Book 36 of 52: Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance

Hey-o! Out of the book funk…at least for now.

I’ve meant to read Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance since the election. I wanted to know more about the man who was to then-become President, but I’d also read reviews of the books that pegged it as a different kind of book than those typically written by candidates for higher office.

And there’s a good reason why: Obama wrote this book in 1992, before he was even in politics. Instead of smarmy “this is why you should vote for me” books put out by every candidate (on both sides of the aisle), it’s a book by a man of mixed race with an absent father. The fact that he then went on to become President is a footnote — not even mentioned in the book (though it does have a 2004 epilogue).

I don’t want to jump into politics too much, so this review will be short. As a memoir, it’s good. Does it give you a better picture of where the President came from? Absolutely. But even if you don’t like him, it’s still a great read and well written book about one man’s journey through the choppy racial waters of American and Africa (though I’d agree with Obama when he says in the 2004 introduction that he was a little verbose).

Why did I pick it up now? I don’t know. It could have to do with the book funk, wide praise of the book, and the 20% off sticker at Target. Whatever it was, I’m glad I picked it up.

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Jen Miller

Jen Miller

Jen A. Miller is a an author and freelance writer. Her memoir, Running a Love Story, was a Philadelphia Inquirer best book of the year. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, SELF, Buzzfeed and the Guardian, among others.

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