A fascinating and deeply intimate account of history in the making, by the president who instilled faith in the power of democracy.
In the first volume of his presidential memoir, Barack Obama tells the compelling story of his unlikely odyssey from young man in search of an identity to leader of the free world, personally tracing his political education and the iconic moments of his first term as president – a period of profound transformation and upheaval.
Barack Obama invites us to follow him on an incredible journey, from his first steps on the political scene to his decisive victory in the Iowa primary, and all the way to the historic night of November 4, 2008, when he was elected the 44th President of the United States, becoming the first African-American to reach the highest office.
By looking back on the great hours of his presidency, he offers us a unique perspective on the exercise of presidential power, as well as a singular testimony on the workings of domestic politics and international diplomacy. He takes us behind the scenes of the White House, from the Oval Office to the Situation Room, and to the four corners of the world, from Moscow to Beijing to Cairo. He shares the thoughts that occupied him at crucial moments – the formation of his administration, the global financial crisis, the standoff with Vladimir Putin, health care reform, disputes over U.S. military strategy in Afghanistan, Wall Street reform, the Deepwater Horizon oil rig disaster, and the commando operation that led to the death of Osama ben Laden.
A Promised Land is also an introspective account – the story of one man’s gamble with history, of a community activist whose faith was tested on the world stage. Barack Obama speaks frankly about the colossal challenge of being the first African-American presidential candidate, of embodying “hope and change” in the eyes of a generation galvanised by the promise of renewal, and of having to make moment-by-moment decisions of exceptional gravity. He discusses how his life in the White House affected his wife and daughters, and speaks candidly of the times when he found himself in the grip of doubt and disappointment – yet still believing that progress in America is still possible.
This powerful and beautifully written book is an expression of Barack Obama’s deep conviction that democracy is not a gift from heaven, but an edifice based on empathy and mutual understanding that we build together, day by day.