Editor's note: as soon as A Promised Land is available, we'll review it on this page.
Even before he became the 44th president of the United States, Barack Obama had already won a Grammy award for his narration of the audiobook of his 1995 memoir, Dreams from my Father, recommended a number of times in Five Books reviews including for his insights into Africa from his contact with his father's family, who come from Kenya.
A Promised Land is the first volume of his presidential memoirs, to be published November 17th, 2020, in 25 languages. It's 768 pages long but, yet again, Obama has narrated it himself. Obama is a thoughtful man, and the book/audiobook is likely to be illuminative, both of his presidency and what has happened in its wake.
While there's no substitute for listening to Obama tell us about himself, if you'd like to read books about him, there are two books by Five Books interviewees worth pointing to: firstly Barack Obama: The Story, a highly readable book by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and biographer David Maraniss, which is not just the story of Obama, but also of his extraordinary family. For a more academic assessment of his presidency, Princeton historian Julian Zelizer has edited an excellent volume entitled The Presidency of Barack Obama: A First Historical Assessment.
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