Wednesday, January 7, 2009
Obama, Dreams from My Father
I'm reading Barack Obama's first book, Dreams from My Father. It is really, really well done. The writing is clear, deep, emotional but not sentimental, and always thought provoking. Not only does he insightfully and sensitively examine race relations in the US and abroad, not only does he unflinchingly draw us into his early life, but he does it so beautifully!
I must admit that at first I was mentally giving his editor huge props for making such a good book. (I used to be an editor myself.) Dreams is well organized as a whole, and every chapter begins with a killer first line and ends with a vignette that makes you hungry for more. It is so consistently well done that eventually I just had to admit that no editor would have time to go to that level of detail. Obama, all by himself, is one talented writer.
I was not surprised to see that Obama's writing was intelligent and clear --- those characteristics are obvious enough from his public speaking. But Dreams shows a caliber of writing that I would not expect from someone with a day job. I've read a lot words in my life, and I don't see this level of accomplishment very often. You go, President O!