Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Better Know a Book: Dreams From My Father

Dreams From My Father is to Audacity of Hope what Julio Franco is to Scott Fletcher - that is to say, Dreams is a much much book. Written before Barack fully dove into the political theater, Dreams lacks the political assiduousness and the abstract policy-wonking in Audacity - and that is a good thing. The memoir traces remembrances of Barack's youth from Indonesia to Hawaii, where he first learns to struggle with his multi-racial identity among the well-to-do students of Punahou. The story then moves to New York where he begins to assert his individuality during his final year at Columbia College and a stint as a financial writer. The heart and soul of the book, however, resides in the retelling of Barack's time as a community organizer in the notoriously improverished south side of Chicago and his first trip back to Kenya - the homeland of his mostly absent father, also named Barack. In the brief DudeSpin review format, I could not begin to do justice to the prose of Dreams - at once lively, reflective, hopeful, and achingly honest. Suffice it to say, I highly recommend picking it up at your local bookstore.

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