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Barack Obama’s ‘A Promised Land’ reveals the human side of the former president

Photo credit: / LaMarr McDaniel

The president is just a person. However, due to the weight of the decisions he makes daily, we forget that the people we elect to the Oval Office are simply human.

Former POTUS Barack Obama grapples with this reality in his book, A Promised Land. In the preface to the memoir, President Obama writes that the goal of the book is to “capture, in a way that the public record never could, my lived experience during the eight years I lived in the White House.”

The former president maintains this goal throughout the book in a bold, yet entirely successful venture. While A Promised Land conveys the optimism that has become a defining trait of the former president, it also acknowledges the issues that our country still struggles with.

The book conveys both the highlights and the failures of Obama personally and as a leader. Further, the text ties the political to the personal, showing the ways in which everyday people influenced the president to act. A Promised Land also looks beyond the White House and acknowledges the necessity of grassroots workers, student activists, and the next generation in building a better tomorrow.

In hindsight, many have mixed feelings about the Obama administration. However, regardless of political orientation, A Promised Land still offers readers a path toward conversation and unity during a time in which the divisions between us continue to grow.