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Dreams from My Father Hardcover – January 9, 2006


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Product Details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Crown; Reprint edition (January 9, 2006)
  • ASIN: B001HXOO88
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (976 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,348,772 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

It is very well written.
Christine Glover
The book has been very interesting and informative.
KY reader
Barack Obama(Mr President) is a great man!
Sherrie L. Chapman

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

427 of 520 people found the following review helpful By Ed Uyeshima HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on August 30, 2004
Format: Paperback
U.S. Senate hopeful Barack Obama has an inspiring story to share, and yet he doesn't simply rest on his laurels in this critical evaluation of his life and in his continuing search for himself as a black American. He wrote "Dreams From My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance" almost ten years ago, but his stock has obviously surged since his star-making speech at the Democratic National Convention last month, perhaps to the chagrin of Hillary Clinton...unless she is dreaming of a Clinton-Obama ticket in 2008! Growing up mulatto in Hawaii and Indonesia, Obama discusses trying to come to grips with his racial identity through a period of rebellion that included drug use, becoming a community activist in Chicago and traveling to Kenya to understand his father's past. It is in Kenya where he discovers a nation with forty different tribes, each of them saddled with stereotypes of the others. It is also in Kenya where he recognizes the dichotomy that has been his lifelong existence between the graves of his father and his grandfather. His description of this defining moment is worthy of a passage in Alex Haley's "Roots".

Obama is also candid about racism, poverty and corruption in Chicago, and he pulls no punches in his account of this period. Because the book stops in 1995, it does not get into much detail on his learning experiences, culminating in both missteps and triumphs, as a state legislator. For all the value the book provides on Obama's history, I would have appreciated a more substantive update than the preface on the last decade, as he gained political prominence in Illinois, so that we understand more why his time in the spotlight has come at this moment. Perhaps that will be Volume 2.
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353 of 454 people found the following review helpful By Julee Rudolf VINE VOICE on April 16, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Barack Obama is obviously an articulate, intelligent man; but his "story of race and inheritance" may leave readers scratching their heads at times. The story of his life, the son of a Kenyan man and a white woman who divorced when he was a young child, is atypical. His father, an extremely book smart man, polygamist, big talker and eventually sometimes embarrassment to the family who was known as the Old Man to his many children, seems an unlikely source of the "dreams" of which the title speaks. The author met his father but once, when he was ten years old. Dr. Barack Obama was already married (p 422) when he met his namesake's mother while studying in the States. He returned to Africa alone, married again (and again) and had more children. His mother then married (and later divorced) an Indonesian man and they moved to Djakarta, where he spent his early years until moving in with his maternal grandparents in Hawaii. He ended up in Chicago, where he signed on to help organize African-Americans to work together to gain funding for projects to improve the quality of their lives and those of their children. Three years and much success (after a bumpy start) later, he headed off to graduate school, but not before finally attending services at a large, popular, local church. Readers may wonder if, during the several page section rounding out Part 2 (Chicago), he may have experienced some sort of spiritual awakening: the signs pointing ambiguously to "maybe," making one wonder why the event was included at all.Read more ›
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Daniel R. Renninger on October 25, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This reviewer decided to read Barack Obama's 1994 revised autobiography "Dreams from My Father" in the fall of 2008 since he was one of the US presidential candidates in 2008. This revised version of the book was released in 2004.

Autobiographies are very useful means to learn from the author's experiences. Autobiographies by authors that were highly successful in their lives, or had a major impact on history, can provide information revealing as many of the valuable lessons the author has learned and recorded for the benefit of the reader. Autobiographies also reveal how authors think.

Overall: the author only believes everything in terms of his liberal dogma beliefs. He is highly critical of blacks that want to just get along and fit into the mainstream. He advocates "social justice", a euphuism for mob justice. He only rationalizes lawless behavior and will not label anything bad except what contradicts his liberal dogma beliefs. He believes that all the black problems are due to the whites.

The cover of the Three Rivers Press paper-back version states that it is: "A Story of Race and Inheritance," and indeed it is. The author presents all of his experiences and acquired knowledge in terms of race and a quest to learn of his Kenyan dad's background. These two issues thoroughly permeate the entire book.

He interprets every experience and thing he knows of in terms of liberal sociological and psychological teachings. It comes through, often seemingly illogically, in his interpretation of every experience and thing he acquires knowledge of on almost every page of the book.

At the end of his Columbia University days, he decided to become a community organizer (or social activist).
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