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A Promised Land by Barack Obama

A Promised Land (original 2020; edition 2020)

by Barack Obama (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
2,307975,115 (4.36)1 / 143
Title:A Promised Land
Authors:Barack Obama (Author)
Info:Crown (2020), 768 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

A Promised Land by Barack Obama (Author) (2020)

  1. 00
    Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War by Robert M. Gates (Cecrow)
  2. 00
    Becoming by Michelle Obama (Cecrow)
  3. 11
    The Untold History of the United States by Oliver Stone (PlaidStallion)
    PlaidStallion: He is humble, describing himself as ‘a skinny kid with a funny name who believes that America has a place for him, too.’

      Pearlstein wondered, “Whose Side Is Obama On?” The question became more poignant as the 2012 elections approached. Anger over the economy had boiled over. Occupy Wall Street and allied protesters gathered in towns and cities across the nation in a grassroots uprising of a sort not seen since the 1930s. Obama walked a fine line, trying to signal both the anti-Wall Street protesters and the Wall Street tycoons, whom the protesters reviled, that he was with them. In June 2011, the New York Times reported that Obama had offended Wall Street’s high rollers by calling them “‘fat cats’ and criticizing their bonuses” and by having the audacity to propose any curbs at all on their rapaciousness. Now, according to the Times, Obama and his top aides, looking for Wall Street backing in his reelection bid, were trying to salve the bankers’ wounded feelings. Franklin Roosevelt had compared ungrateful capitalists to the drowning old man who berates his rescuer for not saving his hat; Obama came before them, hat in hand, and begged forgiveness. Unlike Roosevelt, who had made enemies of Wall Street financiers by implementing large-scale government job creation and sweeping regulatory reform, Obama not only privileged those Wall Street insiders over the working masses, he apologized for having hurt their feelings.

      Obama also paid debts to other corporate donors. Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz noted, “When pharmaceutical companies receive a trillion-dollar gift—through legislation prohibiting the government, the largest buyer of drugs, from bargaining over price—it should not come as cause for wonder. It should not make jaws drop that a tax bill cannot emerge from Congress unless big tax cuts are put in place for the wealthy. Given the power of the top 1 percent, this is the way you would expect the system to work.” Stiglitz cited the response from banker Charles Keating, who was brought low by the 1980s savings and loan crisis. When asked by a congressional committee whether the $1.5 million he had contributed to elected officials could buy influence, he answered, “I certainly hope so.” The Supreme Court decision in the 2010 Citizens United case, which removed limits on corporate campaign spending, ensured that the influence of corporate and banking interests would mushroom.
    … (more)

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» See also 143 mentions

English (90)  German (2)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Spanish (1)  Piratical (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (96)
Showing 1-5 of 90 (next | show all)
Overall, I am so glad to have read this book, this first person record of Obama's first term presidency. There is no doubt that the author was at times overly verbose, which resulted in a few sections being head nodders. However, it was fascinating and enlightening to gain insight into the thinking behind some high profile decisions that were made, the neverending transactions involved in passing a controversial bill, and above all, the burden of being the person on whose desk, and in whose heart and mind, the buck stops. I appreciated what felt like openness around the neverending juggling of moral imperative and political survival. The details around the raid in Pakistan on Osama bin Laden were so very interesting. Of course, the anecdotes about Michelle and the girls, and what sounded like genuine ache felt by Obama at all he missed due to the demands of his office, were heartwarming. Reading this book is a commitment. I strongly recommend the audio version, read by the author. ( )
  hemlokgang | Sep 29, 2021 |
history listened to by the maker - I learned more listening to this than by any other method during the administration - when one combines it w Michelle's Becoming it illustrates a love story that any young person could aspire to experience ( )
  Overgaard | Sep 21, 2021 |
Wonderful to read a president who can think in full sentences without insulting others. The stress of the presidency and the agenda he tried to fulfill during his first term are covered extensively. I especially enjoyed Obama's take on the Tea Party/Palin/Trump/Mitchell camp. Looking forward to the next installment! ( )
  mojomomma | Sep 5, 2021 |
Very political for me, but it was interesting to hear some of his stories. ( )
  jhavens12 | Sep 1, 2021 |
What a project! The audiobook is 29 hours long, and I found my mind wondering every now and then but since I really like Obama's voice and could listen to him read a dictionary, this was an enjoyable "read". I particularly liked the beginning and the early years, and the descriptions of the family's attempts for normalcy during the presidential years. I find it amazing how detailed his memories are when I find it difficult to remember what I did last week, but maybe he keeps a diary :D ( )
  Iira | Aug 29, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 90 (next | show all)

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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Obama, BarackAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Obama, BarackNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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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"
To Michelle---my love and life's partner
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.
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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