Melody'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
Sep 02, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: cultural-studies, memoir

Regardless of the controversy over who wrote this book, it's worth reading. Dreams from My Father is a beautifully written book that fits uniquely into both the memoir genre and the African American genre of testimonial. In searching to understand his own racial heritage, Obama's experiences with his father's legacy offers a compelling glimpse into the ways that we construct our heroes. We define ourselves by what we imagine our heroes to be, and find ourselves so often disappointed when confronted with their reality.

This memoir also, in a strange way, fits the slave narrative genre: Obama finds himself enslaved--not to external masters, or a strange world--but to self-doubt and a United States that is so hospitable and yet so hostile to a mixed race man. His journey to Africa offers him an opportunity to come to grips with the fact that nothing, including the United States is ever as ideal as we would like to believe ... but that we should, nonetheless, continue to work for the good of those we love.

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