Includes the senator's speech from the 2004 Democratic National Convention!
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.
Elected the first black president of the Harvard Law Review, Obama was offered a book contract, but the intellectual journey he planned to recount became instead this poignant, probing memoir of an unusual life. Born in 1961 to a white American woman and a black Kenyan student, Obama was reared in Hawaii by his mother and her parents, his father having left for further study and a return home to Africa. So Obama's not-unhappy youth is nevertheless a lonely voyage to racial identity, tensions in school, struggling with black literature-with one month-long visit when he was 10 from his commanding father. After college, Obama became a community organizer in Chicago. He slowly found place and purpose among folks of similar hue but different memory, winning enough small victories to commit himself to the work-he's now a civil rights lawyer there. Before going to law school, he finally visited Kenya; with his father dead, he still confronted obligation and loss, and found wellsprings of love and attachment. Obama leaves some lingering questions-his mother is virtually absent-but still has written a resonant book. Photos not seen by PW. Author tour. (June)