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Dreams from My Father by Barack Obama

Dreams from My Father (original 2004; edition 2008)

by Barack Obama

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5,985None697 (3.96)193
Title:Dreams from My Father
Authors:Barack Obama
Info:Canongate Books Ltd (2008), Paperback, 464 pages
Collections:Finished Reading

Work details

Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance by Barack Obama (2004)

2009 (35) Africa (72) African American (120) African Americans (39) America (49) American (32) audiobook (34) autobiography (398) Barack Obama (169) biography (499) Chicago (50) family (36) Hawaii (50) history (69) Indonesia (36) Kenya (83) memoir (574) non-fiction (479) Obama (131) own (37) politics (362) president (44) Presidents (47) race (174) race relations (48) racism (44) read (58) to-read (94) unread (44) USA (128)
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» See also 193 mentions

English (146)  Norwegian (2)  Dutch (2)  French (2)  German (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (154)
Showing 1-5 of 146 (next | show all)
This is Barack's story of his early life and actually of his learning about his heritage--both from his Kansas-born mother and his Kenyan-born father. He relates things he learns along the way from his mother, his step-father, his maternal grandparents, and others. The story he relates is told with candor and compassion and is both interesting and illuminating.

I listened to this as an audiobook. The book is narrated by Barack himself and he does a nice job on the various voices in the text. ( )
  bibliostuff | Mar 20, 2014 |
read by the author. Won a Grammy award. ( )
  njcur | Feb 19, 2014 |
(review copied from original reading dated 2011-05)
Obama's first autobiography, written at age 34, revised 10 years later. The rating is for the writing, which is deservedly praised, but only as a novice work.

Substance: At least as good a memoir as can be expected from a man his age (34) and education. Student-era philosophical ruminations are par for the genre, but he does reveal his core state of unconnected reserve and confusion about principles and identity. Preaches tolerance, rejection of stereotypes, and national community, but then undercuts his own words almost immediately.
Style: Evocative descriptive passages especially in Kenya, and ok on character pictures, but detached from any real animation or passion. The pages-long story of his grandfather and father's families could not possibly have been remembered verbatim so long after his trip, and must have been written out later with additional assistance from family.

Too bad this writer got mislaid on his way to the Presidency. ( )
  librisissimo | Dec 3, 2013 |
I really didn't like this book. His writing style works well for speeches, but in a long work like this, well,the narrative thread is just weak. There's areas where I felt like he was using other people's experiences and words to stand in for him actually having to describe his own feelings and positions. All in all, I had to force myself to finish it. ( )
  marti.booker | Dec 2, 2013 |
Growing up in a world where your skin tone determined who you were as a person Barack Obama tells the story of his life growing up and the ups and downs this world brought him and his family.

Barack Obama did not lead a life like any other child. His father left when he was young and then he was sent to live with his grandparents. He lived with his grandparents in Hawaii and went to school there until he moved back in with his mother. Shortly after that his mother got remarried to a Kenyan man and she along with Barack moved to Kenya. They only lived in Kenya for a couple years but while living there Barack made a strong bond with his stepfather which was never broken, even after his stepfather and mother got divorced. After that they moved back to America and Barack moved on in school. But he got involved in drugs, after a while he realized they weren't worth it and he quit. He grew up and tried to change things. He tried to get asbestos removed from people with low income's apartments, he tried to help others.

I give this book 1 star out of a possible 5. It had a good storyline and was inspiring but it was hard to really get into the book. It seemed to drone on forever, always taking the long way around things. I would reccomend this book to anyone who wants to read an inspiring, but long book. But this book just wasn't for me. ( )
  br14masa | Nov 8, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 146 (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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:51:33 -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 10 descriptions

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

See editions

Canongate Books

Four editions of this book were published by Canongate Books.

Editions: 1847670911, 1847670946, 1847674380, 1847673287

Penguin Australia

Two editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 1921351438, 1921520620

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