A Promised Land
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A Promised Land

4.47 (2,607 ratings by Goodreads)

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Description

A riveting, deeply personal account of history in the making-from the president who inspired us to believe in the power of democracy.

In the stirring, highly anticipated first volume of his presidential memoirs, Barack Obama tells the story of his improbable odyssey from young man searching for his identity to leader of the free world, describing in strikingly personal detail both his political education and the landmark moments of the first term of his historic presidency-a time of dramatic transformation and turmoil.

Obama takes readers on a compelling journey from his earliest political aspirations to the pivotal Iowa caucus victory that demonstrated the power of grassroots activism to the watershed night of November 4, 2008, when he was elected 44th president of the United States, becoming the first African American to hold the nation's highest office.

Reflecting on the presidency, he offers a unique and thoughtful exploration of both the awesome reach and the limits of presidential power, as well as singular insights into the dynamics of U.S. partisan politics and international diplomacy. Obama brings readers inside the Oval Office and the White House Situation Room, and to Moscow, Cairo, Beijing, and points beyond. We are privy to his thoughts as he assembles his cabinet, wrestles with a global financial crisis, takes the measure of Vladimir Putin, overcomes seemingly insurmountable odds to secure passage of the Affordable Care Act, clashes with generals about U.S. strategy in Afghanistan, tackles Wall Street reform, responds to the devastating Deepwater Horizon blowout, and authorizes Operation Neptune's Spear, which leads to the death of Osama bin Laden.

A Promised Land is extraordinarily intimate and introspective-the story of one man's bet with history, the faith of a community organizer tested on the world stage. Obama is candid about the balancing act of running for office as a Black American, bearing the expectations of a generation buoyed by messages of `hope and change,` and meeting the moral challenges of high-stakes decision-making. He is frank about the forces that opposed him at home and abroad, open about how living in the White House affected his wife and daughters, and unafraid to reveal self-doubt and disappointment. Yet he never wavers from his belief that inside the great, ongoing American experiment, progress is always possible.

This beautifully written and powerful book captures Barack Obama's conviction that democracy is not a gift from on high but something founded on empathy and common understanding and built together, day by day.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 750 pages
  • 162 x 242 x 50mm | 750g
  • VIKING
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • TWO 16-PAGE 4C PHOTO INSERTS
  • 0241491517
  • 9780241491515
  • 1

Table of contents

1: PREFACE
2: PART ONE | THE BET
3: PART TWO | YES WE CAN
4: PART THREE | RENEGADE
5: PART FOUR | THE GOOD FIGHT
6: PART FIVE | THE WORLD AS IT IS
7: PART SIX | IN THE BARREL
8: PART SEVEN | ON THE HIGH WIRE
9: ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
10: PHOTOGRAPH CREDITS
11: INDEX
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Review Text

Barack Obama is as fine a writer as they come. It is not merely that this book avoids being ponderous, as might be expected, even forgiven, of a hefty memoir, but that it is nearly always pleasurable to read, sentence by sentence, the prose gorgeous in places, the detail granular and vivid...Barack Obama has...illuminated a pivotal moment in American history Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie The New York Times
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Review quote

What is unexpected in A Promised Land is not its literary elegance but the former president's candour -- David Olusoga * Observer * The author of Dreams from My Father - his lyrical 1995 account of his tangled mixed-race upbringing in Hawaii and Jakarta - has not lost his narrative touch. This memoir is beautifully written and disarmingly candid...leavened with telling asides, poignant vignettes, painterly character sketches and an occasional corker of a joke -- Tony Allen-Mills * The Sunday Times * Deeply enjoyable...Obama is such a fluent and warm writer and so good at describing events and people * Daily Express * Well-reasoned, well-written, insightful...we can read in detail of a time, not so long ago, when the president would ask for everybody else in the room to offer a view before offering his own...As a work of political literature A Promised Land is impressive. Obama is a gifted writer -- Gary Younge * Guardian * Obama's is a beautifully written memoir...and covers his childhood through to the assassination of Osama bin Laden in 2011, which is written up like a thriller...it's probably the best volume of autobiography from a former president in modern times. As a reminder of a face of America it is invaluable -- Sean O'Grady * Independent, ***** * A classy book and not just one for insiders...[Obama] reminds us what it was like having a sense of magnanimity and modest statesmanship in the White House. Welcome home, decency -- James Hanning * inews.co.uk * A supremely intelligent, accomplished man . . . Obama emerges as kind to his staff, devoted to his children and absolutely in love with his wife -- Tim Stanley * The Telegraph * 701 pages of elegantly written narrative, contemplation and introspection, in which he frequently burrows down into his own motivations... A Promised Land delivers amply on the basic expectations of political autobiographies, providing a granular view from the driving seat of power. There are also the gratifying details observed in moments of historic import -- Julian Borger * The Guardian * Deeply introspective and at times elegiac... [it] isn't the usual post-presidential legacy-burnishing project. There is a literary grandness... and dramatic renderings of moments high and low captured in sometimes Sorkin-esque dialogue...The narrative puts the reader in the room at defining moments -- Eli Stokols * LA Times * Barack Obama is as fine a writer as they come. It is not merely that this book avoids being ponderous, as might be expected, even forgiven, of a hefty memoir, but that it is nearly always pleasurable to read, sentence by sentence, the prose gorgeous in places, the detail granular and vivid...Barack Obama has...illuminated a pivotal moment in American history -- Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie * The New York Times *
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About President Barack Obama

Barack Obama was the 44th president of the United States, elected in November 2008 and holding office for two terms. He is the author of two previous New York Times bestselling books, Dreams from My Father and The Audacity of Hope, and the recipient of the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize. He lives in Washington, D.C., with his wife, Michelle. They have two daughters, Malia and Sasha.
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Rating details

2,607 ratings
4.47 out of 5 stars
5 65% (1,704)
4 25% (655)
3 5% (128)
2 1% (26)
1 4% (94)
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