A Promised Land - Barack Obama

A Promised Land

By Barack Obama

  • Release Date : 2020-11-17
  • Genre : Biographies & Memoirs
  • File Size : 172.81 MB
Score: 4
From 866 Ratings
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A riveting, deeply personal account of history in the making—from the president who inspired us to believe in the power of democracy


NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The Washington Post • Jennifer Szalai, The New York Times • NPR • The GuardianMarie Claire

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.


  • Enough already

    By Luluwolfson
    Get over yourself. We don’t care about your story for the THIRD time. You accomplished nothing as a president. Zero. Oh wait, I almost forgot Michelle built a garden at the White House. Yep, that’s it.
  • Wonderful...

    By Kim Massie
    Wonder book. A great read by a great man who gave us hope.
  • Corruption

    By 3LLJ
    Absolutely the most racist president of of anybody’s lifetime alive today!
  • Horrible book

    By FranzMo2384
    Full of garbage identity politics. A self homage by the most corrupt president in modern times who got a pass cause he was black. Worse than Hilllary Clinton’s books. Nog even worth the sale price.
  • Sad

    By Patriot Always
    No words.
  • Beautifully written

    By Rainydaze12
    It’s clear that republicans are logging on to trash the man, not the book. Kinda pathetic but such is life. For those who can ACTUALLY read, this is a good one. Honest, funny, and engaging - just like the author himself.
  • An inspiring life

    By Vinjed
    Truly enjoyed the book and appreciate the honesty of his strengths, failings and true courage. His experiences are inspiring to me and will certainly draw on them to get thru tough times with belief that things will be alright as long as we preserve.
  • The world as it is, and the world as it should be...

    By Tinoh8
    Contrary to what we just lived through the last four years, the President is not insulated. The leader of the free world cannot see what she/he wants to see, or hear what she/he wants to hear. This book makes that clear as President Obama hit the ground running, and Volume I of his memoir didn't even cover the entirety of his first term! Reality comes at you fast when you’re in command, and the balancing act that comes with the job being POTUS is a profound struggle no matter which political party is in office. My initial thought: Why would anyone want to be the President? Hindsight is always 20/20, and everyone is an expert, but I can’t imagine the real-time pressure and stress that come with the office. A Promised Land is sobering look at the difficult decisions that had to be made, the promises that never materialized, and a frustrating look behind the scenes of the ridiculous game of politics. Calling out politicians who stall progress and block common sense regulation and policy was what I expected, but this book offered a slight paradigm shift into my particular impatience while answering some of my personal questions. President Obama’s perspective and insight shed light on the fact that the United States Government is, in fact, an ocean liner and not a speed boat. It’s easy to see that democracy moves slowly, and sometimes for good reasons, but I’m clearly impatient. We need people to vote, and President Obama mentions as much throughout this book, but one of the most popular humans on the planet couldn’t convince the American People to do that halfway through his first term. The president understood that progress, especially on voting and equality, seem to be going backward. President Obama cites Du Bois when he writes about “Black Americans remaining the perpetual ‘Other,’ always on the outside looking in, ever feeling their ‘two-ness,’ defined not by what they are but by what they can never be.” He was president that had to work through that “two-ness” as he navigated his way through his presidency. He had a different set of guardrails and, often, and unfair comparison to other presidents. “It was an irony that I—like many modern leaders—eventually learned to live with: You never looked as smart as the ex-president did on the sidelines.” All leaders are compared to their predecessors, but President Obama was given a higher set of standards considering the many firsts he brought to the Oval Office. I think it’s safe to say he was on another level than his predecessors when it came to empathy and humility, and it goes without saying that he is leaps and bounds ahead of his successor in all areas of human decency (these are just facts). It is no secret that the GOP’s priorities during the Obama administrations were that obfuscation and stonewalling. Yes, the Democrats can also be accused of playing this game. Either way, it’s the worst of politics, and it is amazing that President Obama could get anything accomplished during his tenure. President Obama was not perfect. I’m glad he saw the irony is getting a Nobel Peace Prize while he deployed troops and expanding an ongoing war. I was hoping for more commentary on these issues. Maybe I’ll have to wait for Volume II, but I’m hoping he talks about immigration, NSA surveillance, and the bias of the FISA Court. I doubt it, though. This might be a spoiler for some, but the President does a solid job of articulating the problems in our democracy. “Perhaps most troubling of all, our democracy seems to be teetering on the brink of crisis—a crisis rooted in a fundamental contest between two opposing visions of what America is and what it should be; a crisis that has left the body politic divided, angry, and mistrustful, and has allowed for an ongoing breach of institutional norms, procedural safeguards, and the adherence to basic facts that both Republicans and Democrats once took for granted.” America is on a slow journey from ignorance, to tolerance, and eventually inclusion. Even so, President Obama understood that not everyone was/is onboard. “At the heart of this long-running battle is a simple question: Do we care to match the reality of America to its ideals? If so, do we really believe that our notions of self-government and individual freedom, equality of opportunity and equality before the law, apply to everybody? Or are we instead committed, in practice if not in statute, to reserving those things for a privileged few?” President Obama was quick to point out that universal programs like public education or public sector employment had a funny way of becoming controversial once black and brown people were included as beneficiaries. It’s a tale as old as time... Patriotism is perceived from two polarizing points of view. This book highlights the consequences for our elected officials who attempted to work together for the good of the country (True Patriotism). Not much has changed, though. Lives hang in the balance of our legislator’s decisions, but the grip on political power seems to be more important. President Obama hoped for change within the system and attempted to push against it. The hope was to lead and empower people to make changes for themselves; to encourage Americans be in politics but not of it... Or as Michelle Obama said, “The world as it is, and the world as it should be.” President Obama took office while divisions were churning across the country (Democrats protesting Bush’s leadership). He saw what was to come in terms of protests and dissent. He understood that whatever decorum had once regulated politics were on its way out. It’s safe to say that the current admin has blown up the idea of peaceful transfer of power (or decency). I look forward to Volume II, but as the country prepares for another change in ideology and leadership, there doesn’t seem to be middle ground, or a promised land, in sight. We’re going to need more magic beans, baby.
  • A promised land

    By LizWalker098
    Too much anti-Americanism. We are good people who have done a lot of good things, we are not selfish, racist or ignorant of our evils. Such of being told how awful we are.
  • AMAZING!!!

    By MartinDE
    Another great book thank you thank you thank you!!! Mr. President you are so inspirational and smart unlike the clown now who is ruining what you’ve done. Thank you for everything!!!!