Barack Obama's memoir, written long before his political career began, is a remarkable story of one man's search for his identity.
Barack Obama was born in Honolulu in 1961. In his early twenties he found his vocation working among poor communities on the south side of Chicago. Later he went to law school at Harvard University, where he became the first black president of the Harvard Law Review. In 1995 he published his memoir Dreams from My Father, which became a bestseller soon after it was reissued in 2004. After returning to Chicago, he was elected to the Illinois State Senate in 1996.Barack Obama delivered the keynote address at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, and later that year he was elected to the US Senate. His second book, The Audacity of Hope, was published in 2006 and became an immediate bestseller. In November 2008 Senator Obama beat John McCain to become the 44th President of the United States of America. He is married to Michelle, with whom he has two daughters, Sasha and Malia.
Elected the first black president of the Harvard Law Review, Obama was offered a book contract, but the intellectual journey he planned to recount became instead this poignant, probing memoir of an unusual life. Born in 1961 to a white American woman and a black Kenyan student, Obama was reared in Hawaii by his mother and her parents, his father having left for further study and a return home to Africa. So Obama's not-unhappy youth is nevertheless a lonely voyage to racial identity, tensions in school, struggling with black literature‘with one month-long visit when he was 10 from his commanding father. After college, Obama became a community organizer in Chicago. He slowly found place and purpose among folks of similar hue but different memory, winning enough small victories to commit himself to the work‘he's now a civil rights lawyer there. Before going to law school, he finally visited Kenya; with his father dead, he still confronted obligation and loss, and found wellsprings of love and attachment. Obama leaves some lingering questions‘his mother is virtually absent‘but still has written a resonant book. Photos not seen by PW. Author tour. (June)
* This may be the best-written memoir ever produced by an American politician. -- Joe Klein Time * A remarkable story, beautifully told. -- Robert McCrum Observer * Whatever else people expect from a politician, it's not usually a beautifully written personal memoir steeped in honesty. Barack Obama has produced one. -- Oona King The Times * Obama's writing is characterised throughout by a graceful eloquence, a generosity of perception and spirit rare in young men of many gifts and charisma ... here is a testimony for the ages. -- Candace Allen Independent.