Synopses & Reviews
In this lyrical, unsentimental, and compelling memoir, the son of a black African father and a white American mother searches for a workable meaning to his life as a black American. It begins in New York, where Barack Obama learns that his father—a figure he knows more as a myth than as a man—has been killed in a car accident. This sudden death inspires an emotional odyssey—first to a small town in Kansas, from which he retraces the migration of his mothers family to Hawaii, and then to Kenya, where he meets the African side of his family, confronts the bitter truth of his fathers life, and at last reconciles his divided inheritance.
Pictured in lefthand photograph on cover: Habiba Akumu Hussein and Barack Obama, Sr. (President Obama's paternal grandmother and his father as a young boy). Pictured in righthand photograph on cover: Stanley Dunham and Ann Dunham (President Obama's maternal grandfather and his mother as a young girl).
"[A] poignant, probing memoir of an unusual life....Obama leaves some lingering questions his mother is virtually absent but still has written a resonant book." Publishers Weekly
"Obama argues with himself on almost every page of this lively autobiographical conversation....Obama is candid about racism and poverty and corruption, in Chicago and in Kenya. Yet he does find community and authenticity..." Hazel Rochman, Booklist
"Fluidly, calmly, insightfully, Obama guides us straight to the intersection of the most serious questions of identity, class, and race." Washington Post Book World
"Obama's writing is incisive yet forgiving. This is a book worth savoring." Alex Kotlowitz, author of There Are No Children Here
The son of a black African father and white American mother discusses his divided ancestry and his place in America's racial society, analyzing the demands of racial identity and culture, multiculturalism, and the quest for his own racial identity.
About the Author
Barack Obama graduated from Harvard Law School in 1991, where he served as the first African-American president of the Harvard Law Review. He has worked as a community organizer, civil rights attorney, and law professor. Since 1997, he has represented parts of Chicago's South Side in the Illinois General Assembly, and he is currently the Democratic nominee to become the junior U.S. senator from Illinois. He lives in Chicago with his wife, Michelle, and daughters, Malia and Sasha.