Dreams from My Father: a Story of Race and Inheritance.

Author:Holly, Dan
Position:Book Review

Dreams From My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance. by Barack Obama Three Rivers Press, August 2004 $13.95, ISBN 1-400-08277-3

Ever since his show-stopping speech at the Democratic National Convention, Americans have been asking, "Obama who?" Well, along comes this work which the author himself is not sure how to characterize--to validate the credentials of this light-skinned, skinny black guy with the African name who got the attention of a national audience with his vision of our "true genius" and his "belief that we are connected as a people."

Dreams From My Father is a reissue timed to coincide with Obama's run for the U.S. Senate, not the convention. The book was first published in 1995, after Obama became the first black president of the prestigious Harvard Law Review. Readers wanting to know about his climb to power will be disappointed (it was published three years before he was first elected to office, to the Illinois State Senate). And it reads much like what you would expect from a recent Harvard law graduate--a lot more political theory and philosophy than humor.

Still, this is an important book, well worth reading. Barack Obama is a deep thinker (a colleague showing up at the office with blue contact lenses generated four pages of thoughts), a keen...

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