Rowboat Book Club #96

A Promised Land

by Barack Obama 

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

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 U.S. 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 U.S. 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. 

I told God my Xmas plans and he said HAHAHA Sam

Hi guys. I’m supposed to be on a sunny beach right now enjoying the sun, surf, and quiet life. Nope. I’m at home in Denver, it’s currently, let me look, 30 degrees. Three Oh. As in Oh Sh** it’s cold! The house is ready for Christmas, the food is being planned and menu edited. My Aunt and cousin are here. They got in really late last night or very early this morning. My Aunt has already made breakfast and asked why I didn’t go get a fresh haircut, I knew she was coming. Southern women know how to give it to you with no qualms at all. None. My nannies are packing up the rest of their things and cleaning out their fridge. Their house (My pool house) is my guesthouse and that’s where my guests are staying. Except Lindsay.

Lindsay has taken over the east part of the house. She’s even throwing East SIDDDEEEE gang signs at me when I’m getting frustrated with her. She is her usual self, crazy, smart mouth, and oh she is throwing in sassy just for some extra spice. I love her, she is my best friend and I don’t even know how to argue with her anymore. I think I’ve lost my edge, guys. I’m getting old.

She is here so we can spend quality time together and so we can make heavy decisions about work. Covid has impacted a lot of people, I am grateful that we have not completely lost every thing. We are holding on. I have a few other things in the works but for now we have no choice. Decisions must be made. It’s not fun. I feel awful but why hold on to a sinking ship when it may begin to take us down? That’s now what we signed up for. None of this is. The problem is at the end of every decision are employees with families who need income. I guess I was hopeful that the government would step up and prolong some of their resources but they have decided on nothing. I think that’s frustrating for everyone. We will survive, we will be okay, some of my businesses may be gone.

I pray every day that you guys are okay. I have finally gotten back to all of your messages and emails. Thank you all for keeping my family in your prayers and thoughts. That is very sweet of you. Things are going to be okay. Hold on a little longer. I love you all. I want to wish you all Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, etc. 2021 is going to be a big, beautiful year full of love and hope. Don’t give up. I promise things will turn around for all of us. God bless you guys and all of your families. Thank you so much for continuing to visit my blog and contact me. I have the best fans and friends. Take care guys! Love all your faces!