Book Review – Dreams From My Father, Barack Obama

…someone who feels strongly however has the wisdom to count to ten, or maybe twenty, before responding. I think Mr Obama would be quite scary as an angry man.

Book Review –Dreams From My Father, Barack Obama

“…Obama recounts an emotional odyssey. He retraces the migration of his mother’s family from Kansas to Hawaii, then to his childhood home in Indonesia. Finally he travels to Kenya, where he confronts the bitter truth of his father’s life and at last reconciles his divided inheritance”

First of all, I admit I’m an Obama fan. I’m not American, I didn’t vote for him but as politicians go he seems to be a decent bloke. I was a little cynical when I bought the book as I don’t usually pick up bestsellers. The rebel in me doesn’t like to follow the crowd. However this is a good book, Barack is a good writer.

This book tell the personal story of his life, his parents, his travel as a youngster and how it informed his psyche. In Kenya he is “Barry” struggling to make sense of a heritage and unknown family, just as any estranged individual would.

“I asked Granny to start from the beginning”

The family differences alongside geographical and cultural ones making the distance between his home and his homeland seem all the more defined. 

He writes with honesty, humility, he admits his improved patience is “…one of several improvements in my character that I attribute to my wife” When I watched a recent BBC TV programme about the White House I was truly impressed at how his patience was clear for all to see.

He comes across as someone who feels strongly however has the wisdom to count to ten, or maybe twenty, before responding. I think Mr Obama would be quite scary as an angry man.

His strength of feeling for family especially his mother is apparent and well described, although this book seems to have been a personal record of his journey to understand his father. He is a role model to other young men of his heritage, although I’m saddened to think those who maybe could learn from his story maybe won’t have access to his book.

When I’d finished reading I felt I knew this world leader as a person who has surmounted objects in his path, numerous and challenging. He has become an inspiration for so many even if you don’t agree with his politics, you can’t deny his ambition and fortitude. One of the items on my to do list to to get him as a follower on Twitter, one day people.

In conclusion, his wife is no doubt the power behind the throne, as all wives are, his children are remarkably grounded and he can write books. Strongly recommended.

Dreams from my father, Barack Obama – c. 1995, 2004 Barack Obama

Further reading…

The Audacity of Hope, Barack Obama – c. 2006 Barack Obama


I’m a writer and creativity coach focused on sharing my love of travel, writing and books. I motivate, educate and widen horizons by blogging about my world of travel and words, writing books and encouraging others to find their voice.

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