Sunday, May 4, 2008

Dreams from My Father

Author: Barack Obama

First line: A few months after my twenty-first birthday, a stranger called to give me the news.

Why you should read this book: The author, raised by his white mother and grandparents in Hawaii and Indonesia, spends his life searching for his identity and chasing the shadow of his black father, with whom he spent only a single month in his childhood and then scarcely reconnected with shortly before the Old Man’s death. Through angry adolescence to his determined years as a community organizer in Chicago, he offers a thoughtful, optimistic, and realistic view of race, family, and society, picking up pieces of his own beliefs and history as he goes. Finally, on a trip to his father’s native Kenya, he meets his extended family, learns to reconstruct his father’s story, and comes to understand the trials of his past, joy in his present, and hope for his future.

Why you shouldn’t read this book: You don’t enjoy intelligent, finely-crafted memoirs that speak with warm candor about the structure of society and the construction of identity in an world of inequality and greed.

No comments: