• Dreams from My Father

  • A Story of Race and Inheritance
  • By: Barack Obama
  • Narrated by: Barack Obama
  • Length: 14 hrs and 4 mins
  • 4.9 out of 5 stars (311 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Now available unabridged on audio for the first time

Number one New York Times best seller

One of Essence's 50 Most Impactful Black Books of the Past 50 Years

In this iconic memoir of his early days, Barack Obama “guides us straight to the intersection of the most serious questions of identity, class, and race” (The Washington Post Book World).

In this lyrical, unsentimental, and compelling memoir, the son of a Black African father and a White American mother searches for a workable meaning to his life as a Black American. It begins in New York, where Barack Obama learns that his father - a figure he knows more as a myth than as a man - has been killed in a car accident. This sudden death inspires an emotional odyssey - first to a small town in Kansas, from which he retraces the migration of his mother’s family to Hawaii, and then to Kenya, where he meets the African side of his family, confronts the bitter truth of his father’s life, and at last reconciles his divided inheritance.

©2021 Barack Obama (P)2021 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

“Fluidly, calmly, insightfully, Obama guides us straight to the intersection of the most serious questions of identity, class, and race.” (Washington Post Book World)

“Beautifully crafted...moving and candid.... This book belongs on the shelf beside works like James McBride’s The Color of Water and Greg Williams’ Life on the Color Line as a tale of living astride America’s racial categories.” (Scott Turow)

“Provocative.... Persuasively describes the phenomenon of belonging to two different worlds, and thus belonging to neither.” (The New York Times Book Review)

“One of the most powerful books of self-discovery I’ve ever read, all the more so for its illuminating insights into the problems not only of race, class, and color, but of culture and ethnicity. It is also beautifully written, skillfully layered, and paced like a good novel.” (Charlayne Hunter-Gault) 

What listeners say about Dreams from My Father

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Powerful

I'm as white as a sheet of printer paper so the struggles of a black man are not my experience. However I do try and understand the best I can. Obama talked a lot in this about a lot of interpersonal, and interracial conflicts I'd never considered and it was illuminating.
However even outside of that the story was riveting, emotional, and truly wonderful to listen to. I will absolutely revisit this one in time.

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It’s okay

I’m a conservative. I am working on being open minded, so I listened to this book to better understand the leader of the Democrat party. He did an outstanding job narrating this book and it is well written. The most surprising thing is how often he told stories that were based off of his assumptions and what he imagined of people to feel like or to have said.

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Review

This is a wonderful book about a boys assent to manhood and his inner journey to find peace with his race, heritage, his fathers absence in his life. I don't believe he knew then that his grass roots will lead him to a movement that made the American people proud of what he accomplished. Nor did he know that 8 years later another man would try to take it all away and fail miserably in his efforts to make racism acceptable again. I would honestly like to see Obama write another book on those years and how he formulated the coalition between Bush and Clinton to speak out once again on injustice. If you haven't listened or read this book, you should.

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Humbling

I absolutely loved hearing the history of this great man. Learning about the experiences that shaped him and finding that in the end he os also very ordinary. It is our choices that shape us along with providence.

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Barack Obama is a great story teller

Barack Obama is a great man and I think that includes almost everything he does. The story does get a little slow towards the end BUT his ability to write and his ability to read the different characters is truly great.

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Beautifully written!

President Obama‘s handcrafted memoir is put together in such a lovely way, that you feel like you’re watching it all happen. Every book I listen to of his Dills me with more and more admiration for the life he has led, from his interesting beginnings to his successful career and finally his dignified continuous presence in our nation’s history. We have been fortunate to have him serve as such a wonderful model for all people

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Loved It!

I read this a few years ago. After listening to two other books by President Obama, I decided to revisit this. So very glad I did! A beautiful agility & narration.

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What an amazing story

I went into this book not knowing what to expect and I must say I was very moved. I connected with so man aspects of this book and am glad President Obama gave us an insight to his life.

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Absolutely excellent

This was one of the most pleasurable books I have read in a very very long time. What an unusual story, what an eloquent writer, and what a deep philosophical thinker.

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Unique

Barack Obama’s upbringing wasn’t indicative of his future success. Through this story depicting his journey, one sees how he grew through self-reflection and how his identity became an important means to find himself. One part of his identity was his “unknown” father. As Obama chased the shadow of his father, his perspective changed and by the end of the story, he had made peace with his father’s roots and set out to continue his own unique journey. Very great listen and inspiring!