A Promised Land by Barack Obama
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Had this book come out any sooner, I probably would not have read it. Prior to the last 4 years, I didn’t pay any attention to politics. Given the political turmoil our country has faced the last 4 years, it was only in 2016 that I began to care a bit more and educate and inform myself so that I could separate fact from fiction in the daily headlines.
During the 8 years that Obama was in office, I felt like I didn’t have to keep a close watch on Washington. I trusted him and his administration enough that I was perfectly okay with ignoring politics. So, I probably missed out on a lot which is why I wanted to read his book now.
It’s certainly a master class in the presidency and the ongoing battle between Democrats and Republicans. It could have probably been about 100 pages shorter had he not spent countless pages describing the steps it took to a get a bill passed or what caused disputes with Libya, but it’s those in-between, more private moments that really stand out and make this such a great book and make it worth slogging through the portions that felt like a college Civics class.
It’s the behind-the-scenes glimpses that remind you how personable he was and how important he was as a leader. At 700 pages of text (the rest is acknowledgments and index), The book ends quite abruptly after the death of Osama bin Laden. I look forward to reading Volume II that will cover his second term.
I feel informed. I feel educated. And I also feel sad that I wasn’t paying attention and living in the moment back when he was in office. But I understand now, more than ever, why it is important to pay attention in and out of the classroom.