A Promised Land
by Barack Obama is a weighty tome, and basically the first book of his memoirs. Former President Obama confesses that he's wordy and can get bogged down with detail. However, I enjoyed this book and it made me think. He does go deep in descriptions, but it's still very readable, personable, and has a caring touch. I did feel like he put a lot of thought into his words.
p.14 But the idea of America, the promise of America; this I clung to with a stubbornness that surprised even me.
p. 223 What a gift my mother-in-law was. For us, she became a living breathing reminder of who we were and where we came from, a keeper of values we'd once thought ordinary but had learned were more rare than we ever imagined.
Obama's descriptions of family - wife Michelle, daughters Malia and Sasha, Bo the family dog, and his late mother, late grandmother, etc. are all a core of his life. No matter the crisis, he pretty much tried to have dinner with his wife and girls every night - spend a little time, hear about the girls' day, and then go back to the office for the late night reading, decision making, and preparations for the hours, days, weeks to come.
I learned a lot about decisions made that I glossed over at the time when glancing at headlines. The economy, more troops to send, the Middle East, Arab Spring, politics. and this book finishes with the killing of Osama Bin Laden (a lot of angst in the precision and timing).
Throughout this book, he talks a lot about his cabinet, his staff, the hard working behind the scenes people that keep the White House running, and he's appreciative. His humor shines through in his writing, often rather self-deprecating. And a running theme is the American people - how to help every day people from sea to shining sea - A Promised Land, indeed.