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I urge anyone who's not sure about Obama's qualifications/experience to read "Dreams from my Father"

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beaconess Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 07:14 PM
Original message
I urge anyone who's not sure about Obama's qualifications/experience to read "Dreams from my Father"
his first memoir.

It is not only beautifully written, it reveals a depth of knowledge, insights, experiences, honest self-reflection, and keen-eyed observations that paint an enormously compelling picture of what he has to offer.

{NOTE - this is a repost of a previous thread that unfortunately got hijacked a few days ago)
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Malmo Blue Donating Member (113 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 07:17 PM
Response to Original message
1. Re: Dreams from my Father
Thank God for online book shops, so a Swede like me could buy the book. :)
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beaconess Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 07:19 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. What did you think of it?
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Malmo Blue Donating Member (113 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 07:23 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. Re: What did you think of it?
I haven't bought it yet. But I do plan on buying the book, that's for sure. :)
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mtnsnake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 07:20 PM
Response to Original message
3. I got that for Christmas & am looking forward to reading it
after I get done with a couple other books lined up before it, that is.
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Crunchy Frog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 07:21 PM
Response to Original message
4. We have a copy of it in our house.
I will be reading it soon. :)

(Hope this thread doesn't get jacked.)
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beaconess Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 08:52 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. :-)
I thought it would be just a run-of-the-mill ghost-written political tome that now seems a prerequisite for anyone running for president. But this is so much more than that - I'm very impressed.
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snowbear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 09:31 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. Thanks beaconess ~ I'll have to check it out too!
~~
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beaconess Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 10:44 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. Excerpt
"White folks. The term itself was uncomfortable in my mouth at first; I felt like a non-native speaker tripping over a difficult phrase. Sometimes I would find myself talking to Ray about white folks this or white folks that, and I would suddenly remember my mother's smile and the words that I spoke would seem awkward and false. Or I would be helping Gramps dry the dishes after dinner and Toot {his grandmother} would come in to say she was going to sleep, and those same words - white folks would flash in my head like a bright neon sign, and I would suddenly grow quiet, as if I had secrets to keep.
...

"I had begun to see a new map of the world, one that was frightening in its simplicity, suffocating in its implications. We were always playing on the white man's court, Ray had told me, by the white man's rules. If the principal, or the coach, or a teacher, or Kurt, wanted to spit in your face, he could, because he had the power and you didn't. If he decided not to, if he treated you like a man or came to your defense, it was because he knew that the words you spoke, the clothes you wore, the books you read, your ambitions and desires, were already his . . .In fact, you couldn't even be sure that everything you had assumed to be an expression of your black, unfettered self - the humor, the song, the behind-the-back pass - had been freely chosen by you. At best, these things were a refuge; at worst, a trap. Following this maddening logic, the only thing you could choose as your own was withdrawal into a smaller and smaller coil of rage,until being black meant only the knowledge of your own powerlessness, of your defeat. And the final irony: Should you refuse this defeat and lash out at your captors, they would have a name for that, too, a name that could cage you just as good. Paranoid. Militant. Violent. Nigger.

"Over the next few months, I looked to corroborate this nightmare vision. I gathered up books from the library - Baldwin, Ellison, Jughes, Wright, DuBois. At night I would close the door to my room, telling my grandparents I had homework to do, and there I would sit and wrestle with words, locked in suddenly desperate argument, trying to reconcile the world as I'd found it with the terms of my birth. But there was no escape to be had. In every page of every book, in Bigger Thomas and invisible men, I kept finding the same anguish, the same doubt; a self-contempt that neither irony nor intellect seemed able to deflect. Even DuBois's learning and Baldwin's love and Langston's humor eventually succumbed to its corrosive force, each man finally forced to doubt art's redemptive power, each man finally forced to withdraw, one to Africa, one to Europe, one deeper into the bowels of Harlem, but all of them in the same weary flight, all of them exhausted, bittter men, the devil at their heels.

...

"The old woman's face dissolved from my mind, only to be replaced by a series of others. The copper-skinned face of Lolo's {his Indonesian stepfather} mother drawn with grief as she watches the Dutch burn down her house. The tight-lipped, chalk-colored face of Toot as she boards the six-thirty A.M. bus that will take her to work. Only a lack of imagination, a failure of nerve, had made me think that I had to choose between them. They all asked the same thing of me, these grandmothers of mine. My identity might begin with the fact of my race, but it didn't, couldn't end there. At least that's what I would choose to believe."

From "Dreams from My Father," Barack Obama, 1995 - pp. 80-81, 85-86, 111.

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athena Donating Member (771 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 10:31 PM
Response to Original message
8. I read it and loved it.
It's a beautifully written book and is well worth reading.

I'm going to read his second book next.
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beaconess Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 10:46 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. FINALLY!! Someone who's read the book!
:-)
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