Book review: A Promised Land

If you’d like to hear a video version of this book review, pop over to this page.

Author of two other books, The Audacity of Hope and Dreams From My Father, not to mention the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama’s memoir, A Promised Land, covers his decision to run for President, the campaign, his first two years as president and ends with the killing of Osama Bin Laden. There will be another volume, of which a publication date has not been set. 

One reviewer on NPR said “We hear his voice in every sentence, almost as if he were physically present and reading the book aloud.” And I couldn’t agree more

I also read Becoming, Michelle Obama’s memoir and, in a lot of ways, the beginning mirrors that book kind of like a sequel will rehash the important parts of the first book briefly to make sure you’re paying attention! 

A Promised Land is part one of a two-part memoir. The second book’s release is TBD.

I was struck many times in this book with the methodical and analytical nature of Obama’s decision-making process, from hearing everyone in the room’s opinion on before reaching a final conclusion, to appointing and advancing people who have a healthy disagreement with him so that he will be put through the paces, to having an entirely different analytical team review years of intel about Osama bin Laden’s location and provide a fresh opinion (well, that last one was the CIA, but I attribute it to the trickle down effect). It especially brought a tear to my eye when he considered the very real lives of our service members before making a militant decision. This way of making decisions is truly a contrast to some recent political decision making in the United States, in my opinion. 

On an editor’s note: The organization of this book was beautiful. Bunching together the subject matter so that the reader got a full picture of anything, be it the economy, the healthcare bill, the situation in Syria, was so comprehensive. A keen reader will note the overlapping, and Obama points this out in a sentence or two, that none of these things happened in a bubble but instead overlapped. I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m gonna say I felt a heck of a lot better about my workload after thinking about conceptualizing solutions for those heavy problems at one time. Mind blown. 

Final word: If you like learning about political goings on as well as the mechanizations behind big decisions made by our government, I highly recommend reading it. If that’s not your bag, skip this one! 

Catch ya next time! 

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