Tuesday, February 16, 2010

twelve

Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance

I decided to break my permanent rule against reading abridged books by trying the audiobook version of Dreams From My Father, read by the author, now known as POTUS. I never read abridged versions, especially this year, but I made an exception because I thought the experience of the President reading his book, written in 1996, would be entertaining and enlightening, adding depth to prose I wasn't entirely sure about.

I was right - hearing him read this truly added a lot to this book, even if certain parts were excised. I'm making a note to go back and read the full book after this year to get the full text, but I'm really glad we spent the drive up to Boston hearing him tell us his story. After finishing The Audacity of Hope, I knew he was a great writer, so his particular clever ways of putting words together didn't surprise me. But the clear sentiment he felt when writing about his feelings in Dreams From My Father shines through the prose, allowing him to say some pretty unique things. I'd love to be able to quote longer passages, but because it's an audiobook I could only email myself short blurbs. These were what got to me:
Each of us chose a costume, an armor against uncertainty.

Sorry-ass motherfucker ain't got nothin' on me

Maybe we could give the bad-ass n@$%*! pose a rest, save it for when we really needed it

Everybody was welcome in the club of disaffection
Those phrases are not something you hear from State Senators, Senators, or Presidents, and it was refreshing to hear them, in his own voice. It gives me hope for the remainder of his presidency.

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