Barack Obama was the 44th president of the United States, elected in November 2008 and holding office for two terms. He is the recipient of the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize and the New York Times bestselling author of Dreams from My Father, The Audacity of Hope, and A Promised Land. He lives in Washington, D.C., with his wife, Michelle. They have two daughters, Malia and Sasha.
Elected the first black president of the Harvard Law Review, Obama was offered a book contract, but the intellectual journey he planned to recount became instead this poignant, probing memoir of an unusual life. Born in 1961 to a white American woman and a black Kenyan student, Obama was reared in Hawaii by his mother and her parents, his father having left for further study and a return home to Africa. So Obama's not-unhappy youth is nevertheless a lonely voyage to racial identity, tensions in school, struggling with black literature‘with one month-long visit when he was 10 from his commanding father. After college, Obama became a community organizer in Chicago. He slowly found place and purpose among folks of similar hue but different memory, winning enough small victories to commit himself to the work‘he's now a civil rights lawyer there. Before going to law school, he finally visited Kenya; with his father dead, he still confronted obligation and loss, and found wellsprings of love and attachment. Obama leaves some lingering questions‘his mother is virtually absent‘but still has written a resonant book. Photos not seen by PW. Author tour. (June)
"Fluidly, calmly, insightfully, Obama guides us straight to the
intersection of the most serious questions of identity, class, and
-Washington Post Book World
"Beautifully crafted...moving and candid...This book belongs on the shelf beside works like James McBride's The Color of Water and Greg Williams's Life on the Color Line as a tale of living astride America's racial categories."
"Provocative...Persuasively describes the phenomenon of belonging to two different worlds, and thus belonging to neither."
-The New York Times Book Review
"One of the most powerful books of self-discovery I've ever read, all the more so for its illuminating insights into the problems not only of race, class, and color, but of culture and ethnicity. It is also beautifully written, skillfully layered, and paced like a good novel."
"In Dreams from My Father Barack Obama takes us on a probing journey in a search for the truths about family and race. Obama's writing is incisive yet forgiving. This is a book worth savoring."
"Dreams from My Father is an exquisite, sensitive study of this wonderful young author's journey into adulthood, his search for community and his place in it, his quest for an understanding of his roots, and his discovery of the poetry of human life. Perceptive and wise, this book will tell you something about yourself whether you are black or white."
-Marian Wright Edelman