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A Promised Land

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4.48  ·  Rating details ·  3,498 ratings  ·  620 reviews
A riveting, deeply personal account of history in the making—from the president who inspired us to believe in the power of democracy.

In the stirring, highly anticipated first volume of his presidential memoirs, Barack Obama tells the story of his improbable odyssey from young man searching for his identity to leader of the free world, describing in strikingly personal det
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Kindle Edition, 768 pages
Published November 17th 2020 by Crown
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Mateja Oh, the era of Barack and Michele, good times for us all. The whole world is effected by who runs the USA. Hope for the best in this years elections. …moreOh, the era of Barack and Michele, good times for us all. The whole world is effected by who runs the USA. Hope for the best in this years elections.
Gretings from Slovenia.(less)
Katharina Because people voice their political "opinion" on Barack Obama with 1 star reviews instead of actually reading the book itself to come to an informed …moreBecause people voice their political "opinion" on Barack Obama with 1 star reviews instead of actually reading the book itself to come to an informed opinion about it.


Very sad to see so much ignorance, hate, close-mindedness, intolerance and blindness.
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Average rating 4.48  · 
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 ·  3,498 ratings  ·  620 reviews


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Shivani Patel
Once again I have to let people on here know they should not mess with the rating system. You don't have to like Obama or read his book but please do not leave ratings on Goodreads just to make that known.

You are allowed to have your opinions but no reason to mess with the GR rating system by giving it a one star (or a 2,3,4,5) if you haven't actually read the book. And that goes for all books. Please do not rate without reading because some people genuinely want to filter and search through ra
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Jack Waters
Sep 17, 2020 is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
The $45 cover price is only steep if you don’t consider the implied number humor
Stephanie L
Sep 19, 2020 marked it as on-the-radar  ·  review of another edition
If you think I wouldn't add this after Michelle Obama's Becoming, are we even friends?
Angela M
Nov 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020-favorites
Our expectations for elected officials aren’t always very realistic, and none more than for those elected to the highest office in our country. We’ve never had a perfect President and never will, but there are certain qualities that I believe are essential. Intelligence, a respect for the office and more importantly a reverence for our democracy, a strong sense of responsibility for protecting our nation and its citizens, leadership skills that bring together qualified people in the government, ...more
Gabby
This book was so incredible and it gave me so much hope for America. I miss Obama so much, he's so well-spoken and he has such a way with words, I listened to the audiobook which is definitely the way to go for this book. This is one of the only political books I have ever read, but it was absolutely captivating to hear about all the experiences he went through as President and all the tough decisions he had to make. I love that throughout it he sprinkles in his stories of his family and I loved ...more
Holly
Nov 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am 'reading' this via audiobook because even though it's 29 hours long, just listening to Obama's steady voice is reassuring during this current insanity.

Also, this ended up being my 100th book I have read this year, officially meeting my reading goal!

I am not sure what I enjoyed most about this book. Was it the insight into how Obama got into politics and then decided to run for President? Was it the look into his primary run against Hillary Clinton? Was it his eventual win against John McCa
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Meike
Sep 18, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: politics, usa, 2020-read
"Do we care to match the reality of America to its ideals? (...) I recognize that there are those who believe that it's time to discard the myth - that an examination of America's past and an even cursory glance at today's headlines show that this nation's ideals have always been secondary to conquest and subjugation, a racial caste system and rapacious capitalism, and that to pretend otherwise is to be complicit in a game that was rigged from the start. (...) I'm not yet ready to abandon the po ...more
Ashley
Sep 17, 2020 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
I’m so ready for this!!
morgan
Nov 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
this book was phenomenal to me. I found myself giggling, nodding with agreement, gasping with shock and crying throughout this book. In an alternate dimension, I truly believe Barack and I are best friends. I've always loved Obama's writing, since I read Dreams of My Father in my teens, so of course I will be preordering his next book as soon as I can.
Selim Batti
Nov 17, 2020 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
One thing I want to mention. This is Goodreads. For those who don’t know what this app is, it’s a planet for readers, not a battlefield for competitors. You can’t just create multiple accounts, copy and paste same review, and rate a book you haven’t read.
We are here to review books, not people. We are here to share knowledge and literal thoughts and opinions, not to fight for political backgrounds.
Please guys be approachable and logical.
You can express your political opinions in demonstrations
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Malia
Nov 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My first thought: The editor's red pen was notably absent here! Goodness, this was long; long but not at all boring.
I listened to the audiobook, which Obama reads himself, and there was a sort of comfort in hearing his voice (for 30 hours😳). Whatever you want to say about him, and he seems quite willing to admit his mistakes, Obama is an example of a truly decent man, such a vast contrast to the one currently occupying the White House. I won't go into details of the content of the book, but whil
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Amalia Gkavea
“I suspect that God’s plan, whatever it is, works on a scale too large to admit our mortal tribulations; that in a single lifetime, accidents and happenstance determine more than we care to admit; and that the best we can do is to try to align ourselves with what we feel is right and construct some meaning out of our confusion, and with grace and nerve play at each moment the hand that we’re dealt.”

“When things are bad,” Axe said, walking next to me as we left the December meeting, “no on
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C
Nov 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Can somebody please go through the troll comments and remove the 1 star ratings of the person continuously posting the same, factually incorrect political statement - and any troll reviews for that matter. Other sites that connect to GoodReads receive a misleading rating due to this troll continuously posting 1 star ratings.
Jessica Jeffers
First of all, how grateful am I that I get to read this after Donald Trump has been voted out of office? If I was worried about four more years of marching towards authoritarianism, I think reading Obama's memoir would have made me more sad than anything else.

My early thoughts on this:

1. He is a fantastic writer. Yes, I know a lot of that is probably due to editors and assistants. The fact remains, though, that this is an incredibly well-written book.

2. He acknowledges that one of the biggest
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Faith
Nov 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: overdrive, audio
I usually don’t have much interest in memoirs, but I liked learning about behind the scenes details of presidential decisions. The book is written with wit, humility and self-awareness. I listened to the audiobook read by the author. The narration was a sane, intelligent and reassuring reminder of better days. This was very long and is only part one; it doesn’t even cover the entire first Obama term. I’ll probably read part two, but I hope it isn’t published any time soon.
ed
Sep 17, 2020 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
I honestly cannot wait for this book. I have yet to read Michelle Obama's Becoming, but I know it'll be great because Michelle Obama is amazing.

In a span of eight years in the White House, Barack Obama had not one scandal or told one lie. Everything he worked his ass for, President Cheeto--I mean Donald Trump--tore it down like it was nothing. Obama brought us together by leading us as the President with hope.

#StillMyPresident.
TABI⁷ (ᕗツ)ᕗ
I grew up surrounded by negative rhetoric about Obama and, until now, I really didn't care about who was right or wrong . . . but now I care. I've always been an avid information seeker so this is the start to maybe stepping past what I unintentionally accepted and seeing things from "the other side".
Susan Tunis
Nov 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Love him or hate him, this memoir won't be for everyone. He warns you right at the beginning... He hasn't mastered brevity. This is undeniable. Weighing in at 768 pages on paper, and 29+ hours on audio (as I experienced the book, read by President Obama himself), A Promised Land is a commitment. I was deep, deep, deep into the book, when I suddenly realized that we were still in the first year of his presidency. (Yikes!)

So, it's a commitment, but it is not a slog. On the contrary, over and over,
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Bethany
Nov 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: black-authors
I foresee A Promised Land becoming required reading in academic settings. Filled with charm, humor, and the occasional zinger, the first volume of Obama's memoir offers a look inside not only his path to the White House, but also an in depth look at the process behind policy-making in a range of areas. Chronologically, this offers a brief look at his early life and background, follows his eventual path into the political world and marriage to Michelle, the challenges and joys of running a presid ...more
Hai Quan
Nov 26, 2020 is currently reading it
Recommends it for: Horace Derwent
Shelves: memoir, politics
Quote from this book's Prologe :
" I recognise that there are those who believe that it's time to discard the myth- that in examination of America's past and even cursory glance at today's headlines shows that this nation's ideals have always been secondary to conquest and subjugation, a racial caste system and rapacious capitalism and that to pretend otherwise is to be complicit in a game that was rigged from the start."

What pathetic! What ridiculous !

Instead of saying simply, honestly and cour
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Kate
Nov 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
5/5stars

This was so long yet somehow not long enough as my one complaint is that it cut off very abruptly as this will be 2 books. Other than that, I loved this. Obama really didn't hold back and I learned more about my country than I did in my entire schooling
Kenny
My hero.
Gally
Nov 18, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My guide for enjoying this book ~

Step 1: Take a few seconds to block anyone who rated this 1 stars with a review that clearly indicates they didn't actually read the book (which is easy considering it's only been out 1 day) because they're too ignorant and emotional to let others enjoy a book about a person they don't like. I don't have time for people like that, so all of their future reviews are out of my feed.

Step 2: Laugh at the person who actually took all that time to make multiple private
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Colly Feakins
Nov 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The best version of this is the audio version which Obama reads himself, even with different accents. This is a poignant book that describes his multi-cultural, biracial upbringing and thus explains his constant urge to help people understand each other, his desire to bridge divides. I had a paperback copy but I bought both the hardback version of the book, for enjoyment in the years to come and the audio, which is captivating.
Elle
Nov 30, 2020 is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020
Haven’t read any of his other books, but I am curious to see if he’ll be able to top Michelle’s!
ashleigh
Nov 20, 2020 marked it as to-read
Listen, I don't believe in being a fan of a political figure. That's not their role. They're public servants not celebrities. They're not even heroes. Their defined role and job is to serve the people and do right by them. I'll never give them praise for doing what is expected of them, and all politicians should be critiqued and held accountable for actions that have resulted in harm. I also think you have to be somewhat of a narcissist to even think yourself worthy of this job position. That be ...more
Monica
Worth reading, and if you believe that this president was anywhere near a socialist, let alone a progressive, you might want to check this one out to find out how and why those observations are complete crap.

What shocked me was the candor with which he tells his story; much like his wife's, this memoir doesn't shy away from the dark and dirty realities of politics or their profound and far-reaching impact on family and everyday life.

Obama doesn't spend a ton of time on Trump or the GOP (right
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Maddy
Nov 14, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
65 million dollars advance paid for this book! It’s ridiculous to call a book that’s given this kind of funding even before it has been penned down as anything other than a corporate investment.

The author has given his opinion on other global/national leaders without having had any meaningful interaction with them. So I will offer a similar type of surface review of what I think about this author and his time in the White House, as it has been skipped by mainstream media during his term. Neithe
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Robbie Claravall
Sep 20, 2020 is currently reading it
I need this book yesterday!!!!!
Alok Mishra
Nov 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
I don't want to get into the ongoing battle (electoral and political) in the USA. The book has given mixed offerings to many people in India as well (Obama's description of one of the perenially coming of age guy). Let's talk about the book.

1. The book is not for those who are superman readers (reading within hours).
2. The book will demand patience from its readers. You have to experience the descriptions given by the author as you read the book. So, two layers of indulgence are involved.
3. T
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7,451 followers
Barack Obama was the 44th president of the United States, elected in November 2008 and holding office for two terms. He is the author of two previous New York Times bestselling books, Dreams from My Father and The Audacity of Hope, and the recipient of the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize. He lives in Washington, D.C., with his wife, Michelle. They have two daughters, Malia and Sasha.

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