A Promised Land by Barack Obama review – memoir of a president

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Tuesday December 29, 2020 at 9:27pm
Details of historic decision-making amid growing racist resentment feature in this elegant, if restrained, account of life inside the White Hous.

To read Barack Obama’s autobiography in the last, snarling days of Donald Trump is to stare into an abyss between two opposite ends of humanity, and wonder once again at how the same country came to choose two such disparate men.

Somewhere at the top of a long list of contrasts is their grasp of language and facts. On the eve of the book’s publication, Trump has been emitting staccato tweets about winning an election he has decisively lost, a claim formally labelled within 10 minutes as disinformation. At the other end of the scale, Obama’s A Promised Land is 701 pages of elegantly written narrative, contemplation and introspection, in which he frequently burrows down into his own motivations.


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