Dreams from My Father

By Barack Obama,

Book cover of Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance

Book description


In this iconic memoir of his early days, Barack Obama “guides us straight to the intersection of the most serious questions of identity, class, and race” (The Washington Post Book World).…

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Why read it?

3 authors picked Dreams from My Father as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Our 44th President’s first book is the one most Americans are least likely to have read. We often commented during Obama’s time in office that many who voted for him would not have had they read the book and discovered Obama’s racial activism.

Obama is the son of a white mother and an African father from Kenya. His father left the family when Obama was two years old and returned to visit only once when Obama was ten. His father died when Obama was 21. Obama’s memoir details his early life in Honolulu, where he was raised by his white…

I read Dreams From My Father in 1995, before Barack Obama was Senator or President. I have always been drawn to stories about living between cultures, and Dreams From My Father resonated with me for that very reason. I was fascinated to read about Obama’s self-conceptualization and worldview. Despite the difference in the details of our lives, there is a universal experience when one belongs to more than one world. You are forever staking your claim in each of them. My senior year of high school, I had Obama’s younger sister, Maya, as a student teacher in my English class,…

Even more famous a son of a mixed relationship, this time a Black Kenyan man and a white American woman, is Barack Obama. His father met her while on a scholarship to the USA but abandoned her and his son when he returned to Kenya in 1964 and became a senior economist in the Kenyan Ministry of Finance. I researched his life when writing Not so Black and White with co-author, Nancy Mudenyo Hunt, who is also of Luo ancestry. Her father attended Obama’s funeral. This memoir is testimony to the struggle of children of mixed heritage to decide on…

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