March Books 20) Dreams from my Father, by Barack Obama
This is a fascinating autobiography. The book, first published in 1995, begins with the death of Barack Obama senior, announced down a bad phone line to his son over a decade earlier; and then divides more or less into two halves: first, of the young Obama's life without his father, brought up by his mother and her parents and finding a career for himself in the deprived communities of Chicago; and then of his getting to grips with his African family heritage, in particular his father's troubled personal life and career, culminating in a long narrative of a visit to Kenya. It is an eloquent and emotional account of self-discovery, the first half being particularly acute on the problems of race in the USA, where Obama almost reluctantly becomes an insider. Obviously my main interest in the book was the author's remarkable subsequent career, but it is very much worth reading in its own right.