Dreams From My Father

Dreams From My Father

A Story of Race and Inheritance

Book - 2004
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In this lyrical, unsentimental, and compelling memoir, the son of a black African father and a white American mother searches for a workable meaning to his life as a black American. It begins in New York, where Barack Obama learns that his father--a figure he knows more as a myth than as a man--has been killed in a car accident. This sudden death inspires an emotional odyssey--first to a small town in Kansas, from which he retraces the migration of his mother's family to Hawaii, and then to Kenya, where he meets the African side of his family, confronts the bitter truth of his father's life, and at last reconciles his divided inheritance.


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).
Publisher: New York : Three Rivers Press, c2004.
Edition: Revised edition
ISBN: 9781400082773
1400082773
Branch Call Number: 973.0405 OBAMA B 2004
Characteristics: xvii, 442 pages ; 21 cm.

Opinion

From Library Staff

2010 Kansas Reads selection. This autobiography discusses the Kansas roots in President Obama's family tree.


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10000mefest
Apr 23, 2019

I listened to the audio-book/CD format of this book included in the two-book audio set, "The Essential Barack Obama. The set also includes, "The Audacity of Hope", both read by the author.
In "Dreams From My Father", I was amazed and impressed at Obama's personal story. In many ways it's an incredibly unique story and in other ways quite relatable to many Americans. Obama's gift for expressive and entertaining vocal narration was on full display in both of these Grammy Award Winning recordings, but really shined in "Dreams From My Father". At times, Obama's portrayal of the various characters that punctuated his life was a pure aural delight. Obama's story is impactful, and one that will leave you thinking about it days after reading it.
Enthusiastically recommended.

f
FoxLarkin
Feb 23, 2019

Powerful: how ones identity or lack thereof, shapes who we are: the quest, if successful, leaves more questions than answered, room to form a unique identity from a blend of what is gleaned from the quest. And to know this man became president of the United States makes his story even more poignant. I truly believe we were privileged to have had such a man as our leader.

oatmeal_crispy Dec 15, 2018

So inspiring!
   And that voice!

JCLCatherineG Apr 27, 2018

This was a fascinating look at the internal struggles Obama dealt with in his youth.

c
cbriggs
Feb 08, 2018

Too bad the former President started with such promise ended by dividing the country and constantly apoligizing for America to other countries. His infamous “red line” to Syria’s Assad not to use chemical weapons was crossed with no repercussions. He allowed Russia and Iran to set up in that country because they saw a weak President. His ideology is one of appeasement. All the “illegal” immigration problems are layed at his feet, He doubled the national debt with his socialist views. etc. etc. etc

r
ryner
Aug 07, 2017

Written before he entered the political sphere, in 'Dreams from My Father' Barack Obama explores his personal history as a child and young man of mixed race growing up in Hawaii and Indonesia. He goes on to detail his simultaneously discouraging and rewarding experiences working as a community organizer in Chicago's underprivileged south side. Finally, he documents his poignant first visit to his father's ancestral homelands in Kenya, making the acquaintance for the first time with the extended family who had existed to him previously only as an anonymous collection of half-siblings, aunts, uncles and cousins.

While I didn't find this memoir as riveting as I'd hoped -- and, to be fair, I'm not sure exactly what I was expecting -- I was grateful for, appreciative of and occasionally surprised by this insight into Obama's earlier life. Additionally, in a time when so many memoirs are co-written, and when others of our political leaders seem unable to formulate a single grammatically correct sentence, I found myself continuously impressed by his natural writing ability.

j
jr3083
Mar 10, 2017

This is a beautifully written book, whether the author became President of the United States or not, and there is no consciousness at all that this could even possibly be his destiny. As a work of memoir, he has invented conversations and combined or renamed characters, but the book rings true to its very core. I can’t imagine that there could be a greater contrast than that between ‘Dreams from My Father’ and ‘The Art of the Deal’, the memoir of the current presidential incumbent.

For my complete review, please visit:
https://residentjudge.wordpress.com/2017/03/10/dreams-from-my-father-by-barak-obama/

l
larters
Feb 14, 2017

A magnificent piece of work, one that humanizes President Obama, and provides deep insight into his motivations. I found myself appreciating his background, culture, and humanity more with each chapter. Very much worth a read, especially as a contrast to the current U.S. administration.

redban Nov 21, 2014

Obamanics and Libertarians, oh human reasoning is fascinating... Here's a thought-experiment: follow the money (political contributions by lobbyists, Wall Street bailouts with your taxpayer money, appointing former bank CEOs as bank regulators!) and you will might realize that Obama is just another Corporatist puppet, like almost everyone in the 2 parties. Multinational corporations do not just hand out money expecting nothing in return, that is not for-profit! Obama serves the interests of the pinnacle of Capitalism: Wall Street, where the accumulation of wealth is beyond compare. The amount of money top bankers make is so much more then the scrapes they feed their politician puppets. Big corporations love using the government to strangle small companies, killing competition is great for your bottom line. It's laughable hearing about the Socialist takeover on the one side, or about Obama's Progressivism on the other! Wall Street Corporatism has already taken over, witness the pillage that led to the Great Depression. Follow who profits before each crash, the mass speculation, lending $9 for every $1 deposited, etc., this can be read in Taibbi's book [Griftopia]. The sad difference nowadays is no labor movement to force real change for the masses.

evannewman May 13, 2013

Despite what is written in the two most recent reviews, this book is hardly political.

Well worth reading to get a glimpse of the early life of one of the most powerful men in the world at this time.

I find it hard to believe that the man who wrote this book and to whom I found so much to relate with (despite being a white Canadian) is the same man who runs a kill list and seems to have no trouble ordering drone strikes on American children living in Yemen.

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