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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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  • Overall
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    5 out of 5 stars

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.

5 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.

5 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

3 people found this helpful

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A treat

What better way to enjoy this masterpiece than the author himself reading it to you. Where else can u have such a connection and one on one with President Obama? Superb

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

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

nice book

i picked it just to listen to Obama's voice for 29 hours. the book covers the initial struggles and first few years of presidency. i felt he was heavily biased in some parts but overall it makes a good read.

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Incredibly Engaging

Even for somebody who knows nothing about American politics, Obama voice kept it tempting to listen till finish. On the way learnt about a great leader and challanges faced at different stages. Resilience, planning, belief and team work at its best.

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A great insight into how leaders make tough decisions

Very insightful, a must read for anyone who’s interested in lives of leaders who make tough calls almost multiple times a day. Should be titled - Juggling balls, Captain cool 😅

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A long yet beautiful journey

The book was lengthy and detailed.Nevertheless,I enjoyed every chapter of the book,be it about family,senate or visits to foreigh countries.The climax was outstanding and I hsd goosebumps and I felt rest assured knowing that a 'jallad' had been vanquished .More power to Obama!!!

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Awesome

An unbelievable audiobook with the soothing voice of Barrack Obama. We get to know his thinking behind his decision making. Things that have inspired him and the awesome support of his family and their struggles before and during their Presidency.

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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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  • 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.

2 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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  • 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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  • MS Joanne Ryan
  • 13-01-21

Outstanding

Both of the Obamas books have made my year this year. What lives, what authors and so wonderful to have the audible editions read by the authors. Thank you!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-01-21

Interesting and full of detail

Really enjoyed listening to this book. Was so packed full of interesting details of his life. Such a thoughtful leader.

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  • Twaambo Hamusute
  • 07-01-21

Excellent

A very well written story of time in the White House. Amazing lessons and revelations a presidency well managed.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-01-21

An honest and touching account.

I got to know that the level of hard work which is needed ,the depth of knowledge, advice from experts and assimilation of it to find resolutions - all of it hard work. And it isn’t easy to be at helm. The book is powerful and honest and has a human touch to it. I like President Obama’s commitment to issues that were close to his heart and above all his impeccable integrity during the years of presidency. The hard work that went behind Obama care, US Iran nuclear deal or pulling out forces from Afghanistan is really inspiring. If I hadn’t read the account maybe I would have never known the hard work that is needed to keep fragile issues on the table till resolution. What touched me most was his commitment to not lose precious lives in wars. His meeting of wounded soldiers and their families is indeed thoughtful. Powerful narration, witty anecdotes about daughters , First Lady and the White House staff keeps the pace. A very inspiring book that broadened my perspective about the world and the role I can play in it.

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  • Alex
  • 06-01-21

Simply Amazing

this is the first review i ever make in audible this book is that good. you're going to love this book from beginning to end

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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.

80 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.

63 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

57 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

43 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.

30 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.

28 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 🇺🇸

28 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.

23 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.

17 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

17 people 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.

9 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-12-20

long winded and boring

I was really looking forward to this book but couldn't finish it, the most boring long winded recollection of his life in politics. not what I was hopping for.

4 people 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.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Paula Still
  • 06-01-21

Never sick of listening to Barack!

This is a captivating tale and certainly better with writer doing the reading with inflection!

1 person 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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  • 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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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • R Singh
  • 14-01-21

A must-read for anyone who believes govt. can and should be better

Barack Obama is a once in a generation world leader and his honest, straightforward account of his first term as president is engaging, insightful and shines a light on how determination and a deep rooted integrity and sense of decency can overcome even the most dysfunctional governments to improve the lives of citizens and people the world over. As an Australian saddled with uninspiring and opportunistic leaders, one can only hope for someone half as capable and decent as Obama to lead our nation into a new, better form of governance that tries every step of the way to be better, fair and puts country before personal or political gain. Can’t wait for the second volume.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 14-01-21

Loved it

Fantastic book about the inner workings of high government on a personal level. A comprehensive review of Obama’s grass roots start in politics and first four years as president. There are some parts which may seem dry to readers not as intrigued by the less attractive aspects of politics, and Obama’s obsession with detail and explaining every little detail to do with certain topics. But you can look at these sections as a microcosm of politics itself - prestige, fame and power to make change, but also an incredibly gruelling profession which requires sacrifice and true grit.

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  • Gerry Lynch
  • 12-01-21

Insightful and easy listening

Great book, and bonus that it is ready by Barak. Very insightful and shame that he couldn't be the president for longer and with a senate that wanted to partner with him

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  • Leslie Mcdougall
  • 12-01-21

Such a great president

This is the first time I’ve ever read a book that is about a president but I couldn’t miss out on the opportunity to learn about him he is such a icon in so many ways congratulations to him for always achieving more and making the world a better place