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January 28, 2013

Dreams From My Father

Dreams From My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance by Barack Obama
Reviewed by Abel

Dreams From My Father is a book about finding out who you are and how you can impact society. The "you" in this case is Barack Obama, and in his autobiography he chronicles his internal struggle and his struggle to make change in a country where the black community faced continuous adversity.

Obama was born to a Kenyan father and a white mother at a time when interracial marriage was frowned upon. Obama never really knew his father, since his father had left the family when Obama was very young, and this missing relationship was a large cause of the internal struggle you read about in the book.

The tough part about reviewing this autobiography is that I neither hated nor loved it. Itís fairly interesting to read about the different situations and events that took place in the life of our 44th president, but the book didnít really move or inspire me. To be honest, Dreams From My Father is a very up and down book. It has its lulls in the writing that makes you want to just skip to the dialogue, but there are also some riveting moments when Obama describes the crazy scenarios he finds himself in.

An instance of this occurs when Obama takes the son of a friend to a basketball court in Chicago to play some pick-up games. The game soon gets rough and the 16-year-old (named Kyle) that Obama had brought along gets in a confrontation with an adult they were playing with. Suddenly, "Kyle swung. His fist landed square on the manís jaw, dropping him to the floor. ". Another time in the book, Obama and his friend Johnnie are sitting outside at night when they hear gunshots. As they hide, they see two teenagers wielding handguns chasing after another young man who is also carrying a gun. Those are just a couple of situations that Obama documents in his memoir.

Dreams From My Father is a very hot and cold book. It can captivate your attention in some moments and put you to sleepin in others, but there is no middle ground. I would recommend the book to readers who are interested in politics and how politics worked "behind the scenes" in Chicago during the 70s and 80s because Obama does a good job of depicting the inner workings of the local politics that many people may not know about.

Posted by Arlo at January 28, 2013 04:24 PM