Barack Obama comes raw in his eagerly anticipated memoir, A Promised Land, saying the current president “promised an elixir for the racial anxiety” of “millions of Americans spooked by a Black man in the White House.”
This is a side of Obama that most of the public never got to see or hear during his eight years in the Oval Office or as a junior senator from Chicago. Obama, 59, is now a retired politician unencumbered by the constraints of his presidency and therefore speaks more candidly.
“It was as if my very presence in the White House had triggered a deep-seated panic, a sense that the natural order had been disrupted. Which is exactly what Donald Trump understood when he started peddling assertions that I had not been born in the United States and was thus an illegitimate president.”
Barack and Michelle Obama definitely got the bag from Penguin Random House to the tune of $65 million to write books that discussed their successful but turbulent time in White House. The former first lady’s memoir, Becoming, crushed the competition in 2019 and became one of the biggest bestsellers in U.S. publishing history.
A Promised Land delves into the 44th president’s marriage and also addresses how race impacted how many Americans viewed him — and treated him — as their leader.
For example, during his first run for president in 2008, Obama asserts in the book that “it seemed that if the dark spirits that had long been lurking on the edges of the modern Republican Party — xenophobia, anti-intellectualism, paranoid conspiracy theories, an antipathy toward Black and brown folks — were finding their way to centre stage.”