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Insightful,
Interesting,
Brilliant

5 reviews

Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance
by Barack Obama

Published: 2007-01-09
Hardcover : 464 pages
12 members reading this now
24 clubs reading this now
16 members have read this book
Recommended to book clubs by 5 of 5 members
Nine years before the Senate campaign that made him one of the most influential and compelling voices in American politics, Barack Obama published this lyrical, unsentimental, and powerfully affecting memoir, which became a #1 New York Times bestseller when it was reissued in 2004. Dreams ...
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Introduction

Nine years before the Senate campaign that made him one of the most influential and compelling voices in American politics, Barack Obama published this lyrical, unsentimental, and powerfully affecting memoir, which became a #1 New York Times bestseller when it was reissued in 2004. Dreams from My Father tells the story of Obama’s struggle to understand the forces that shaped him as the son of a black African father and white American mother—a struggle that takes him from the American heartland to the ancestral home of his great-aunt in the tiny African village of Alego.

Obama opens his story in New York, where he hears that his father—a figure he knows more as a myth than as a man—has died in a car accident. The news triggers a chain of memories as Barack retraces his family’s unusual history: the migration of his mother’s family from small-town Kansas to the Hawaiian islands; the love that develops between his mother and a promising young Kenyan student, a love nurtured by youthful innocence and the integrationist spirit of the early sixties; his father’s departure from Hawaii when Barack was two, as the realities of race and power reassert themselves; and Barack’s own awakening to the fears and doubts that exist not just between the larger black and white worlds but within himself.

Propelled by a desire to understand both the forces that shaped him and his father’s legacy, Barack moves to Chicago to work as a community organizer. There, against the backdrop of tumultuous political and racial conflict, he works to turn back the mounting despair of the inner city. His story becomes one with those of the people he works with as he learns about the value of community, the necessity of healing old wounds, and the possibility of faith in the midst of adversity.

Barack’s journey comes full circle in Kenya, where he finally meets the African side of his family and confronts the bitter truth of his father’s life. Traveling through a country racked by brutal poverty and tribal conflict, but whose people are sustained by a spirit of endurance and hope, Barack discovers that he is inescapably bound to brothers and sisters living an ocean away—and that by embracing their common struggles he can finally reconcile his divided inheritance.

A searching meditation on the meaning of identity in America, Dreams from My Father might be the most revealing portrait we have of a major American leader—a man who is playing, and will play, an increasingly prominent role in healing a fractious and fragmented nation.

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Book Club Recommendations

the audiobook is great
by kimhalti (see profile) 11/11/09

Member Reviews

Overall rating:
 
 
  "Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance"by lowerhay (see profile) 03/22/11

Good book, but I preferred "The Audacity of Hope" for inspirational material. Not bad for a first effort...

 
  "Southridge Book Club"by haefkga (see profile) 08/24/10

We thought this book gave us insight into our President and how he has led a very interesting life.

 
  "Dreams From My Father"by dnelson443 (see profile) 03/05/10

I enjoyed this book and felt that it was very clear where he came from and where he was headed. I think it shows a lot about how and why he runs the country the way he does and how it's not easy to rattle... (read more)

 
  "Dreams from my Father"by kimhalti (see profile) 11/11/09

Everyone in our group liked this book. I personally listened to the book on disc version, read by Obama, and I loved it--he does accents and even sings briefly! The book is very thought provoking regarding... (read more)

 
  "Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance"by marlagorman (see profile) 11/11/09

This book was well received by all our members. The material
inspired many insightful conversations from everyone. It also
gave us the oportunity to share similar life stories and get to

... (read more)

 
  "Dreams of my father"by nhollin (see profile) 11/11/09

This is a beautifully written book about how somehow who is black on the outside but was raised by a white mother and grandparents comes to terms with who he is. This book inspired the most interesting... (read more)

 
  "It is an awesome book to read and I liked it so much ,I want revise it again."by knoxmom (see profile) 02/26/09

 
  "Get to know Barak Obama on a personal level, good insights to the man who now leads our country"by JeanetteC (see profile) 02/10/09

 
  "Barack Obama is an extraordinary man..."by swannwsong (see profile) 01/19/09

Who has led an extraordinary life. What a great way to get to know our next President. We loved this book.

 
  "As the son of a white woman from Kansas and a black man from Kenya, Barak Obama struggles to understand his place in the world."by stargazer (see profile) 11/18/08

Wonderful book with lots of discussion topics including, presidential politics, race relations, the African-American experience vs. the African experience, etc..

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