A Promised Land
Author(s): Barack Obama
Reviewed by: Chowdhury Mueen Uddin, London, UK
Barack Obama is a man of many talents. Writing in Time Magazine, Joe Kelein commented about Obama’s first book, Dreams from My Father (1995), ‘this may be the best written memoir ever produced by an American politician’. But it was only the first of Obama’s autobiographical offering and he was destined to be elevated from a mere ‘American politician’ to the first ever African-American president of the United States.
A decade later, Obama published his second largely autobiographical book The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream (2006). The dream was already on course to be translated in his own life by taking his seat in the US Capitol as Senator, which eventually propelled him to the zenith of US political power – the Presidency.
American presidents (they are never ‘former’ even after leaving the office) routinely used their retirement to write their memoirs – a lucrative way (for this book alone Mr. and Mrs Obama received a mouth-watering amount of 65 million dollars) to eternalise their legacy. It was inevitable that with his unique experience and powerful command of language, Obama would soon sit down with his laptop, or in his case, ‘with a pen and yellow pad and writing in longhand’ his autobiography.