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)
"Provocative . . . Persuasively describes the phenomenon of
belonging to two different worlds, and thus belonging to
--New York Times Book Review
"Fluidly, calmly, insightfully, Obama guides us straight to the intersection of the most serious questions of identity, class, and race."
--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 Gregory Howard Williams's Life on the Color Line as a tale of living astride America's racial categories." --Scott Turow
"Obama's writing is incisive yet forgiving. This is a book worth savoring."
--Alex Kotlowitz, author of There Are No Children Here