A Promised Land by President Barack Obama (2020. Crown. ISBN 9781524763169)
I’ll be upfront. I am a Liberal reviewing a memoir penned by one of my favorite Liberal politicians. But I’m not here to evaluate President Obama’s politics (though I deplore those who simply call him “Obama”). I’m doing a review of his latest book. So on with it.
A Promised Land’s early pages take you behind the scenes of lawyer Barack Obama’s formative years, highlighting his time as an organizer, his romance with Michelle, his beginnings in politics, and his affiliations with noted iconic figures such as Rev. Jeremiah Wright. The book’s beginning is concise, well written, reads at a fairly brisk pace, and leaves the reader waiting to turn the page.
The middle section of the memoir, wherein President Obama chronicles his leap from a single, unfinished term as a United States Senator to the Oval Office, begin with the same fevered, can’t-stop-reading, pace. But when the storyline merges with the administrative and legislative agendas of the first term of the Obama Presidency, the narrative gets a bit into the weeds, leaving the reader wanting the pace to pick up and return the story arc to its earlier adrenaline rush. Despite this slight lag in the memoir’s narration, the final chapters, when President Obama places you in the Situation Room as Navy Seal Team 6 breaches the security of Osama Ben Ladin’s Pakistani compound (the mission having just slightly better than fifty-fifty odds, memories of President Carter’s failure to rescue the Iranian hostages and Blackhawk Down (a rescue mission in Somalia under President Clinton)) are riveting. You’ll want to cheer aloud again when the madman behind 9/11 is found, killed, and dropped into the sea after his DNA is confirmed. At the book’s conclusion, the storyline is pulsing, swift, and uniquely hard hitting.
One thing I will add here is that (and this is coming from my Liberal bias) it’s amazing we once had a two-term president who actually can spell, write elegantly, and publish a fine piece of history without the need of a ghostwriter. That trait alone makes this book a winner and makes me wish the man who wrote it had come out stronger against the fraud who succeeded him in office.
4 stars out of 5. Every Faux News aficionado should be placed in a locked room and forced to read this book.