A Promised Land by Barack Obama

So who is reading/listening this? I got it on Audible and am really looking forward to this over the next couple of weeks. Obama is a fine reader as you would expect and I think audio read by the author is absolutely the best way to consume a memoir. I enjoyed Michelle Obama on Audible too. Being able to switch from my Echo to my smartphone and back is also nice, one of the conveniences of modern life.

So far the descriptions of his early political career have been quite interesting; I hadn’t quite realized how dire state-level politics can be. I am really looking forward to the chapters on the financial crisis and Obamacare.

Modnote: To all reading this thread. We’re in the Cafe, so keep the thread about the book and not your opinions, good, bad or indifferent about President Obama & former First Lady Michelle.

So no one else reading this?

I have reached the point where Obama takes office. Enjoying it a lot; it’s a lucid polished account of events that I followed avidly back in the day particularly the 2008 campaign and the global financial crisis.
One part that I found interesting was that Obama was warned about the upcoming financial crisis in 2006 by a banker friend called George Haywood. This guy could easily be a character in a Michael Lewis book; he dropped out of Harvard Law to play blackjack and then became a bond trader at Lehman in the 80’s. Like the characters in the Big Short he was shorting the markets around 2006 but unlike them he wasn’t able to hold his position and had to take losses. Obama says that he asked around about Haywood’s warnings but was told that there was nothing to worry about and moved on. Of course Haywood turned out to be right and I wonder if being warned about the crisis years before made Obama better mentally prepared to deal with when it actually happened.

I was also interested in Obama’s reasoning about his pick of Bob Gates as his defense secretary. Part of it had to do with his wariness of taking on the national security apparatus coming into the White House as a young politician without military experience . It’s a good example of his more canny,strategic side.

I’ve been reading it slowly. From where I am currently I’ve seen enough to infer Obama is more introverted and perhaps culturally conservative than his public image has been defined as by both people who supported him and those people who opposed him.

Tim Kaine must feel a bit vindicated now it’s in the public domain by the former president that it was between him and Joe Biden for the VP job in 2008. Kaine’s selection got a fair amount of doubt in 2016 and in the aftermath it seemed a little harsh people saying he was a bad pick. It could be Kaine as our president now had things gone differently in 2008.

I’ve got it but haven’t started reading yet.

It’s on my gift wish list. I read an earlier book and enjoyed his writing.