A Promised Land

A Promised Land


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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.

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.

Title:A Promised Land
Edition Language:English
Format Type:

    A Promised Land Reviews

  • Angela M

    Our expectations for elected officials aren’t always very realistic, and none more than for those elected to the highest office in our country. We’ve never had a perfect President and never will, ...

  • Shivani Patel

    Once again I have to let people on here know they should not mess with the rating system. You don't have to like Obama or read his book but please do not leave ratings on Goodreads just to make that k...

  • Jack Waters

    The $45 cover price is only steep if you don’t consider the implied number humor...

  • Holly

    I am 'reading' this via audiobook because even though it's 29 hours long, just listening to Obama's steady voice is reassuring during this current insanity. (Also, this ended up being my 100th book I ...

  • Selim Batti

    One thing I want to mention. This is Goodreads. For those who don’t know what this app is, it’s a planet for readers, not a battlefield for competitors.You can’t just create multiple accounts, c...

  • Gabby

    This book was so incredible and it gave me so much hope for America. I miss Obama so much, he's so well-spoken and he has such a way with words, I listened to the audiobook which is definitely the way...

  • Stephanie L

    If you think I wouldn't add this after Michelle Obama's Becoming, are we even friends?...

  • Dr. Appu Sasidharan

    Summary (Regular review) This book tells us the journey of a young man who was a student in Hawaii to Harvard University and then ultimately to the White House. This is the first volume of his aut...

  • Jeffrey Keeten

    ”’Whatever you do won’t be enough,’ I heard their voices say.‘Try anyway.’”Obama had just been drubbed in an election against a popular candidate when he made the absolutely crazy decisi...

  • Malia

    My first thought: The editor's red pen was notably absent here! Goodness, this was long; long but not at all boring.I listened to the audiobook, which Obama reads himself, and there was a sort of comf...