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February 27, 2009 / merlisser

Dreams of My Father-

I just finished Barack Obama’s book Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance. This book was written in 1995 not long after Mr. Obama became the first African American president and before he even thought about going into politics. As a result, this book is a lot more honest and less self serving than most books written by politicians.

President Obama writes about his life from the time he was born until his first visit to Kenya in the late 80s. OF course, the topics of this book have been covered by the press ad nauseum during his Presidential campaign: his drug use as a teen, his Kenyan father who left his mother when he was young, his childhood in Hawaii and Indonesia, and his time in college and as a youth organizer after graduation.

The thing that I discovered reading this book is that President Obama is a very thoughtful man who analyzes (and possibly overanalyzes) everything in his life. He seeks to understand himself and the world around him. He is emotional but seeks to understand his emotions and attempts to not let those emotions affect his decisions.

For me personally, I got a kick out of the section regarding his visit to Kenya. I visited Kenya during the summer of 1994 to help build a school in the Kenyan highlands. His descriptions of Nairobi and the Nairobi markets, the buildings, the tribal infighting, and the different modes of travel remind me of that time.

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