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A Promised Land by Barack Obama - Book Review


Summary

In the moving, widely awaited first volume of his presidential memoirs, Barack Obama outlines in vividly personal detail both his political education and the seminal moments of the first term of his historic presidency; a time of remarkable transition and tumult, the tale of his unlikely odyssey from a young man searching for his existence as leader of the free world.

From his earliest political ambitions to the seminal Iowa caucus victory that showed the strength of grassroots activism; Obama brings readers on a convincing journey to the watershed night of November 4, 2008, when he was elected the 44th president of the United States and became the first African American to hold the country's highest office.

He presents a unique and thoughtful exploration of both the incredible scope and the limits of presidential influence, focusing on the presidency, as well as unique insights into the complexities of U.S. partisan politics and foreign diplomacy. Obama is taking readers into and into Moscow, Cairo, Beijing, and outside the White House Oval Office and Situation Area. As he assembles his cabinet, tries to deal with an international economic meltdown; we are aware of his views, taking Vladimir Putin's measure, overcoming seemingly insurmountable odds to secure passage of the Affordable Care Act, clashing with U.S. policy generals in Afghanistan, tackling Wall Street reform, reacting to the disastrous blowout of Deepwater Horizon, and approving Intervention Neptune's Spear, leading to Osama bin Laden's death.

The story of one man's bet on history, the confidence of a community activist checked on the world stage, is profoundly personal and introspective. Obama is frank about the juggling act of running for office as a Black American, bearing the hopes of a generation buoyed by tweets of "hope and change" and meeting the moral challenges of high-stakes decision-making. He is honest about the forces that opposed him at home and abroad, open about how his wife and daughters were influenced by living in the White House, and unafraid of disclosing self-doubt and disappointment. Yet, he never wavers from his conviction that change is still possible inside the generous, ongoing American experiment.

This wonderfully made and influential book captures Barack Obama's conviction that democracy is not a gift from above but something built, day by day, on empathy and shared understanding and constructed together.

Commentary

Barack Hussein Obama II is an American attorney and military leader as the United States' 44th president from 2009 to 2017. A member of the Democratic Party, Obama was the United States' first African-American president.

In the Hawaiian town of Honolulu, Obama was born. After graduating in 1983 from Columbia University, he worked in Chicago as a community organizer. He enrolled at Harvard Law School in 1988, where he was the first black person to be the Harvard Law Review president. After graduation, from 1992 to 2004, he became a civil rights lawyer and an academic, teaching federal constitution at the University of Chicago Law School. Turning into elective politics, He served the 13th district in the Illinois Senate from 1997 until 2004, when he ran for the U.S. From the Senate. With his March Senate primary victory, his well-received July Democratic National Convention keynote speech, and his landslide November election to the Senate, Obama received national attention in 2004. A year after his presidential campaign began and after a tight primary campaign against Hillary Clinton, he was elected president in 2008, Obama was elected over Republican candidate John McCain and, on January 20, 2009, was inaugurated alongside Joe Biden. Nine months later, he was elected laureate of the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize.

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