Book Review: Barack Obama’s Dreams From My Father

Dreams From My Father by Barack Obama is an autobiography published in 1998 and is about the story of his life up until he was elected as the first Head of the Harvard Law Review, two decades before he was elected the president of the United States of America.

In this book we learn about his upbringing in a mostly white environment as a mixed-race child in Hawaii. He takes us through his academic journey, and his participation as a community organiser in Chicago, until he got a scholarship to continue his law studies at Harvard.

This book is written in an easily readable language, even though Obama is not a professional writer if politics did not work out he could easily have tried his hand as a novelist.

I quite enjoyed how honest he is about the struggles of his childhood and youth with identity as a mixed-race boy raised by his white grandparents who called him Barry instead of Barack. He also takes us to his confidence about how he experimented with drugs at university, a typical young rebellious life.

The only negative I found in this book was just how little he spoke about how he met his wife and the journey that ended up in their marriage. It was as though his romantic life was an afterthought. He dedicates only a paragraph to his marriage and wedding day.

I’d recommend this book to everyone who likes Barack Obama because there are lessons in this book that would reinforce one’s love for the man, but I would also recommend this book to anyone who does not like Barack Obama because this is a human story that goes far beyond political viewpoints, race relations or even geographic location.

Out of ten, I rate Dreams From My Father an eight, taking away the two points solely because he really wasn’t interested in telling us about his family life.

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