Customer Reviews for

Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

26 out of 32 people found this review helpful.

A warm story of an interesting human being, not a famous person

This is a great book to show the true nature of our President. It was written years ago before he entered politics. It was written by request. A publishing company offered Obama the opportunity to write an autobiography after they heard of his election as the first Afr...
This is a great book to show the true nature of our President. It was written years ago before he entered politics. It was written by request. A publishing company offered Obama the opportunity to write an autobiography after they heard of his election as the first African American President of the Harvard Law review, a relatively conservative publication, and also heard about the interesting life story he had.

A must-read for anyone interested in Obama or politics, on the right, left or center. I recommend the hard cover. The ink and paper is not toxic smelling and the print is easy to read. It is a better deal than the paperback for the money. Great gift. Gave one to my mother and brother who are both republicans and they enjoyed it.

posted by owldog on February 9, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

37 out of 78 people found this review helpful.

Don't know what to say . . .

I had a very difficult time reading through this book. After I finally finished I felt like the whole book was about trying to make 'white people' feel bad about being 'white' and trying to make 'black people' feel like they should blame 'white people' for all the thin...
I had a very difficult time reading through this book. After I finally finished I felt like the whole book was about trying to make 'white people' feel bad about being 'white' and trying to make 'black people' feel like they should blame 'white people' for all the things wrong in the world. It angered me that he writes in the Forward how much he loves his mother and respects her, but it seemed that the whole book he was either criticizing her or not talking about her at all. I didn't understand how he could start out saying what a great influence she was and then not talk about her at all. It sounded to me that he wanted to forget that he even had caucasian relatives. With every turn of the page it what 'white people' this, 'white people' that . . . talk about sterotyping a whole race.

posted by Anonymous on September 2, 2008

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Page 2 of 18
  • Posted January 16, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A Good Read

    This book is a good read if you want to learn about Obama man and boy, not Obama the politician. Presidency wasn't even on the radar screen when he wrote this book. His boyhood and young manhood were nothing like mine or anyone I know. Though he didn't come from wealth, I won't say he has had a charmed life although from 2004 on it certainly has been. I would say pre 2004 was an adventurous life. Born in Hawaii, several boyhood years spent living in Indonesia. He knows and has spent several months living with close family members in Kenya. His father is buried just outside a small village in Kenya. About the only thing in his background that he shares with any other American President is his degree from Harvard Law School. He smokes cigarettes and drinks beer, although I would guess he has stopped smoking by now (not good PR for a President or even a Presidential candidate idolized by many). A well written book by a very interesting man.

    5 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 13, 2008

    A reviewer

    I am shocked to find that a few reviewers saw this book as having an agenda, as a vehicle to advance Obama politically. CHECK YOUR FACTS PEOPLE!!! This edition is a REPRINT!! Obama wrote this book in the early nineties when he was just out of law school, a good four years before he even considered running for the state legislature. If Obama had a political agenda, he must have really been thinking ahead. (Also, this info is in the introduction to this book...way to pay attention when you read, guys)

    5 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 12, 2006

    The Best Book I have ever read--period.

    Finally, someone gets it completely right. The issue of race in this country is a touchy one, and one that we as Americans need to overcome. As a Republican, I would vote for Obama over ANY of the Republicans I see on the forefront today. This man NEEDS to become the President of this country, for our sake and our posterity. Everyone should at least get to know him, and not write him off simply 'because he is black.' His life, what he stands for, and his spirit are needed in the White House. This book is an even greater read than his speech at the DNC.

    5 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 28, 2004

    Eloquent, Insightful, Inspiring -- Just Like The Man

    I've had the privilege to meet Barack Obama, and to read Dreams From My Father several years ago. For those who have just discovered Barack after his convention keynote speech, what you saw was only the 'tip of the iceberg.' This is an immmensely talented, complex, intelligent and inspiring man on so many levels. As eloquent as his speech was, his book is equally so, and offers insights into how, as he put it, 'the skinny boy with the funny name' has evolved. I can only hope there will be many more books from Barack, who promises to be one of the most exciting politicians of the 21st century.

    5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 9, 2009

    Until you've read this, don't claim to know Barack Obama

    I can't tell you how many times I've spoken to someone who wasn't sure what they thought of Obama, or perhaps they were even dismissive of Obama. Then, they told me, they'd read this book. They came out of it with a whole different feeling for who and what Obama is. Anyone who has the least interest in the world around us today, will be glad they did -- if they pick up this book and give it a read.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 27, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Amazing Story

    Obama's book about his life is both fascinating and thought-provoking. He has a perspective that few others share due to his family make-up and life experiences. I recommend this book to both fans and skeptics.

    4 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2005

    Here's to terrific writing!

    This is not a book I would pick up or consider buying, I received it as a holiday gift and found it to be a satisfying enjoyment. The memoir genre is extraordinarily diffifult to master, and Barrack Obama is a master of this art. His stories of growing up and reflection gave me a sense of hope, that there are still powerful writers such as himself among us. The memoir is a good read for students, scholars, and all those who would like to live life with a larger understanding of being American.

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 31, 2004

    A book from the heart

    I decided to read Mr Obama's book after I heard him speak at the DNC. I was thoroughly impressed by his ability to draw a clear and artful mental picture with his words. This book transported me to the various places he had been and allowed be to be present as the events unfolded. The book is candid and a must read for anyone living in America and especially anyone fighting with personal identity. This book is sicere and comes from the heart.I read it from 6pm to 6am (with two breaks) I was spellbound. SPLENDID!

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 10, 2009

    A story of a boy becoming a man, a flowing narrative without politics

    I was drawn into the story of Obama's life, from his childhood in Hawaii and in the poor nation of his step-father, through his years of questioning his identity and purpose in college, and into his work with Chicago's poor before he went to law school. Having read this book, I have confidence in the President to understand Americans on every level, I read of his integrity throughout his life, and without any religious overtones, he gives a glimpse into his spiritual journey. I recommend this book to anyone interested in a deeper understanding of our new president. Very good.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 16, 2008

    Privelege

    Maybe you two should consider the privelege (as white, or male, or heterosexual)you have been experiencing your whole lives and then reread the book.

    3 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 19, 2008

    Barack Obama = An Amazing Storyteller

    I was delighted and amazed by the seamless connection Senator Obama made between his life in the white world, and his life in the black world. His accessible and deeply reflective prose made this book a wonderful read. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to know the Senator in a way that is not connected to the political realm. In particular, it would be a helpful tool to all voters who haven fallen into the trap of believing all of the rumors that exist regarding presidential hopeful Obama. In this memoir, many of the rumors are successfully addressed in a non-direct manner. Kudos to the Senator for writing such a moving literary piece, that illustrates the difficulties that permeate the lives of people of color.

    3 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 28, 2008

    Dreams from My Father

    A Colorful Struggle Dreams from My Father written by Barack Obama was originally written in 1995 after he finished law school. He was confused about his past and why he only had a white family to live with after his African father died. He decided to go look for answers and that led him to Kenya where his father had grown. The struggles that Barack has to go through early in his life are very tough in that his father died before Barack had even knew him, and he is a black child growing up with a white family, in a white neighborhood. When he was young, Barack had a hard time being accepted into groups because he wasn¿t all black and he wasn¿t all white. Throughout the book Barack fights with the thought of identity, he writes about the times that he felt accepted and the times of loneliness. Barack thoroughly writes of the days without friends in school, when he describes avoiding Coretta, the only other black person in the class. He also talks about his fear as a child of making friends with another outcast with great detail. The detailed emotions make the reader feel as though barrack is talking directly to them. His talent to mix ones emotions allows him to make social comments and pulls the reader into his struggle of race and society. This book mostly deals with how Barack has to deal with the fact that he is half white and half black. Also, after he makes the trip down to Kenya to learn more about his heritage, he has to live with his fathers past as well. Barack describes this all in a tone that is very comforting especially for an autobiography. One would think that because he is a senator or a presidential candidate that he would be speaking formally and hide all of the moments that may not sound quite acceptable. But Barack just talks like the reader has known him for years. He tells stories of late night parties and often swears. One would not normally expect that from a person that may some day run our country. But that is what makes this autobiography interesting is that he writes in a laid back kind of style but at the same time quite descriptive of his adventures and escapades. If a person wanted to read a bout the struggles of a half white and half black man trying to fit into a world that does not fully accept them. Also, the laid back tone of this book makes it an easy and interesting read. You learn about the background of Barack and how he became the man, senator, future president that he is today.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 13, 2006

    The Absolute Best Book I've Ever Read

    Barak Obama is an eloquent writer and speaker.I read this book when I was at a point in my life where I didn't know where to go or what to do next. This book deeply touched my life and helped me to realize things that I had never thought about before. It completely changed my views on myself and the world. I believe that I am a better person for reading this book. What we need in America is more politicians and even people like Barak Obama. Barack Obama should be our next President of the United States.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 14, 2005

    Dreams of My Father is a significant contribution to literature

    Barack Obama is lauded as a presidential hopeful, as he is charming, intelligent and personable, in character and driven to achieve. The powerful drives within Obama moves him to search out his roots (reminds me of the quest of Alex Haley, author of Roots)seeking to find himself through his past. This moving and insightful memoir, extols the virtues of family, dedication and perserverance from a personal point of view,while maintaining an emotional connection with the reader. I believe this account may one day rate with the autobiography of Benjamin Franklin.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2012

    Worst ever!

    Obama thinks there is 53 states inthe union and is getting rich of us. Vote for the republicans because they are the future of our nation. Unemployment has done nothing but go up. That goes for inflation too. I agree with the person who wrote the review that someone like Abraham Lincoln or Ronald Reagan needs to be president and get us,the people, out of this terrible econmic castrophe and downturn.

    2 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 11, 2009

    Interesting "Dreams" from Obama

    President Obama's memoir "Dreams from My Father "was an absorbing and interesting read for me It was well written and gave a thoughtfull, amusing look back at his childhood an early years as a community organizer He was able to laugh at some of his youthful misadventures and at the same time giving us a serious look at his African heritage I found the book to be more interesting and rewarding than I thought it would be.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2009

    great understanding of searchf or self

    well written, very good to read to get an understanding of identity searching and a bit about the person as well!

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 15, 2008

    Okay

    I really liked this book, but I don't think that it has quite enough info I don't think that this book is very kidfriendly I would reccomend the story Yes WE Can more

    2 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2013

    Simpleton

    His fathers status as illegal has no bearing considering his ithe son of a natural born American citizen! Please people teach your children, that ighe only way the nonsense shall stop! For the record obama istrying to help a country we as citizens have helpedcongress destroy, no president can create and enforce laws on his own it simply doesnt work like that did you not pay attention to fourth grade civics.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 11, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Must Read!

    A fabulous memoir and a brilliant man! Obama offers some very honest reflections on his life and the meaning of race in America. Fascinating! A much more personal work than "The Audacity of Hope" which felt like a campaign ad.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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