Sunday, January 17, 2010


Regardless of your political leanings, INSIDE OBAMA'S BRAIN is a fascinating window into what has shaped the personality and character of our 44th President. I approached the book with an open mind, not having read much about the life of Barack Obama in the past. Author Sasha Abramsky ( seems to have written his book in a way that was for people like myself, incorporating writings from Obama as well as conversations with those who seem to know him best.

The book highlights not just his rise to fame in the world of politics, but the journey he took to understand himself. Pres. Obama's mixed heritage may have been seem by some as just another obstacle for the young man to overcome, but Abramsky highlights it this way: "His very existence challenges social codes and prevailing orthodoxies. Obama is, in many ways, a walking one-man diaspora, a man who can't be defined, or rather confined by his many heritages... To a peculiar degree, he is, as a result, his own creation." (p.49)

That sums up in many ways the 'out of the box' thinking that seems to lead the man who would become America's Commander-In-Chief. Through each challenge and difficulty, there seems to be a "glass half full" approach that kept him striving, achieving and overcoming. As Abramsky writes: "America, for Obama, is a wondrous experiment, something to be marveled at rather than taken for granted... In his memoirs you sense a man who understands the human story as a continual series of journeys, of adventures; a saga of individuals and cultures searching for meaning, seeking to stamp their mark on the world as a way to escape their own fears of inconsequence." (p.64,65)

INSIDE OBAMA'S BRAIN has all the ingredients needed for a worthwhile read. It is also the embodiment of what living in America means and the opportunities it affords. Above all it reminds us that no matter how dark things may appear around us at any given time, we have to always be on the hunt for the light within us all.

--- Cyrus Webb, Conversations LIVE! Radio/Conversations Book Club

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