Lorenzo Pilla's Reviews > Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance

Dreams from My Father by Barack Obama
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's review
Jul 22, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: non-fiction
Recommended for: Sean Hannity
Read in October, 2007

Forget for a moment who the author has become. This is not a book written by a politician or a would-be president. It's a book that was written by someone who subsequently became those things. For that reason, it's a very honest account of an American coming to terms with who he is and where he's from. As a bonus, Obama happens to be an excellent writer. He has a good sense of how to fashion an interesting narrative, so his personal story is very engaging.

As a normal part of becoming an adult, a boy at some point begins to look critically at, and compare himself to, his father. And if that father was physically or emotionally absent, it may be even more true and a more important rite of passage. Obama's account of his own search for his missing father is compelling and it is one that many men can relate to. And for that reason it is also a book that should be read by women who want to understand men.

Beyond issues of men and their fathers, Obama also relates his struggle for identity as a black man in a white family in the 1970s, as a boy being raised by his single mother and grandparents, as a teenager making decisions about drugs, and a host of other issues.

In short, this is a great 'book-club book' because there are so many broad themes that can be catalysts for discussion.

Whether or not you're a fan of this president's politics, challenge yourself to look beyond that and discover the richness in this important memoir.

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04/18 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by Bill (new)

Bill Main Sir, I see this quote attributed to this book " My legacy will be an America brought down to the level of the rest of the world.". If I may did you see this quote and if so what was the context. Thank you

Lorenzo Pilla Well, I don't claim any expertise but I can find no reference to this statement other than at right-wing Obama-hating websites, and as one of the many Facebook lies being passed around - nor do I remember reading anything like this in the book. Since Dreams is a memoir and not an account of his presidency, it seems an unlikely statement.

Of course, there are any number of contexts in which this statement would be okay or even laudable. For instance, if we were talking about decreasing the number of non-violent people in our prisons, or the number of our children killed by firearms, or our level of military spending, or the number of unnecessary wars we get into, or the number of people without access to healthcare...

So I wouldn't get too riled up when I see a claim like this. It might be taken out of context, or it might just be a lie. Go to Snopes.com when you see something like this to find out if it's true.

Also, I really think that President Obama loves his country - loves it more so than those who've spent the past six years trying to sabotage everything he's tried to do even at the expense of ordinary Americans' safety, security, and prosperity. But that's just my own opinion.

Carmen Hartono I just picked the book up more as my patriotic duty ... to get to know my president better. WOW! I can't put it down!

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