Jason Born'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 19, 2012

liked it

Not a reader of autobiographies, but thought it important to read this.

It's not really even an autobiography as much as a telling of the different people a young man came into contact with and his confusion in his race.

The first 80% of the book talks incessantly about race and young Barack's attempt to choose where he fit in, which side (my words). He ultimately decided he wanted to "be" black, I think.

He met lots of different folks along the way. Some stuck in the '60s thinking that Black Power had to do with getting rid of everything Western. At one point he says that he was a Westerner, completely uncomforatable with the West.

I guess I was just disappointed that instead of taking the path that our Nation is truly unique in its opportunities offered that we are an exceptional Republic (with faults to be sure). But it seems like he learned a lot of the wrong lessons from his experiences in community organizing or whatever he was doing. It seems that he learned ways to use the government to get what he wants rather than empowering its citizens to get it themselves.

This isn't meant to be completely against Mr. Obama or for anyone else. My discussion is only my thinking while and after reading the book. It is also certainly not meant to be inferred from any of my comments that I support any other popular politician in the news these days (that is not the case).

One last thing about race that bothered me from the book. The first time Barack went to Trinity Church and heard Reverend Wright give a sermon it was entitled "The Audacity of Hope." In the sermon, Wright talks (according to Obama's account in this book) about the white man this and the white man that. It bothers me because never in my life have I been to a church and listened to a sermon where the preacher tried to divide our nation by bad-mouthing anyone based upon the color of their skin. Sunday Worship is about giving praise to the Most Holy and taking away hope and strength in Him for another week.
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Reading Progress

July 19, 2012 – Started Reading
July 19, 2012 – Shelved
July 19, 2012 –
page 25
July 21, 2012 –
page 45
July 24, 2012 –
page 75
July 25, 2012 –
page 75
July 27, 2012 –
page 120
July 27, 2012 –
page 125
July 28, 2012 –
page 160
July 29, 2012 –
page 173
July 29, 2012 –
page 173
38.19% "So far up to part where Barack Obama is about 25 y.o. and a community organizer. Not sure if he comes to some change in his life (like we all do), but at this stage he can't look at people without seeing their race - he can't look at whites or Asians or whomever without wondering about their motivations. Also thinks the only way to solve any problems is being an expert at coming to the govt trough."
July 30, 2012 –
page 225
August 4, 2012 –
page 254
August 6, 2012 –
page 280
61.81% "Interesting story so far. Young Barack is about 26ish and is having interesting experiences. Can't tell if he'll learn the right lessons or not."
August 7, 2012 –
page 288
August 8, 2012 –
page 300
August 9, 2012 –
page 340
August 10, 2012 –
page 370
August 11, 2012 –
page 370
August 11, 2012 –
page 390
August 12, 2012 –
page 410
90.51% "Finally on the homestretch. He's not spending every page talking about race and neocolonialism, which gets quite exhausting. He's now in Kenya visiting relatives which is very interesting."
August 12, 2012 – Finished Reading

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