In this lyrical, unsentimental, and compelling memoir, the son of a black African father and a white American mother searches for a workable meaning to his life as a black American.
It begins in New York, where Barack Obama learns that his father - a figure he knows more as a myth than as a man - has been killed in a car accident.
This sudden death inspires an emotional odyssey - first to a small town in Kansas, from which he retraces the migration of his mother's family to Hawaii, and then to Kenya, where he meets the African side of his family, confronts the bitter truth of his father's life, and at last reconciles his divided inheritance.
About the Author
Barack Obama was born in Honolulu in 1961. In his early twenties he found his vocation working among poor communities on the south side of Chicago. Later he went to law school at Harvard University, where he became the first black president of the Harvard Law Review. In 1995 he published his memoir Dreams from My Father, which became a bestseller soon after it was reissued in 2004.
After returning to Chicago, he was elected to the Illinois State Senate in 1996. Barack Obama delivered the keynote address at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, and later that year he was elected to the US Senate. In 2008 he became President of the United States of America.
Elected the first black president of the Harvard Law Review, Obama was offered a book contract, but the intellectual journey he planned to recount became instead this poignant, probing memoir of an unusual life. Born in 1961 to a white American woman and a black Kenyan student, Obama was reared in Hawaii by his mother and her parents, his father having left for further study and a return home to Africa. So Obama's not-unhappy youth is nevertheless a lonely voyage to racial identity, tensions in school, struggling with black literature-with one month-long visit when he was 10 from his commanding father. After college, Obama became a community organizer in Chicago. He slowly found place and purpose among folks of similar hue but different memory, winning enough small victories to commit himself to the work-he's now a civil rights lawyer there. Before going to law school, he finally visited Kenya; with his father dead, he still confronted obligation and loss, and found wellsprings of love and attachment. Obama leaves some lingering questions-his mother is virtually absent-but still has written a resonant book. Photos not seen by PW. Author tour. (June)
'Barack Obama...the Democratic Party's new rock star, is that rare politician who can actually write-and write movingly and genuinely about himself.' New York Times 'Beautifully crafted...moving and candid...this book belongs on the shelf beside works like James McBride's The Color of Water as a tale of living astride America's racial categories.' -- Scott Turow 'A beautiful reflection on an unusual background and a thoughtful analysis of what race means in America today.' Scotsman 'An honesty and self-awareness not always found in autobiographers, and more rarely in potential leaders of the free world.' Telegraph 'A remarkable story, beautifully told.' Observer
Number Of Pages: 464
Published: February 2008
Dimensions (cm): 19.8 x 12.9