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More about A Promised Land

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Publisher's Summary

A riveting, deeply personal account of history in the making - from the president who inspired us to believe in the power of democracy

NUMBER ONE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • NAACP IMAGE AWARD NOMINEE • NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The Washington Post • Jennifer Szalai, The New York Times • NPR • The GuardianMarie Claire

In the stirring, highly anticipated first volume of his presidential memoirs, Barack Obama tells the story of his improbable odyssey from young man searching for his identity to leader of the free world, describing in strikingly personal detail both his political education and the landmark moments of the first term of his historic presidency - a time of dramatic transformation and turmoil.

Obama takes readers on a compelling journey from his earliest political aspirations to the pivotal Iowa caucus victory that demonstrated the power of grassroots activism to the watershed night of November 4, 2008, when he was elected 44th president of the United States, becoming the first African American to hold the nation’s highest office.

Reflecting on the presidency, he offers a unique and thoughtful exploration of both the awesome reach and the limits of presidential power, as well as singular insights into the dynamics of US partisan politics and international diplomacy. Obama brings readers inside the Oval Office and the White House Situation Room, and to Moscow, Cairo, Beijing, and points beyond. We are privy to his thoughts as he assembles his cabinet, wrestles with a global financial crisis, takes the measure of Vladimir Putin, overcomes seemingly insurmountable odds to secure passage of the Affordable Care Act, clashes with generals about US strategy in Afghanistan, tackles Wall Street reform, responds to the devastating Deepwater Horizon blowout, and authorizes Operation Neptune’s Spear, which leads to the death of Osama bin Laden.

A Promised Land is extraordinarily intimate and introspective - the story of one man’s bet with history, the faith of a community organizer tested on the world stage. Obama is candid about the balancing act of running for office as a Black American, bearing the expectations of a generation buoyed by messages of “hope and change”, and meeting the moral challenges of high-stakes decision-making. He is frank about the forces that opposed him at home and abroad, open about how living in the White House affected his wife and daughters, and unafraid to reveal self-doubt and disappointment. Yet he never wavers from his belief that inside the great, ongoing American experiment, progress is always possible.

This beautifully written and powerful book captures Barack Obama’s conviction that democracy is not a gift from on high but something founded on empathy and common understanding and built together, day by day.

©2021 Barack Obama (P)2021 Random House Audio

Featured Article: Politics Audiobooks and Podcasts You Should Be Listening to in 2021


Every aspect of our lives as American citizens—from education to law and justice, from healthcare to financial stability—is directly impacted by the systems that rule us and the leaders who guide us. No matter where you lie on the political spectrum, getting engaged and exercising your civic duty begins with listening. The collection below offers works of nonfiction that shed new light on our democratic process.

Editor's Pick

Reflections on a legacy
The timing of President Barack Obama’s first volume of presidential memoirs is almost more than I can handle, but I’d be lying if I said I haven’t missed his calm and steady voice these past few years. I’m eager to hear his recollections of his historic run for the presidency and time in the Oval Office. Obama takes listeners through the ins and outs of his political aspirations and his first term as president, including the death of Osama bin Laden and the passing of the Affordable Care Act. His smooth baritone calls for A Promised Land to be listened to, and at just under 30 hours I fully expect this audio experience to act as a balm to my soul. —Katie O., Audible Editor

What listeners say about A Promised Land

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Color me grateful.

Mr. President,

Thank you for writing this beautiful book, it reads like poetry, so fluid, so pure. And, it’s perfect for such a time as this.
I am grateful for this book: a healing balm to my soul.
Kindly,
Ángela 🙏🏾❤️

192 people found this helpful

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Show and painful rehash

I don’t know what I expected; this S L O W moving narrative was not it. Half way through and thoroughly confused by the economic plans I’m finally giving up. This one is apparently for a much more patient and developed intellect than I have!

180 people found this helpful

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Exceptional!Could not have been more aptly titled.

I am only halfway through the book and I'm savoring every chapter. it is with humor, facts over feelings where needed...the walk-through in civics, priceless and awesome to have it narrated by the author himself! Will also purchase hardcover.

147 people found this helpful

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Worse audiobook

What makes this the worse audiobook for me is that Obama in my opinion tries/attempts to be relatable yet comes out unrelatable. This made me question myself— is it because of my personal suffrage or my upbringing or experience in life and it’s endeavors. Why can’t I relate to this great man. Overall, the book feels unauthentic.

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I know you might not read this but... 😄

I'm crying and listening to this book. As a maid I can picture the cleaning crew and butlers joy serving for you. What an honor!! As a Jehovahs Witness it was nice the mention in your book. As a latina thank you for the César Chaver National Park. I can relate to your thoughts that so much history gets omitted in schools. For the epilogue in you next part 2 book I would like to read about when you get to hang your presidential picture in the white house. I can't wait to see that day. I keep dreaming of that day for 4 years.

135 people found this helpful

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A real snoozer

As much as I love listening to obama speak, I think he is better suited for speeches and interviews. I can’t help but fall asleep. A lot of boring details.

126 people found this helpful

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A president from Hawaii with an aloha spirit.

This book is absolutely delightful! It will make you laugh, cry, and feel inspired. Obama tells a story of a his journey from being born in Hawaii raised without a father to becoming America’s first biracial African American president. As a fellow Hawaii native, this story and his legacy will always be held in a sacred place in my heart.

118 people found this helpful

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Better than Nyquil

If you're having trouble sleeping this book is perfect for you. Almost as fun as reading a math textbook.

109 people found this helpful

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Amazing

I love memoirs and autobiographies read by the author, gives us such a personal connection to their minds to how a true leader should conduct himself or herself.

Heavy on financial reform, light on the 2016 election, and a good mix of personal anecdotes, although I wish he discussed life after the White House, which isn't mentioned at all.

94 people found this helpful

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Outstanding and fascinating!

Barack Obama tells his story (through his 1st term) as only he can - with candor, humor, and fascinating detail. You can tell he enjoyed reading it - and writing it. And you’re going to *love* listening to it!!

86 people found this helpful

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  • Zoe
  • 02-23-21

A must read for all!

Obama! What an inspiration. The America he describes is the America I believe we should all want be striving to create.