Maeg’s View Book Review: A Promised Land by Barack Obama

We’re back with our second book! It’s only fitting to read Barack’s book after reading Michelle’s book, plus I really wanted to see what he had to say. He did not disapoint – holy information! While I was half way through reading the book I looked up the website and realized this is volume one so there will be more book we will have to read! Let’s get into it!

“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

Questions:

Did you race to the end, or was it more of a slow burn?
I think it was a little bit of both. Some parts of the book were not that interesting but it was a major thing he had to overcome being the President. Also, I attempted to read as much as I could as fast as I could because I did find most parts interesting and it was 701 pages

Do you think the author was honest?
100% I thought he was honest and that was the best part of the book. While being president he has to watch what he says, how he says it or if he should even say it at all. With this book you get to hear his honest side of the story and his actually thoughts of what was going on at the time.

What did you think of the author’s voice and style? Did the quality of the writing match the story?
You know when Obama does his speeches and you try to focus on what he’s saying but all you really notice is how well spoken he is and the way he talks you could just listen to him for hours with his deep voice? That’s all I could hear in my mind as I read the book, I even told my Mum that this would be great to hear the audio version because it would be in his voice. I think it matched him perfectly, it’s long because he always has so much to say and the words were like the way he talks.

Of all the information presented in the book, what has stayed with you the most?
There’s a couple things that stayed with me the most, which are, I still hate politics, republicans prevent a lot of good things from happening and they make some laws that don’t make sense to me at all. The president is literally the one person who has stopped a lot of nuclear wars and they’re pretty much is the worlds business because they just straight up have to be. If you read the book you completely understand what I mean about all those things. There’s so much information in this book that it just blows your mind.

What did you Google while reading the book?
The one thing I noticed while reading this book was there’s A LOT of nuclear bombs in the world so I googled it. The little blurb that popped up said there is 3,750 nuclear bombs that are currently active around the world. In total there is 13,890 nuclear bombs but all except those 3,750 are in storage and not active.

What was your favourite part of the book?
My favourite part of the book would have to be the last chapter. Not because it was the end of the book but because it was about Obama getting Bin Laden. September 11th, 2001 was awful. I’ve watched and read a lot about this topic and would love to go to New York as it is an amazing place to start with but it’s a place that it strong as hell to come back from that. I’ve read a lot of books about Bin Laden and the planning; I’ve watched Zero Dark Thirty and all that but to hear the presidents’ side is interesting as hell. Not to mention Trump started to show up in this chapter so I’m assuming in his next book(s) that is going to be a topic

I know a bunch of you have read this book so answer the questions in the comments!

Thanks for reading,

Maeg.

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