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Barack Obama in Hawai'i and Indonesia: The Making of a Global President Hardcover – September 22, 2011

12 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0313385339 ISBN-10: 0313385335

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Editorial Reviews

Review

• Offers the first systematic study of Barack Obama's Indonesian and Hawai‘ian years and their effect on his adult character and political identity

• Shows how Obama's early experiences fostered a repertoire of social and psychological skills ideally suited to dealing with the complex cultural and geopolitical issues that confront 21st-century America

• Provides new keys to understanding Obama by looking at the varied cultural and religious influences that shaped his attitudes, beliefs, and hybrid cultural identity

• Examines Ann Dunham's doctoral dissertation, based on her social anthropological fieldwork in Indonesia, for clues to the perceptual prisms she inculcated in her son, Barack Obama



• Foreword

• Photographs

• Timelines

• Figures

• Appendices



"Whatever the final historical judgment of Obama's presidency, the very fact of it resonates globally as it signals that the United States is more in sync with the rest of the world than its power-wielding implies and is ready for the multicultural changes of the 21st century, says cultural anthropologist Sharma. He draws on his insider-outsider perspective as an immigrant, written materials by and about Obama, and interviews with family, friends, neighbors, and teachers in Hawaii and Indonesia to offer the first cultural biography of Barack Obama. . . . Sharma offers intriguing glimpses of Obama's life and a compelling argument that Obama's singular background and his election as U.S. president despite distrust of his "otherness" make him a transformative figure as the United States grapples with emerging nations and its own decline as the world's only superpower."

-

Booklist Online



"An enlightening account of Obama's boyhood chronicling an amazing transformation from an Indonesian slumdog ordinaire into a planetary prophet for the ages."

-

aalbc.com



"Sharma (culture psychology and marketing, St. Francis College, New York) provides a psycho-cultural biography of

President Obama in his first 18 years in Hawai'i and Indonesia, then later on as a young man in college and afterwards

on the mainland United States. Using as evidence Obama's writings along with interviews with Obama's former teachers, his half-sister, classmates in the Catholic elementary school and state elementary school (that used Muslim prayers) that

Obama attended as a child in Jakarta, and interviews in the elite prep school in Honolulu he later attended, the author

contends that Obama is the United State's first global president, given that his first experiences were with multiracial,

multiethnic, multilinguistic people in those areas. . . . Recommended."

-

Choice

Review

"Academics, students, and the public will be riveted by this compelling and original perspective about the formative years in the development of Barack Obama that offers a unique psychological and sociological lens on the ascendancy of a young African American boy to become the leader of most powerful country in the world. The author's personal journey in his quest to learn about Obama's roots are artfully woven with historical facts and psychological theory, resulting in a brilliant book that at times reads like an historical novel but is all that much more important a tome given that it is real history. The result is a book that should be read by everyone interested in the state of the world today." (Dr. Judy Kuriansky, Clinical Psychologist and Author of Beyond Bullets and Bombs: Grassroots Peacebuilding between Israelis and Palestinians)
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 274 pages
  • Publisher: Praeger (September 22, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0313385335
  • ISBN-13: 978-0313385339
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.8 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #925,276 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Dinesh Sharma is a cultural psychologist, marketing consultant and an acclaimed author, with a doctorate from Harvard University. He is an Associate Research Professor (Hon.) at the Institute for Global Cultural Studies, SUNY-Binghamton; a senior fellow at Institute for International and Cross-Cultural Research, NYC; and a columnist for Asia Times Online, Al Jazeera English and The Global Intelligence among other syndicated publications.

His biography of the 44th President of the US, titled "Barack Obama in Hawaii and Indonesia: The Making of a Global President", was rated as the Top 10 Books of Black History for 2012 by the American Library Association, Book List Online. His next book, "The Global Obama", is due to be published by Taylor & Francis, Routledge Press.

His recent articles and opinions have appeared in Wall Street Journal Online, Wonkette.com, Free Lance-Star, Far Eastern Economic Review, Middle East Times, Middle East Online, Epoch Times, Biotech Law Review, Health Affairs, Media Monitors, DC Chronicles, Fredricksburg.com, MyCentralJersey.com, International Psychology Bulletin, and other scientific journals. As an author, Sharma has been profiled locally and internationally in L'Echo, DeStandaard, Luxembourg Wort, 352 Lux Magazine, The Eastern Eye, Asian Affairs, Cincinnatti Herald, The Skanner, West Windsor Plainsboro News, Princeton Packet and many other newspapers.

On TV and Cable news, Sharma has been favorably reviewed on Politics Tonight (WGN News), Urban Update (WHDH Boston), City Line WABC Boston, KITV Hawaii, Bay Sunday San Francisco, and many other shows. On Radio, he has been featured on Conversations on the Coast in San Francisco, Reality Check FM-4 Vienna, South African Broadcast Corporation (SABC) and numerous other talk shows.

Finally, Dr. Sharma has been a consultant in the healthcare industry for major pharmaceutical, biotech and medical device clients for almost ten years. He lives near Princeton, NJ, with his wife and two children.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By The Thinker on March 11, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Social & Behavioral Sciences \ History, Geography & Area Studies \ North America

Sharma, Dinesh. Barack Obama in Hawai`i and Indonesia: the making of a global president. Praeger, 2011. 274p bibl index afp; ISBN 9780313385339, $48.00; ISBN 9780313385346 e-book, contact publisher for price. Reviewed in 2012mar CHOICE.

Sharma (culture, psychology and marketing, St. Francis College, New York) provides a psycho-cultural biography of President Obama in his first 18 years in Hawai'i and Indonesia, then later on as a young man in college and afterwards on the mainland US. Using as evidence Obama's writings along with interviews with Obama's former teachers, his half-sister, classmates in the Catholic elementary school and state elementary school (that used Muslim prayers) that Obama attended as a child in Jakarta, and interviews in the elite prep school in Honolulu he later attended, the author contends that Obama is the US's first global president, given that his first experiences were with multiracial, multiethnic, multilinguistic people in those areas. Obama's biological father left his family when Obama was two years old, and his mother took the child to Jakarta, where she later married a secular Muslim. At age ten, Obama left his Jakarta family and moved in with his maternal grandparents in Honolulu. The absence of his biological father, his anthropologist mother's influence, plus the added influence of his maternal grandmother and later his wife, all shaped Obama's personality, in which he identifies as a black man. Summing Up: Recommended for all levels/libraries. -- R. W. Smith, Emeritus, California State University, Northridge
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Laura L. Enright on May 2, 2015
Format: Hardcover
I was fortunate enough to meet the author during an author event at a local book store. I found his ideas on Obama and his possible place in history intriguing. I don't believe anyone has ever addressed the sometimes transient nature of his childhood and how it might have positively influenced him as a leader in such a way before. As the United States' first bi-racial president, Obama was raised by a white mother and grandparents, but his skin color kept him from being able to fully integrate into their world. The experiences gained by the balancing act between these two cultures has left him better prepared as a leader to deal with a changing American dynamic. His time in Indonesia and Hawaii (the most exotic state in the United States) left him with a more global perspective than any other president might have had, which is helpful at a time when formerly quiet countries are rising up to be heard. It is possible that's why when it comes to relations with other countries, he's more interested in diplomacy than "might makes right." I particularly liked how the author examined his relationships with the many strong women in his life (his mother, grandmother, wife, mother-in-law) and how their influence helped shape him. This has all left him, more so than any other president, with a mind more flexible to the changing realities not only of the U.S. but the world.

Sharma's exploration of all these factors makes for interesting reading. I'd highly recommend this book to offer a clear insight into the influences behind a fascinating president.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Troy of AALBC . com on February 6, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Barack Obama's historic run for the presidency spawned a cottage industry of books about him and the First Lady, with several even being published well before the inauguration. Most of the early offerings were merely take-the-money-and-run rip-offs.

Dr. Sharma conducted a couple of years' worth of painstaking research in preparing this opus, venturing to Obama's hometowns in Indonesia and Hawaii and to other important ports-of-call to conduct interviews firsthand and to unearth evidence to determine how his subject had truly been imprinted as a child. Among many issues, he tackles such popular questions as whether Obama had attended a Muslim or Christian school in Jakarta (both) and whether he was born in Hawaii (of course).

Overall, the author was obviously extremely impressed by what he learned about the President, since he has no reservations about comparing him favorably to such icons as fellow Nobel Peace Prize-winner Martin Luther King, Mahatma Gandhi, Abraham Lincoln and the fabled King Arthur.

An enlightening account of Obama's boyhood chronicling an amazing transformation from an Indonesian slumdog ordinaire into a planetary prophet for the ages.

Read the full review and more book reviews from AALBC.com on your Kindle Edition
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Format: Hardcover
Barack Obama the first global president of the United States. Dinesh Sharma has put forth cogent arguments describing in great detail Obama's childhood upbringings in Hawaii and Indonesia, his sometimes painful familial relationships and some of the events that helped make him become the man he is today. Sharma takes us on a journey through back alleys is somewhat impoverished Jakarta and through the newly admitted 50th state of Hawaii seeking its own identity through its multi-cultured society. This is a remarkable story about the foundations of a most unlikely boy who grew up to become the highest ranking government official in our land and how it was his destiny all along.
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