Comments (42)Add a Comment
Loved it! The former president's grace, humor and intelligence leap from every page as he details both his quest for idealism and pragmatic approaches for an equalized American and also the frustrations at dealing with the Republican party that opposed him at every step. He also does as the staff reviewer notes, "a cautionary tale". If this is an intended road map, then he shall be rewarded. Another must read for those who love American history and those of its presidency.
Barack Obama's portrait of a presidency from a relatively regular man's perspective is enlightening, entertaining, and occasionally dispiriting. It's almost a bit of a cautionary tale, how even with the best intentions the American political machine will find a way to squash you. While this certainly won't change the minds of those who think Obama is [insert insane conspiracy theory here], any reasonable person can probably appreciate this earnest account of the struggles of leading a divided nation while trying to raise a family and maintain some sense of normalcy.
What a great book. A frank, insider, personal look from Obama on his start in politics up to his presidency. An excellent look at the day to day operations of being a politician. It goes into great details of individual major items and how US politics works (and sometimes does not work). When you read it you can actually hear his voice. Awesome! If you want to experience it even further Obama reads the audiobook
A surprisingly frank and engaging account of his first term in office. He explains in clear language the historical context for many of the problems or conflicts we see in the world today. He keeps it light by peppering the book with personal anecdotes and funny characterizations of world leaders and people on his team. I can see why he was a professor. A wonderful read I highly recommend.
This is the story of Barack Obama, the man, his rise to the presidency - yes leader of the free world - and the way he manages the turmoils of this office. Though we know all the incidents President Obama talks about, reading his account of it with some personal tidbits thrown in makes for interesting reading. I can't wait for Volume II.
Excellent! It was very interesting and informative. I like how he enriches the story with personal comments. Loved how he suggested that Michelle wear a cute little hat and carry a purse when they met Queen Elizabeth 11. Michelle's response was priceless! Since the book is Large print, I felt like I was holding a manual on building a super-sonic jet. But it is an enjoyable book to read.
The first of a two part memoir of his time in office, this book contains President Obama's views on the major events of his early political career. Not a "juicy tell-all" by far, Obama presents clear historical retrospectives for each issue, excerpts of discussions with his staff, and the results of the actions taken. A great history lesson of the 2008-2012 timeframe in US politics.
If you can't picture yourself reading a presidential memoir, this might be the book that changes that. It is very personal and interesting. Obama is a solid writer and he tells a good story.
While the book is a bit of a grind, I think the most powerful piece is that Mr. Obama is not only a politician but he is a lyrical writer.
A good book - tough to get through in places for example where he is listing all his hires both in his run for president and after he became president - but very interesting (especially bin Laden death). Gives me a great appreciation for all the work and compromise that it takes to get things done. Would like to see parties work together for the common good.
When I started this book, I braced myself for the typical heavy-duty presidential bio (I read Bill Clinton’s book years ago and had to force myself to finish it). Obama’s writing is so good that it reads fairly quickly despite the details he delves into of his first four years as President. He managed to include personal anecdotes in between chapters to show a more human side of life in The White House, and how lonely the job can be. It was especially interesting to read about his relationship with Joe Biden who has now been elected the presidency. I enjoyed this book and I am glad that his editors decided that he should produce two volumes instead of one.I look forward to this second volume.
This was such an interesting book, as Obama reminisces on his childhood, family, and career, from his time as a Senator from Illinois to the beginning of his presidency. So well-written and interesting, especially for readers wanting a firsthand perspective of the challenges of the presidency.
What a deep thinker and thoughtful president Barack Obama was. His grasp of economics, foreign affairs, and all the other things a president needs to know was deep and wide. In this book Obama is very measured about his adversaries and presents both sides of an issue in a thoughtful way. Given the difficulties that faced him as he entered office, Obama had the strength of ego to surround himself with cabinet members who were like him, deep and creative thinkers. The reader clearly hears Obama's voice in this book. Very well written, honest, and interesting.
The "skinny guy with a funny name" tells me what he was thinking and doing when growing up, married Michelle Robinson, Malia & Sasha arrived, elected as a US Senator, drama filled presidential primary campaign (announced on Feb 10, 2007; all told in the first 10% of the book,) and how he confronted the challengers during his first 30 months as the 44th POTUS: Domestic policies (The Great Recession, Reverend Wright, Bank & Auto Industry bailouts, Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform, Obamacare, Deepwater Horizon explosion, 'Beer Summit', “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell", Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp, education, energy, climate ... Republicans sweep the 2010 midterm election,) Foreign affairs (Iraq and Afghan wars, Iran Nuclear Sanctions, Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Arab Spring ... Osama bin Laden,) foreign leaders (Netanyahu, Abbas, Medvedev, Putin, Merkel, Hu Jintao ..., Emperor Akihito & Empress Michiko.) In closing, the skinny guy speaks about the Birther conspiracist Trump, and how the Abbottabad mission was conceived, executed and ended. Last but not least, sprinkled throughout, the "skinny guy" and once smoker (quit right after he signed the Affordable Care Act into law on March 23, 2010,) sends heart felt love notes to Michelle.
What a guy!
WOW!!!! If you have a chance to listen to Barak Obama narrate this book, I highly recommend that you do so. After 4 years of political chaos, his voice of reason is a joy to hear!!! I love the fact that he is humble and self-deprecating. His humor comes through loud and strong as well as his honor, intelligence, and dedication. It is marvelous to hear the stories inside the White House when it is difficult to know from the news exactly what happened in historical events. The book ends with the death of Osama Bin Laden, so there is much to look forward to in the upcoming books. Highly recommend. Kristi & Abby Tabby
I'm going to be honest: I am not normally a fan of political biographies. That being said, Obama could read out the terms and conditions of my phone plan, and I would find it entertaining and insightful. Like many others, I am thankful that he has taken the time to write down his thoughts and opinions of his first term in office. It reads extremely well, and I found I had easily completed the first part of the book without even noticing it was hundreds of pages. Anyone who is wanting to read a no holds barred, political rag full of scandal and intrigue is bound to be disappointed. This is about how 'the sausage gets made', but it is not a diatribe against the system; in fact, it acts more of a guide as to how to move along in it, and to create the policies you are passionate about. There is no one here who is criticized or insulted; Obama appears to have got on with everyone, and he is very reluctant to say anything harsh or critical about anyone on both sides of the political spectrum. If anything, that can mean he comes across as a little bland; I do not believe we actually meet the real Obama in this book ( I wish he had spent more time describing the development of his political ideology), but I think this is as close as we are going to get.
We were so fortunate to have a dedicated, brilliant, public servant for 8 years and for him to lay bare his thought processes is such a gift. I have read his other books and many books from his former staffers so already knew quite a bit of this. He is a great writer, keeps the narrative moving and I wonder how a person can juggle so many things at once, get by on so little sleep and keep himself in good shape. I am glad I read this because while I have been wondering how trump could have been elected after obama this book does show warning signs of the intractability of the Republican leaders, unwillingness to work across the wider and wider divide in Congress, etc. The derision and lack of respect that was shown to him was a harbinger of racism coming out into the daylight in trumps term.
I thoroughly enjoyed this (as an ebook) as far as I could get, about 50% before it was due back. I will wait 'in line' to finish it, whenever that may be. It is worth the wait. He's candid, witty, funny, informative and knows a lot about not just America's history but other countries and their people. He was right where we needed him for 8 years. This book is more than an autobiography but a lesson on how complicated it is to run our country and to put the best people on you team.
As I was deep into maybe chapter 18 or 19, the last I read before check in... I really had to wonder about that 45th president we had and how uninformed and uneducated he was to run our country. So much detail in this book about difficult decisions, dealing with other heads of state, the press, etc all while having a good marriage and raising 2 beautiful girls. The mess that Barack was handed down (economy crash) is quite similar in some ways to the mess Biden inherits, albeit different subjects. Read this book, even if you have to check it out more than once. Educational, engaging as well as witty. The one liners really tickled me. I love this man!!
As somebody who is a big fan of Barack and very much enjoyed his prior two books, I found this one disappointing. If you are a super policy wonk historian, there is enough detail of the politics of his first four years, to justify going through some very dry material. I qualify in that respect and that accounts for my 2.5 stars, but he really lacked any personal revealing narrative about his emotive life beyond maybe 10% of the book and told in a very removed manner. A writer above all must reveal his vulnerability and faults, and Barack plays Mr. Smooth, and I admire his smoothness, but it doesnt make for revealing autobiography.
As to the politics, although informative, and well written, I found a lack of self doubt or consideration of other views, more a pr take. THis is likely par fro the course for political narratives, I couldnt get past chapter one for Romney, but I expected more from a man as intelligent as Barack.
If you have yet to read Obama, take the first two, or read Obamas half brother Davids wonderful books.
Successes and failures, cooperation and disunity are included to bring insight into Obama's personal account of his background leading into a political career and during first term as president. He maintains a tone of full disclosure as to how he saw his role personally, toward US politics, and world leadership. His tone rarely deflects from his purpose for the reader to understand the many nuances and challenges he faced and how many factors went into his decisions. His words are considerate and thought out. Long, yes. Thoroughly engrossing account from an accomplished writer, father, husband, friend, politician/president.
This book is long- extremely long (751 pages total, which includes the index) and I've completed about ten of them.
President Obama is not only my favorite President but also one of the people I most admire, so I was excited when my turn came to check this out from the library.
As I write this "review"this book is due at the library in three days. It has a waiting list of over 450 and it's going to take a while to read it thoroughly.
So that being said I'm going to wait till sometime in 2021 to start from the beginning and get as much as I can out of President Obama's newest book. Another reason to look forward to 2021.
But in the meantime I will say this... the first ten pages are pretty amazing.