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.