Thursday, 14 February 2013

Book Review - Dreams Fom My Father - a Story of Race and Inheritance by Barack Obama

This book provides a fascinating insight into the man who became President of the USA. Barack Obama wrote this book as a young man, long before he became a household name worldwide. He covers his young life from childhood, through to his first years in Chicago.
He discusses his life as a boy finding his place within himself and in the world, with a Kenyan father he hardly knew, growing up in Hawaii with his white mother and grandparents, and in Indonesia with his mother and Indonesian stepfather. Childhood can be tricky enough, but reading this opened my heart to the kids who look around the playground and can't find anyone who seems to be just like them, a group that fits.

He writes candidly about his teenage and College years, revealing the days he's probably less proud of, and which have given his political foes some fodder for the press.

His first visit to Kenya is discussed at length and the reader gets a real sense of how knowing one's family and origins helps us understand ourselves.

This book is not a quick read. It is written in a considered, but open and honest way with many references to the philosophical debates of race and class which were going on at the time. I learnt a lot about this man I'd only known of since his name became an international news story, and respect him much more for it. I'm very glad I found this book.

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