ABOUT THE BOOK
The first time I saw a news report about Barack Obama was well before he became the first black President of the United States of America. And, in this book, Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance, Obama takes the reader back to those not-too-distant days when the world was completely different.
Despite his obvious agreeable qualities, I was one of those people who did not believe Obama would become the Democratic Party’s nomination for president. And I certainly did not believe he could be president.
Not once did I imagine that so many millions of Americans—regardless of race or creed—were, to paraphrase Obama himself, ready to vote for a “divided soul, the ghostly image of the tragic mulatto trapped between two worlds to be their president”.
But they did. And the rest, as they say, is black and white history.
MEET THE AUTHOR
Abdul Montaqim is a journalist, based in London, and has been working in the media since 1989. Among the more well known titles he has written for are The Guardian newspaper, Time Out magazine and the International Business Times website.
He has edited a number of local and community newspapers, magazines and websites, and has, over the course of his career, worked for some of the largest publishers in Europe, including Emap, LLP and Mirror Group Newspapers.
Abdul has also worked outside of the United Kingdom, moving to Abu Dhabi for a year to work on the first national daily newspaper in United Arab Emirates, The National; and he has consulted for media companies in Bangladesh, where he was born.
Abdul briefly worked for a New York-headquartered cable television channel called AsiaNet as a news editor, and realised that although he loves researching, writing and other “technical” parts of a journalist's job, he does not like presenting, preferring to be behind the camera or back in the studio.
He also realised that, although reporting a story through the medium of television is obviously different from telling it through a newspaper or magazine, the heart and mind of every media company is researching and writing.
In his spare time, Abdul likes to spend time with his family, cooking, eating, watching films, listening to music, reading and writing. When he goes out he likes to watch movies at the best cinemas, see live music performances, and eat at good restaurants. He also loves gardening, fishing and going for long walks.
EXCERPT FROM THE BOOK
Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance is Barack Obama’s ode to his early life, which was varied and exotic, to say the least, and would have been challenging for any child.
He made the decision to write the book after receiving an advance from a publisher some time after he had been elected president of the Harvard Law Review, the first African American to hold the position.
Dreams from My Father was first published in 1995 in the style of a memoir, and marked the initial expression of the young Democrat’s political ambition. Obama was aged only 34 at the time, and was gaining a reputation as a community activist, a civil rights lawyer and a university lecturer.
And in 2004, after almost a decade of considerable political success and in the run-up to being voted the Senator for Illinois, Obama decided to re-publish the book for a second time.
In his introduction, he said he originally wrote the book “with the belief that the story of my family, and my efforts to understand that story, might speak in some way to the fissures of race that have characterized the American experience, as well as the fluid state of identity—the leaps through time, the collision of cultures—that mark our modern life.”
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