Barack Obama’s new memoir, ‘Promised Land,’ goes on sale


By Douglas Perry and Amy Wang | The Oregonian/OregonLive

Barack Obama’s memoir, “A Promised Land,” hits bookshelves on Nov. 17.

Publisher Penguin Random House calls the 768-page book “a riveting, deeply personal account of history in the making,” tracking the first Black U.S. president’s “improbable odyssey from young man searching for his identity to leader of the free world.”

The memoir, which has an unusually hefty list price of $45 thanks to its size, focuses on Obama’s political career up through his first term as president. This includes his handling of the 2008-09 financial crisis, passage of the Affordable Care Act and his authorization of the operation that led to the killing of terrorist leader Osama bin Laden. A second volume will tackle the rest of his presidency and his life after the White House.

“A Promised Land” is an effort to “provide an honest accounting of my presidency, the forces we grapple with as a nation, and how we can heal our divisions and make democracy work for everybody,” Obama said.

A New York Times review of the book said it was “as deliberative, measured and methodical as the author himself.” The Washington Post described the book as one in which “the former president defends his legacy and seeks to explain what motivated him and at times left him distraught.” The Chicago Tribune, a newspaper in the state Obama represented in the U.S. Senate for nearly four years, published a review in which author Nate Marshall wrote that the “Obama that shines through the text is certainly brilliant and analytical, but with little philosophical or ideological heft.had a more measured assessment.”

On Monday, NPR released audio excerpts of Obama reading from the book.

Obama long ago proved he’s a skilled writer. When he was a young Chicago community organizer in 1995, he published the coming-of-age memoir “Dreams From My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance.”

Obama’s wife, Michelle, published her memoir, “Becoming,” two years ago.

This article oriignally appeared on The Oregonian/OregonLive.

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