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A Promised Land (2020)

by Barack Obama

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
4,1031262,786 (4.3)1 / 214
Biography & Autobiography. History. Politics. Nonfiction. HTML:A riveting, deeply personal account of history in the making‚??from the president who inspired us to believe in the power of democracy

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER ‚?Ę NAACP IMAGE AWARD NOMINEE ‚?Ę NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The Washington Post ‚?Ę Jennifer Szalai, The New York Times ‚?Ę NPR ‚?Ę The Guardian ‚?Ę Marie Claire

 
In the stirring, highly anticipated first volume of his presidential memoirs, Barack Obama tells the story of his improbable odyssey from young man searching for his identity to leader of the free world, describing in strikingly personal detail both his political education and the landmark moments of the first term of his historic presidency‚??a time of dramatic transformation and turmoil.

Obama takes readers on a compelling journey from his earliest political aspirations to the pivotal Iowa caucus victory that demonstrated the power of grassroots activism to the watershed night of November 4, 2008, when he was elected 44th president of the United States, becoming the first African American to hold the nation‚??s highest office.

Reflecting on the presidency, he offers a unique and thoughtful exploration of both the awesome reach and the limits of presidential power, as well as singular insights into the dynamics of U.S. partisan politics and international diplomacy. Obama brings readers inside the Oval Office and the White House Situation Room, and to Moscow, Cairo, Beijing, and points beyond. We are privy to his thoughts as he assembles his cabinet, wrestles with a global financial crisis, takes the measure of Vladimir Putin, overcomes seemingly insurmountable odds to secure passage of the Affordable Care Act, clashes with generals about U.S. strategy in Afghanistan, tackles Wall Street reform, responds to the devastating Deepwater Horizon blowout, and authorizes Operation Neptune‚??s Spear, which leads to the death of Osama bin Laden.

A Promised Land is extraordinarily intimate and introspective‚??the story of one man‚??s bet with history, the faith of a community organizer tested on the world stage. Obama is candid about the balancing act of running for office as a Black American, bearing the expectations of a generation buoyed by messages of ‚??hope and change,‚?Ě and meeting the moral challenges of high-stakes decision-making. He is frank about the forces that opposed him at home and abroad, open about how living in the White House affected his wife and daughters, and unafraid to reveal self-doubt and disappointment. Yet he never wavers from his belief that inside the great, ongoing American experiment, progress is always possible.

This beautifully written and powerful book captures Barack Obama‚??s conviction that democracy is not a gift from on high but something founded on empathy and common
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» See also 214 mentions

English (119)  German (2)  French (1)  Italian (1)  Piratical (1)  Spanish (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  All languages (126)
Showing 1-5 of 119 (next | show all)
I still remember being excited the night he was elected and I don’t particularly follow politics. It looked like the dawn of a New Age. I believe he’s the best president the states has had in generations. It was horrible how economics and the Republican strategy of being willing to lose everything in order to prevent somebody else from winning prevented Obama from making the real changes he was voted in to do. ( )
  BBrookes | Nov 15, 2023 |
More like 3.5 stars. Some really important stuff in here but politics and history just aren't my thing and my attention wandered quite a bit. ( )
  Fatula | Sep 28, 2023 |
Was an okay book. Interesting, but not really special or particularly personal. Maybe too much media exposure of the life and times of an American President had already given us too many details. So glad he narrated the audio version himself. That adds a lot. ( )
  tackyj | Aug 3, 2023 |
A reasonably engaging audiobook (despite its length) that tells the journey of Barak Obama to president and an insight to his thoughts along the way and while in the role. There is a large focus on the grueling campaign trail. Being read by Barak definitely contributed to this book being so appealing. It is however a very long book and some portions did feel to drag on a bit. 3.75/5 ( )
  gianouts | Jul 5, 2023 |
A devastating economic environment, a politically divided nation that less than a decade before was united, and then there was everything else going on in the world; what a way to start off a very different presidential administration. A Promised Land is the first volume of Barack Obama’s memoir that covers his life leading up to the presidency to the death of Osama bin Laden in May 2011.

An important thing to begin this review is that throughout the book this felt like it was from Obama‚Äôs voice and not a ghostwriter. This is important because since Obama details his life up to the presidency followed by his first two and a half years in office, the authenticity is needed especially as he explains his decision making once in office and his impressions of the individuals he interacted with. Frankly while I knew a lot of what happened during Obama‚Äôs administration because I paid attention to the news, I read this more for the ‚Äúinside‚ÄĚ details that he could provide and wasn‚Äôt disappointed. How Obama approached each major legislation or event of the first half of his first term was something I appreciated as he tackled it whole before moving out but was able to reference those events later to give context as the book progressed, the separate but interconnectedness was better than trying to blend everything together and hope the reader kept everything straight.

A Promised Land is a well-written look into a recent American presidential administration by the man who led it. Barack Obama’s voice comes across clearly throughout thus giving the reader great insight into events and background on how things went. ( )
  mattries37315 | Jun 29, 2023 |
Showing 1-5 of 119 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Obama, BarackAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Karvonen, KyöstiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Obama, BarackNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Raudaskoski, SeppoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rekiaro, IlkkaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
O, fly and never tire,

Fly and never tire,

Fly and never tire,

There's a great camp meeting in the Promised Land.

------------from an african american spiritual
Don't discount our powers;

We have made a pass

At the infinite.

-------------Robert Frost, "Kitty Hawk"
Dedication
To Michelle---my love and life's partner
and
Malia and Sasha-----whose dazzling light makes everything brighter
First words
[Preface] I began writing this book shortly after the end of my presidency--after Michelle and I had boarded Air Force One for the last time and traveled west for a long-deferred break.
Of all the rooms and halls and landmarks that make up the White House and its grounds, it was the West Colonnade that I loved best.
Quotations
For war was contradiction, as was the history of America.
Looking back, I sometimes ponder the age-old question of how much difference the particular characteristics of individual leaders make in the sweep of history---whether those of us who rise to power are mere conduits for the deep, relentless currents of the times or whether we're at least partly the authors of what's to come.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Biography & Autobiography. History. Politics. Nonfiction. HTML:A riveting, deeply personal account of history in the making‚??from the president who inspired us to believe in the power of democracy

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER ‚?Ę NAACP IMAGE AWARD NOMINEE ‚?Ę NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The Washington Post ‚?Ę Jennifer Szalai, The New York Times ‚?Ę NPR ‚?Ę The Guardian ‚?Ę Marie Claire

 
In the stirring, highly anticipated first volume of his presidential memoirs, Barack Obama tells the story of his improbable odyssey from young man searching for his identity to leader of the free world, describing in strikingly personal detail both his political education and the landmark moments of the first term of his historic presidency‚??a time of dramatic transformation and turmoil.

Obama takes readers on a compelling journey from his earliest political aspirations to the pivotal Iowa caucus victory that demonstrated the power of grassroots activism to the watershed night of November 4, 2008, when he was elected 44th president of the United States, becoming the first African American to hold the nation‚??s highest office.

Reflecting on the presidency, he offers a unique and thoughtful exploration of both the awesome reach and the limits of presidential power, as well as singular insights into the dynamics of U.S. partisan politics and international diplomacy. Obama brings readers inside the Oval Office and the White House Situation Room, and to Moscow, Cairo, Beijing, and points beyond. We are privy to his thoughts as he assembles his cabinet, wrestles with a global financial crisis, takes the measure of Vladimir Putin, overcomes seemingly insurmountable odds to secure passage of the Affordable Care Act, clashes with generals about U.S. strategy in Afghanistan, tackles Wall Street reform, responds to the devastating Deepwater Horizon blowout, and authorizes Operation Neptune‚??s Spear, which leads to the death of Osama bin Laden.

A Promised Land is extraordinarily intimate and introspective‚??the story of one man‚??s bet with history, the faith of a community organizer tested on the world stage. Obama is candid about the balancing act of running for office as a Black American, bearing the expectations of a generation buoyed by messages of ‚??hope and change,‚?Ě and meeting the moral challenges of high-stakes decision-making. He is frank about the forces that opposed him at home and abroad, open about how living in the White House affected his wife and daughters, and unafraid to reveal self-doubt and disappointment. Yet he never wavers from his belief that inside the great, ongoing American experiment, progress is always possible.

This beautifully written and powerful book captures Barack Obama‚??s conviction that democracy is not a gift from on high but something founded on empathy and common

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