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Publisher's Summary

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 listeners 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 4th 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 US partisan politics and international diplomacy. Obama brings listeners 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 US strategy in Afghanistan, tackles Wall Street reform, responds to the devastating Deepwater Horizon blowout and authorises 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 organiser 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.

©2020 Barack Obama (P)2020 Penguin Audio

What listeners say about A Promised Land

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Awesome

Just superb...his experiences are giving great insights into world of politics... highly recommends you to listen

4 people found this helpful

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Great story from a great leader

Loving it so far. 25% completed and looking forward to the rest. Obama is an inspiration.

3 people found this helpful

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Nothing better than listening to it from Obama

It's a fantastic book. If I didn't know all of this happened, it would still qualify to be a great written story. But it did happen. Throughout the book you can feel you are inside Obama's head as he takes each step and makes the decisions. While he narrates, all events you remember play out in your head. Brilliant book! Now waiting for the second part

1 person found this helpful

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An endearing memoir

"Our history has always been a sum total of the choices made and the actions taken by each individual man and woman. It has always been upto us" Managing a country is not simple. There's a backlash for everything done and undone. Millions of people's lives depend on a single act for which accountability is inescapable. Your actions are yours to own. That's the main takeaway from this book. 'A Promised Land' is a record of Obama's life; it can be considered as a continuation of his first book 'Dreams from my Father', till the end of his first term as President. With vivid accounts of every single decision made and people encountered, this book is the humanization of people working behind the scenes to ensure the stability and liveability of the world. Going from electoral prospects, racial ties and familial responsibility to organizing counter-terrorist attacks, finding a new family at work and becoming a man of the people, Obama's journey is not only inspirational, but a pioneer to many more. Getting to know the first hand account of his struggles, fears and ultimate achievements has been a privilege. Not only that, this is a book of hope. Hope that can be manifested within us, but not limited to it. Hope that has been the foundation stone for many innovative projects and doings. Hope for the future. Listening to the audiobook narrated by the author himself was like listening to a 25+ hour speech of his that never left me bored! You can feel the emotions and memories flowing out of his words, which was an entirely different experience by itself. Can't wait for the second volume to be released, even though it might take a year! Until then, I urge you to read this book. Just. Read. It.

1 person found this helpful

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Mesmerizing, his voice is superb, I just love it,

Just started and could not resist my feelings, I just love his mesmerizing voice superb

1 person found this helpful

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A Promised Land: The First Half Delivered Well!

Obama's greatest asset is in executing well and communicating far better. Though he humbly understates his capability to entertain utopian ideas and execute them well with his almost natural ability of pragmatic roadmapping and the astuteness to execute flawlessly through the selection of the right committed people, more in the lines of Team of Rivals of Abraham Lincoln, that strength permeates throughout the book! Though he has stated his assessment of the global leaders be his own compatriots like Trump, Clintons, Joe Biden, ... or Sarkozy, Angela Merkel, Dr. Manmohan Singh, Sonia & Rahul Gandhi, ... at those specific periods, he has identified the divisive forces like Hindutva in India, Al Queda, Extreme Right Wings all over the world! The book ends with the success of Operation Neptune Spear leading to capture & termination of Osama bin Laden paving the way to crave for the delivery of the next installment!

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Informative & Masterpiece!

Loved it thoroughly. Brilliant account of Maj events of various periods. Range of aspects have been covered to give a holistic understanding of what, why & how...

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Journey into a President's Mind....

Simply excellent. An American politics primer of 2008-2012 that you do not want to miss. He takes us not only inside the White House but also inside his intimate inner thoughts that shaped his first term presidency. His views, opinions, judgement and where he faltered about various issues and deep context he provides leaves you with an indelible impression of a man and a leader he is. Listening in audible through his voice makes it a double delight. Can't wait for the second part.

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Excellent, well summarized yet detailed

An extremely deft compilation, well summarized book with his complete experience. his growing as that leader who always lived up to principles, collaboration and empathy with inclusion. Wonderfully compiled. The ecstatic part of the audio book was it being narrated by Obama himself. made it special.

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Excellent Memoir

Obama's voice has a poise and depth that makes this audible version of the book better.

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  • Sean Rodrigues
  • 17-11-20

Sean R in Tokyo

Only a few chapters in. Feels like a return to almost mythical times. Thoughtful, intelligent, respectful and...sane.

10 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 24-11-20

Can you ever choke in listening to a politician?

I am amazed by the balance of thoughts he has . Neither Left nor the Right sway him. His painful acknowledgment of compromises without ever having to justify his decisions is more striking . An awesome listening experience after a long time

2 people found this helpful

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  • Karl
  • 01-12-20

Modern History

Informative, insightful, funny and at the very least he could earn a living as an audio narrator.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Avasmum
  • 29-11-20

Brilliant autobiography

I am not usually a fan of autobiographies but this one is excellent. I wasn't sure what 'tone' to expect but Obama sets a peaceful, considerate, and slightly humorous voice. I usually listen to books at 1.5x to 1.8x and I thought I'd have to run Obama's book at 2x because he talks so slowly but 1x has been just right. I think anyone with an open mind would enjoy this book.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Sridhar
  • 26-11-20

Masterpiece of a memoir. What a treat!

Amazing ring-side view of the major events that shaped the world during first term of President Obama. Gives a glimpse of the mind and heart of one of the greatest Presidents of the USA. It's even a bigger treat to listen to him read the book himself. Can't wait for the second volume to come out!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 30-11-20

Wow what a self obsessed clown

This isn't exactly a page turner. What a self obsessed liar who can put you asleep by the end if the first paragraph. sleep before you got to the into the 1st paragraph. A wolf in sheep's clothing who spied on the current president and broke many laws he should be in jail for. And a racist to.tje core

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  • jesse
  • 17-11-20

Dropping a classic

History will look upon you favourably sir. You're an icon of your generation, I thank you for everything you represent.

49 people found this helpful

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  • Joseph K
  • 18-11-20

Breath of fresh air

Must read if you need your faith in politics restored especially after the last 4 years.

42 people found this helpful

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  • jessik
  • 19-11-20

Beautiful

Beautifully written, beautifully read. Listening to Obama speak again is truly calming in this chaotic world. A wonderful human, with such heart and optimism and still, so much joy. Even after having to leave all his hard work for that awful orange monster. My family immigrated to America in 2001 holding onto the American dream. I still believe the America in this book and in Obama’s heart, is possible. Hopefully Joe and Kamala will help point us in the right direction again. Xx

37 people found this helpful

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  • cara louise beckett
  • 19-11-20

Bloody fantastic!!

I am 12 chapters in and already in mourning because it will come to an end. You won't regret purchasing; it is enlightening, comforting, heartbreaking and fortifying - exactly what a 2020 weary soul needs

27 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 20-11-20

Frank

The most satisfying aspect of this book is its frankness about the broken, corrupt parts of the American political system. It reveals the distance between Obama's ideals and what was actually possible politically in the world as it is.

17 people found this helpful

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  • Abra Brash
  • 19-11-20

What a wonderful human being..... brilliant read

Barak Obama will forever be a treasure to America and other world leaders alike. Sadly he has run his presidency but if this in depth memoir is anything to go by and the timing of its release, it can be an aid to the new president elect (Biden) as a comprehensive refresher. Maybe the satsuma shaded runner up could of done with this book at the start of his inauguration. God bless Biden for tidying that orange mess and god bless America 🇺🇸

14 people found this helpful

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  • Jake lewis
  • 19-11-20

In-depth

An in-depth first hand account from one of the best known names in the world. From his early years to the end of his first 3 years in the white house. This is a great reflection on the history of Ameroca

10 people found this helpful

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  • Dan
  • 22-11-20

Too long and bit boring at timew

The first part is interesting but then it gets boring. For anyone has been following the news during the Obama years, there isnt much new in this book and you didn’t know. Obama doesn’t reveal much about him, its more a list of policy achievements, and 29 hours of audio or more 700 pages to describe less than 3 years of presidency is too much. I love Obama, and his previous books. But this one is a bit disappointing, but still worth a read.

6 people found this helpful

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  • paulthomas
  • 21-11-20

Blown away

Completely blown away , every aspect of this book is compelling . I must say I’m slightly bias in that I think Obama was a great president, and statesman. But he’s a truly lovely human being. He covers all aspect’s of his presidency, but gives us a front seat into how it actually was. But then it’s a love letter to his wife. I’m on chapter 13, thank god it's almost 30 hours.

6 people found this helpful

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  • S. Langford
  • 21-11-20

Outstanding!

I’m six chapters in and this book is outstanding. Such brilliant narration! So articulated in his writing and delivery. Such an incredible story of hard work and personal sacrifice. All the humility and good grace you would expect to hear. Start it, you won’t regret it! I’m from the UK and I’m learning so much about the US political system but not in a heavy way. It’s honestly enthralling. Highly recommend listening to this book.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Rebecca
  • 23-11-20

My review

I was worried about the length, but I was hooked from the beginning! It was interesting to hear what he was thinking. He was not afraid to share his mistakes. He responded to critics with respect and tried to see their point of view. This was an amazing read and I'm so glad he shared this story.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Hector Pieris
  • 27-11-20

Genuinely down to earth peaceful person.

Obama’s experience, struggles, thoughts, and hopes in some of the grand decisions, he made through out of his first couple of years, as the President of USA. This collaborative, thoughtful narrative is rich with his own writing and his voice for 29 hours. Even if you have no interest much politics you will be gravitate to this book from start to end - guaranteed!

4 people found this helpful

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  • Brian Arpel
  • 30-11-20

Barack Obama, the best of the best.

A really fascinating insight into the workings of the White House and of American politics.

1 person found this helpful

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  • James M
  • 28-11-20

Fantastic

This was an absolutely captivating and brutally honest account, made that much better by Obama reading it.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 27-11-20

i enjoyed every minute!

what great stories coming from the horse's mouth! the presidents narration added authenticity and it felt like he was just there telling you his stories.

1 person found this helpful

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  • catherine
  • 17-11-20

great title

Good title!!!! I will recommend this to my co worker. Good title!!!! I will recommend this to my co worker.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Tomas
  • 05-12-20

well written, well read, well done.

gives good insight into the initial political start of Obama as well as his first term as president.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-12-20

Well worth reading

A behind the scenes look from the former POTUS himself. Make the effort and listen to it all, you will love it

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  • Netta T
  • 02-12-20

A promised land

I love the book. Read beautifully. Explained much about politics that I did not understand prior to reading this. Can’t wait for the next instalment. Fantastic. Highly recommend it

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  • Andree
  • 02-12-20

Thanks for the memory

How difficult it must be to summarise eight years at the WH in economic turmoil, political unrest, increase division, and foreign uprisings. Former President Obama gives a tour de force worth listening to. It is a book for history; it is well written and well read. I enjoyed his voice because it makes the book more personal and intimate. Overall, it is interesting, absolutely not boring, and it details important actions and decisions of his government over the years of his presidency. I appreciated that he does not make Trump too much of a focus of attention, but rather states just enough to make his point in correcting the lies.