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Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance | [Barack Obama]

Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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.

©1995, 2004 Barack Obama; (P)2005 Random House, Inc. Random House Audio, a division of Random House, Inc.

What the Critics Say

  • Grammy Award Winner, Best Spoken Word Album, 2005

"Provocative....Persuasively describes the phenomenon of belonging to two different worlds, and thus belonging to neither." (The New York Times Book Review)
"Fluidly, calmly, insightfully, Obama guides us straight to the intersection of the most serious questions of identity, class, and race." (Washington Post Book World)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (1704 )
5 star
 (879)
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Overall
4.2 (443 )
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Story
4.5 (439 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Empowerment Middletown, RI, United States 11-01-08
    Empowerment Middletown, RI, United States 11-01-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Excellent"

    Fascinating story. I hope Obama becomes president but, if he does not, he should record more books.
    He has a terrific reading voice.

    7 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stargazur Fleming Island, FL, United States 02-08-13
    Stargazur Fleming Island, FL, United States 02-08-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Interesting bio from President Obama himself growi"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    It would have been better if he talked about his early life growing up from a historical perspective instead of how his experiences with his father, mother, and step-father led (molded) him into the man with the life goals and political views (Marxism) he now endeavors to pursue.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Barack Obama again?

    Yes, so I can have a better insight into the man that is our President.


    Which character – as performed by Barack Obama – was your favorite?

    Himself


    What character would you cut from Dreams from My Father?

    None.


    Any additional comments?

    It is a very insightful book. It explains why he pursues a large government with a "socialist" agenda.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marietta Braintree, MA, United States 10-18-11
    Marietta Braintree, MA, United States 10-18-11
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    "What the hell"

    okay so i was listeing to this while reading the book and it does not match up he skips over things and it is impossible to read with it. It does not give you the entire book to be honest kind of bs

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Charlotte Fremont, CA, United States 04-27-11
    Charlotte Fremont, CA, United States 04-27-11
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    "What a treat, Obama narrates excellent book"

    I read the book four years ago. It's one of those books that you think about long after finishing, then pick up and read again. Except, this time I'm listening to it. Having it read to me by the author is even more riveting, and I'm picking up parts that I couldn't fully recall when I first read it. I'd give it six stars if I could.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Somone Glendale, AZ, United States 12-04-10
    Somone Glendale, AZ, United States 12-04-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Spectacular"

    Gorgeous story. Not political- just an honest, beautiful, and insightful account told by an unarguably great man.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kenyanese Ask Waldo 10-01-10
    Kenyanese Ask Waldo 10-01-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    "Better than the paper back"

    It took me a couple of weeks to read the paper back leisurely. Not so with the 7 hr audio book. Although I had read the book, I was rivetted to the audio book.

    If I was to use one word to describe the experience, it would be "profound". The narrative clearly brought out the emotions. I could feel the mood as Obama intended it to convey.

    The only downside, it was abridged. Skipped on some parts that I would have liked to go through again.

    Two thumbs up.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Katherine Yarmouth, ME, United States 11-12-09
    Katherine Yarmouth, ME, United States 11-12-09 Member Since 2005
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    "A must listen"

    Hearing the life story of this man, written before he became President is fascinating. Obama reads it extremely well. It gives insight in the forces that shape the man and will shape our times.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Scott Milford, MI, United States 03-13-09
    Scott Milford, MI, United States 03-13-09 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Insight into the rasing of our President"

    I just finished Barack Obama's first book, Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance this week. It is only a 35-40 minute drive, so it took the whole week.

    Firstly, I think one of things that made this book any good was the fact that he read it himself. His personality and expression comes out so well in his voice. And something I found very interesting was his different voices/ impressionations of the people in his life, mother, grandmother, sisters, cousins, friends. They really came to life with their accents and tone.

    Second, I felt the book was a very good insight into how our new President became the man he is today. It is a very down to earth account of his life growing up, from Hawaii to Indonesia and back. It covers his early schooling, college and onto his first job and then his life as a community organizer.

    In some areas there are lots of details and you can really see what happened in his life to motivate him to where he has risen. And oddly in some ways, because the count is so open and real, he seems no different than you or I. Of course, as I would expect Obama provides a very self-aware account of his life as a black man with a Kenyan father and Kansas mother.

    I definitely recommend this book to anyone interested in learning more about our new President, Barack Obama.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    KATHY TRACY, CA 12-18-08
    KATHY TRACY, CA 12-18-08 Member Since 2005
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    "great listen"

    Great listen if you want an honest of account of our President Elect's history. Slow moving in the beginning but it picks up and continues til the end.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andy Boren 07-13-08
    Andy Boren 07-13-08 Member Since 2005
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    "Inspirational and candid"

    I'm encouraged that a book this sincere and real was written by a presidential candidate.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
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