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Alamgir Hossain Baidya

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Very boring

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
1 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 14-01-21

Ok. So I am aborting this book with 2-3 chapters still remaining. It's that boring. I saw in one of the Goodreads reviews someone mentioned that he did not get many references and maybe it is just intended for Microsoft employees. To which another person replied - I vociferously oppose the notion because I am a Microsoft employee and it's definitely not intended for me. xD

Jokes apart, this was certainly written with a very niche audience in mind. Nerdy will be an understatement because it is also laden with unnecessary business jargons and corporate townhall-style preachings. A silicon valley cxo might relate to the content but it's very difficult for anybody else to even finish. Case in point, Bill Gates found it an interesting read if he was truthful in his foreword to the book.

I was actually going to give a lone star rating. But the amazon audible version is so poor - it felt like the narrator was singing a long-drawn lullaby in a whispering tone throughout. So I am giving the actual book some benefit of doubt and hence the 2 stars.

1 person found this helpful

My Review of 'A Promised Land'

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-01-21

I actually wanted to give it a 3.5/5 rating but unfortunately Goodreads doesn't allow that so marking it a 3.
As I am writing this review I can't help but compare with my experience of reading 'Playing it my way' - the autobiography of Sachin Tendulkar. It was launched with a similar hype and then I found the writing underwhelming at best just as this one. I finished 'A Promised Land' in audiobook format narrated by Barack Obama himself. It felt like he was reading from an enormously lengthy press briefing for hours. Such lifeless is the prose!
I am surprised because I had earlier read 'Dreams from my father' by the same author and it remains one of the most poignant memoirs I have read till date. Was it a better choice of ghost writer perhaps? I don't know. But I had a lot of expectations from this particular book that went unfulfilled.
I always make it a point not to allow my own differences of opinion with the author being a deciding factor in rating a book. Having said that the charisma and aura that has been built around Obama by popular media, the projection of his image as 'the different one' is bound to break as one gets a glimpse of his thought process during the defining moments of his presidency. He is either too condescending or patronizing towards other world powers and its leaders - emphasizing again and again about his country's moral superiority but never really caring to justify the same - as if it's a given. It is a well documented fact now that in the entire American history he has abused executive overreach the most to get things done his way caring very little for congressional consent while upholding pillars of democracy in his speeches worldwide. To justify this he is quick to highlight the stalling tactics of Republican politicians as mean and a threat to the spirit of bipartisanship but later proudly describes similar tactics by Democrats as political shrewdness. While he describes at length how his election was symbolic of racial empowerment of the minorities till the end of the book we don't find much evidence of that claim. As an institutionalised centrist in his policies and modus operandi he has sought to preserve the status quo - ignoring pleas from different activists and advocacy groups to initiate structural reforms for a more just and heterogeneous political order.
I do see a lot of rave reviews of the book out there, however. So there is a high chance you might still like it very much. May be I did not get it and you might. Happy reading, I guess!

8 people found this helpful