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A Promised Land

A Promised Land Summary

A Promised Land NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The Washington Post Jennifer Szalai, The New York Times NPR The Guardian Marie Claire

In the stirring, the highly anticipated first volume of his presidential memoirs, Barack Obama tells the story of his improbable odyssey from a young man searching for his identity to the leader of the free world, describing in strikingly personal detail both his political education and the landmark moments of the first term of his historic presidency – a time of dramatic transformation and turmoil.

Obama takes readers on a compelling journey from his earliest political aspirations to the pivotal Iowa caucus victory that demonstrated the power of grassroots activism to the watershed night of November 4, 2008, when he was elected 44th president of the United States, becoming the first African American to hold the nation’s highest office.

Reflecting on the presidency, he offers a unique and thoughtful exploration of both the awesome reach and the limits of presidential power, as well as singular insights into the dynamics of US partisan politics and international diplomacy. Obama brings readers inside the Oval Office and the White House Situation Room, and to Moscow, Cairo, Beijing, and points beyond.

We are privy to his thoughts as he assembles his cabinet, wrestles with a global financial crisis, takes the measure of Vladimir Putin, overcomes seemingly insurmountable odds to secure passage of the Affordable Care Act, clashes with generals about US strategy in Afghanistan, tackles Wall Street reform, responds to the devastating Deepwater Horizon blowout, and authorizes Operation Neptune’s Spear, which leads to the death of Osama bin Laden.

A Promised Land is extraordinarily intimate and introspective – the story of one man’s bet with history, the faith of a community organizer tested on the world stage.

Obama is candid about the balancing act of running for office as a Black American, bearing the expectations of a generation buoyed by messages of “hope and change”, and meeting the moral challenges of high-stakes decision-making.

He is frank about the forces that opposed him at home and abroad, open about how living in the White House affected his wife and daughters, and unafraid to reveal self-doubt and disappointment. Yet he never wavers from his belief that inside the great, ongoing American experiment, progress is always possible.

This beautifully written and powerful book captures Barack Obama’s conviction that democracy is not a gift from on high but something founded on empathy and common understanding and built together, day by day.

About the Author

Barack Hussein Obama President of the United States was elected in November 2008 and held office for two terms. He is the author of three New York Times bestselling books, Dreams from My Father, The Audacity of Hope, and A Promised Land, and is the recipient of the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize. He lives in Washington, D.C., with his wife, Michelle. They have two daughters, Malia and Sasha.

A Promised Land Introduction

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

OF ALL THE ROOMS and halls and landmarks that make up the White House and its grounds, it was the West Colonnade that I loved best.

For eight years that walkway would frame my day, a minute-long, open-air commute from home to office and back again. It was where each morning I felt the first slap of winter wind or pulse of summer heat; the place where I’d gather my thoughts, ticking through the meetings that lay ahead, preparing arguments for skeptical members of Congress or anxious constituents, girding myself for this decision or that slow-rolling crisis.

In the earliest days of the White House, the executive offices and the First Family’s residence fit under one roof, and the West Colonnade was little more than a path to the horse stables.

But when Teddy Roosevelt came into office, he determined that a single building couldn’t accommodate a modern staff, six boisterous children, and his sanity.

He ordered the construction of what would become the West Wing and Oval Office, and over decades and successive presidencies, the colonnade’s current configuration emerged: a bracket to the Rose Garden north and west—the thick wall on the north side, mute and unadorned save for high half-moon windows; the stately white columns on the west side, like an honor guard assuring safe passage.

As a general rule, I’m a slow walker—a Hawaiian walk, Michelle likes to say, sometimes with a hint of impatience. I walked differently, though, on the colonnade, conscious of the history that had been made there and those who had preceded me.

My stride got longer, my steps a bit brisker, my footfall on stone echoed by the Secret Service detail trailing me a few yards back. When I reached the ramp at the end of the colonnade (a legacy of FDR and his wheelchair—I picture him smiling, chin out, cigarette holder clenched tight in his teeth as he strains to roll up the incline), I’d wave at the uniformed guard just inside the glass-paned door.

Sometimes the guard would be holding back a surprised flock of visitors. If I had time, I would shake their hands and ask where they were from. Usually, though, I just turned left, following the outer wall of the Cabinet Room and slipping into the side door by the Oval Office, where I greeted my personal staff, grabbed my schedule and a cup of hot tea, and started the business of the day.

Several times a week, I would step out onto the colonnade to find the groundskeepers, all employees of the National Park Service, working in the Rose Garden. They were older men, mostly, dressed in green khaki uniforms, sometimes matched with a floppy hat to block the sun or a bulky coat against the cold.

If I wasn’t running late, I might stop to compliment them on the fresh plantings or ask about the damage done by the previous night’s storm, and they’d explain their work with quiet pride.

They were men of few words; even with one another, they made their points with a gesture or a nod, each of them focused on his individual task but all of them moving with synchronized grace. One of the oldest was Ed Thomas, a tall, wiry Black man with sunken cheeks who had worked at the White House for forty years.

The first time I met him, he reached into his back pocket for a cloth to wipe off the dirt before shaking my hand. His hand, thick with veins and knots like the roots of a tree, engulfed mine. I asked how much longer he intended to stay at the White House before taking his retirement.

“I don’t know, Mr. President,” he said. “I like to work. Getting a little hard on the joints. But I reckon I might stay long as you’re here. Make sure the garden looks good.”

Oh, how good that garden looked! The shady magnolias rising high at each corner; the hedges, thick and rich green; the crab apple trees pruned just so.

And the flowers, cultivated in greenhouses a few miles away, providing a constant explosion of color—reds and yellows and pinks and purples; in spring, the tulips massed in bunches, their heads tilted toward the sun; in summer, lavender heliotrope and geraniums and lilies; in fall, chrysanthemums and daisies and wildflowers. And always a few roses, red mostly but sometimes yellow or white, each one flush in its bloom.

Each time I walked down the colonnade or looked out the window of the Oval Office, I saw the handiwork of the men and women who worked outside. They reminded me of the small Norman Rockwell painting I kept on the wall, next to the portrait of George Washington and above the bust of Dr. King: five tiny figures of varying skin tones, workingmen in dungarees, hoisted up by ropes into a crisp blue sky to polish the lamp of Lady Liberty.

The men in the painting, the groundskeepers in the garden—they were guardians, I thought, the quiet priests of good and solemn order. And I would tell myself that I needed to work as hard and take as much care in my job as they did in theirs.

With time, my walks down the colonnade would accumulate memories. There were the big public events, of course—announcements made before a phalanx of cameras, press conferences with foreign leaders.

But there were also the moments few others saw—Malia and Sasha racing each other to greet me on a surprise afternoon visit, or our dogs, Bo and Sunny, bounding through the snow, their paws sinking so deep that their chins were bearded white. Tossing footballs on a bright fall day, or comforting an aide after a personal hardship.

Such images would often flash through my mind, interrupting whatever calculations were occupying me. They reminded me of time passing, sometimes filling me with longing—a desire to turn back the clock and begin again. This wasn’t possible on my morning walk, for time’s arrow moved only forward then; the day’s work beckoned; I needed to focus on only those things to come.

The night was different. On the evening walk back to the residence, my briefcase stuffed with papers, I would try to slow myself down, sometimes even stop. I’d breathe air laced with the scent of soil and grass and pollen, and listen to the wind or the patter of rain.

I sometimes stared at the light against the columns, and the regal mass of the White House, its flag aloft on the roof, lit bright, or I’d look toward the Washington Monument piercing the black sky in the distance, occasionally catching sight of the moon and stars above it, or the twinkling of a passing jet.

In moments like these, I would wonder at the strange path—and the idea—that had brought me to this place.

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A Promised Land

A Promised Land PDF

Product details:

EditionInternational Edition
ASINB08HGH9JMF
Posted onNovember 17, 2020
Formatpdf
Page Count768 / 902 pages
AuthorBarack Obama

A Promised Land By Barack Obama PDF Book Free Download - HUB PDF

A Promised Land NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The Washington Post Jennifer Szalai, The New York Times NPR The Guardian Marie Claire

URL: https://amzn.to/3JkZlEj

Author: Barack Obama

Editor's Rating:
4.9
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