Review: Dreams From My Father

My book club met last night to discuss Dreams From My Father by Barack Obama. Many of us were very excited to see this make our 2009 reading list.

Here’s the blurb from Barnes and Noble:

“Obama opens his story in New York, where he hears that his father—a figure he knows more as a myth than as a man—has died in a car accident. The news triggers a chain of memories as Barack retraces his family’s unusual history: the migration of his mother’s family from small-town Kansas to the Hawaiian islands; the love that develops between his mother and a promising young Kenyan student, a love nurtured by youthful innocence and the integrationist spirit of the early sixties; his father’s departure from Hawaii when Barack was two, as the realities of race and power reassert themselves; and Barack’s own awakening to the fears and doubts that exist not just between the larger black and white worlds but within himself.”

Obama can write! I always knew he was a great public speaker but his writing skills are really quite impressive. This is a well written, honest account of his experiences growing up as a boy and his struggle with race. It really makes you think about race and class struggles and how far we have come as a nation. Someone in my book group said “it’s really a study on how to be human” and I would have to agree. We are humans first and we all tend to forget that.

Although the opportunity was there to discuss or push an agenda, this did not happen with my group. The discussion was lively and well moderated and everyone agreed that it was worth reading. Give it a try!

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10 Responses

  1. I’m glad that this one was so good. I listened to about half of the Audacity of Hope audiobook before I had to return it to the library, and I enjoyed it. I haven’t read this one because of a lack of time, but hopefully someday I’ll read it.

  2. I’m glad you enjoyed this one. I agree with you that Obama is an eloquent speaker.

  3. It sounds like a great discussion, Ti.

  4. I really want to read this one and the other one. I need to put aside time to review them. Thanks for sharing.

  5. I have been wondering about this one! Thanks for the review, it is good to know you all enjoyed it. I am glad you got to have some fun discussing it :)

  6. I have this one but haven’t read it yet. I really enjoyed The Audacity of Hope though!

  7. I always wonder how my book groups will respond to non-fiction that discusses issues; so far, no heated or polarized discussions, I’m glad you found the same!My mother put this on my bookshelf for me, but I haven’t yet had a chance to read it. Thanks for the review.

  8. Obama's speeches are written for him by his writers, so although he verbalizes those words rather well, it would not be accurate to compare them to his book. Especially if you have heard the arguments supporting the notion that William Ayers penned a great deal of Dreams from My Father. I haven't read Ayers' book to compare, but they make some good points explaining who the real author is.

  9. [...] Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Last Straw by Jeff Kinney The Laws of Harmony by Judith R. Hendricks Dreams From My Father by Barack Obama The Sum of Our Days by Isabel Allende Things I Want My Daughters To Know by [...]

  10. [...] of a Wimpy Kid: The Last Straw by Jeff Kinney 53. The Laws of Harmony by Judith R. Hendricks 54. Dreams From My Father by Barack Obama 55. The Sum of Our Days by Isabel Allende 56. Things I Want My Daughters To Know by [...]

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