Dreams From My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance is a New York Times best-selling memoir by U.S. President Barack Obama. SMU’s Common Reading Selection Committee selected Obama’s novel for the 2009-10 academic year.
Written by the first African-American to be elected President of the United States, this book gives a personal account of Obama’s upbringing as he dealt with his racial identity and came to accept his Kenyan roots that his father represented. Obama also faces the normal struggles of growing up without his father, and the effects of his father’s absence fueled his will to succeed beyond his deepest dreams.
The book represents a pure example of not allowing outside circumstances to get in the way of goals. Obama displays great determination as he is describing many situations that he faced and survived. He experiences some hardships that ordinary people face every day, regardless of race. Yet, Obama rose above the adversity to hold extraordinary positions on his way to the Presidency. Dreams From My Father is an inspirational work that shows that the past is a blueprint for how people can embrace their present, and plan their future.
For first-year students, the themes presented in this book can speak volumes. It is a thought-provoking book – one that you will be sure to enjoy while feeling a sense of connection to our president.
You will receive your personal copy of Dreams From My Father during your AARO session. After your summer orientation experience, you will have an opportunity to interact with faculty and students during our Common Reading group discussion on Tuesday, August 25. This is always a great philosophical and learning experience to interact with faculty and begin your academic journey.