles he can finally reconcile his divided inheritance.

A searching meditation on the meaning of identity in America, Dreams from My Father might be the most revealing portrait we have of a major American leader—a man who is playing, and will play, an increasingly prominent role in healing a fractious and fragmented nation.

Pictured in lefthand photograph on cover: Habiba Akumu Hussein and Barack Obama, Sr. (President Obama's paternal grandmother and his father as a young boy). Pictured in righthand photograph on cover: Stanley Dunham and Ann Dunham (President Obama's maternal grandfather and his mother as a young girl).

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:49 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

The son of an African father and white American mother discusses his childhood in Hawaii, his struggle to find his identity as an African American, and his life accomplishments.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 11 descriptions

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3 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

See editions

Canongate Books

4 editions of this book were published by Canongate Books.

Editions: 1847670911, 1847670946, 1847674380, 1847673287

Penguin Australia

3 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 1921351438, 1921520620, 1921520515

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