Chancellor's Reading Club Selection 2009:
Dreams From My Father  by Barack Obama

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Dreams from my father


 In this lyrical, unsentimental, and compelling memoir, the son of a black African father and a white American mother searches for a workable meaning to his life as a black American. It begins in New York, where Barack Obama learns that his father—a figure he knows more as a myth than as a man—has been killed in a car accident. This sudden death inspires an emotional odyssey—first to a small town in Kansas, from which he retraces the migration of his mother’s family to Hawaii, and then to Kenya, where he meets the African side of his family, confronts the bitter truth of his father’s life, and at last reconciles his divided inheritance.

Pictured in lefthand photograph on cover: Habiba Akumu Hussein and Barack Obama, Sr. (President Obama's paternal grandmother and his father as a young boy). Pictured in righthand photograph on cover: Stanley Dunham and Ann Dunham (President Obama's maternal grandfather and his mother as a young girl).

Text From Random House, Inc.




Barack H. Obama is the 44th President of the United States.

His story is the American story — values from the heartland, a middle-class upbringing in a strong family, hard work and education as the means of getting ahead, and the conviction that a life so blessed should be lived in service to others.

With a father from Kenya and a mother from Kansas, President Obama was born in Hawaii on August 4, 1961. He was raised with help from his grandfather, who served in Patton's army, and his grandmother, who worked her way up from the secretarial pool to middle management at a bank.

After working his way through college with the help of scholarships and student loans, President Obama moved to Chicago, where he worked with a group of churches to help rebuild communities devastated by the closure of local steel plants.

He went on to attend law school, where he became the first African—American president of the Harvard Law Review. Upon graduation, he returned to Chicago to help lead a voter registration drive, teach constitutional law at the University of Chicago, and remain active in his community.

President Obama's years of public service are based around his unwavering belief in the ability to unite people around a politics of purpose. In the Illinois State Senate, he passed the first major ethics reform in 25 years, cut taxes for working families, and expanded health care for children and their parents. As a United States Senator, he reached across the aisle to pass groundbreaking lobbying reform, lock up the world's most dangerous weapons, and bring transparency to government by putting federal spending online.

He was elected the 44th President of the United States on November 4, 2008, and sworn in on January 20, 2009. He and his wife, Michelle, are the proud parents of two daughters, Malia, 10, and Sasha, 7.

Biography From:  The White House Site:


Title: Dreams from my father
Source: Research in African Literatures. 41.1 (Spring 2010): p190. From Literature Resource Center.
Document Type: Book review

Title: Review of Dreams from My Father and The Audacity of Hope

Author(s): Maria Neophytou
Publication Details: Renewal 15.2-3 (June 2007): p150-154.
Source: Contemporary Literary Criticism. Ed. Jeffrey W. Hunter. Vol. 272. Detroit: Gale. From Literature Resource Center.
Document Type: Book review, Critical essay


Title: The Literary Obama: From Eloquent Memoir to Democratic Boilerplate
Author(s): Andrew Ferguson
Publication Details: Weekly Standard 12.21 (Feb. 12, 2007): p1420.
Source: Contemporary Literary Criticism. Ed. Jeffrey W. Hunter. Vol. 272. Detroit: Gale. From Literature Resource Center.
Document Type: Critical essay

Title: Dreams from my Father--A story of race and inheritance; The Audacity of Hope--Thoughts on reclaiming the American dream
Author(s): Maria Neophytou
Source: Renewal. 15.2-3 (June 2007): p150. From Literature Resource Center.
Document Type: Book review

Image Credits:  Barack Obama

Charles W. Chesnutt Library, Fayetteville State University, Fayetteville, N.C. 28301
Page Maintained By: Jan S. Whitfield
Last Updated: 4/26/10