Book Review | Barack Obama - Dreams From My father | A Story Of Race & Inheritance

As Super Sunday approaches and I try to separate empty promises and strategic moves from real, actual thoughts and goals, I couldn’t have read a better book than Dreams From My Father.

Well, I, on the other hand, found it a completely absorbing read. It's well-written and an interesting story. I wish everyone could read it; there are so many misunderstandings about Barack's life. While I'm sure there are parts that have been changed, dramatized, shifted around, the theme behind the events that Barack chronicles is evident. It's the story of a boy trying to comprehend who he is, to reconcile with the fact that he looks undeniably different than his mother and grandparents, to cope with the mysterious, absent figure that is his father.

The book provides a better understanding of not only Barack Obama's life, but a greater understanding of who Barack Obama is and why he is the way he is. This book, of course, only presents one side of who Barack Obama is - and the side that Obama presents himself. So, as with all autobiographies, I took it with a grain of salt. But after reading it, I had a much greater respect for him... he worked for years as a community organizer, and it wasn't until I read his book that I realized how hard that work was.

The book follows Barack through his childhood in Hawaii and Indonesia, his community work in Chicago, and his journey to meet his father’s family in Kenya. Along the way, he has to come to terms with the death of his absent father, being raised primarily by his white grandparents (you don’t hear about this much), and learning the ropes of being a community organizer in inner city Chicago.

The thing that amazed me most about the book was watching Obama:

 1) work through problems and

2) analyze both sides on an issue. These two traits came through in two different ways in the book: in personal situations (how he comes to understand and accept his troubled father and his Kenyan ancestry) and in political situations (how he comes to understand the long-standing and deep problems facing the urban poor).

It would have been very, very easy to have bad guys in this book. Evil high-up government officials who prevent community centers and jobs from reaching the impoverished in Chicago. His adulterous and alcoholic father who seemed to abandon his loved ones at every turn. But Barack thinks his way through these simple binary good/bad categories and goes far beyond them. He is constantly striving to 1) understand situations from all points of view and 2) think his way through to a solution. He has an uncanny ability to step away from the emotions of a problem and then systematically chip away at it. He understands very well that you have to know why things are as they are before you develop a plan about how to fix it.

The best example of this might be his work in Chicago. Although it’s unheard of for anyone to criticize the black ministers who organize the urban black communities in Chicago, Obama quickly began to understand the huge problems that come with church-based activism in black communities. Churches would rarely work together to solve larger problems and ministers would rarely do more than preach (which, to be fair, is their job). The action that should have followed a sermon simply wasn’t organized. Because many black leaders were ministers, many black leaders were also, essentially, just talk. What followed was three years of work in which Obama not only made major, innovative steps in Chicago but in which he also learned how to inspire both individuals and small groups into action.

I was also impressed by what Barack Obama didn’t leave out of the book. He made a lot of mistakes, he deals with a lot of anger, and he doesn’t succeed at everything. Still, you can not only see him learning from his mistakes, but immediately applying those lessons to his next challenge.

The book, as a more general read, was good as well. The writing wasn’t stellar (something Obama is quick to point out in the forward to the reprint) but it was still much better than one might expect from someone who isn’t primarily a writer. Getting to see the inner struggle of a biracial person growing up in 60s and 70s America was also really fascinating.

There are a lot of great candidates in the upcoming election, and I feel positive about more than two of them. But especially after reading this book, my doubts about Obama’s lack of experience are gone. He has something that trumps years in Washington: a stellar judgment and an almost eerie ability to put himself in someone else’s shoes and understand both sides of an issue. More than that, his ability to inspire individuals to action is something that America could truly benefit from. You can even see it in his campaign: ordinary people stepping up and acting, even if they’ve never been involved in politics before.

Barack Obama has led a life no one else could really understand, but everyone can relate to in some capacity. I know one of the arguments against him as president is that he doesn't have a lot of experience in office, but after reading this book, one might argue that he has plenty of experience in far more important areas that would serve him better if he were elected again for USA.

He is nothing less than inspiring..

Best Quote:

“To be Black was to be the beneficiary of a great inheritance, a special destiny, glorious burdens that only we were strong enough to bear.”

Thank You..!!!

Review Of Book Mother Teresa Written By Navin chawla | Must read the Saint mother Teresa's life story which you have never heard of before.

Mother is the other name of sacrifices, and she is known for the intense love she had for the poorest of the poor. Mother was awarded by thousands of awards. She was the first person who was not born in India, yet got India's most prestigious award, the Bharat Ratna and also the Padma Shri award.

Mother Teresa, a symbol of love, care and humanity, is known for her hard work that she did for the mankind. She was one of the most powerful woman in the world in her epoch, who had started to follow her passion at the age of just 12. She left her entire happy family at an early age.

She was the unique example of focus and determination and her love for Christ. She had started her mission for poor without having a single penny, and yet she succeeded to start her multinational missionary for homeless, poorest of the poor people who had been unwanted, who were suffering from TB, Leprosy, physically disabled.

At her early stage, Mother even had begged from others, not for herself, but for the sufferers. I felt so blessed that I got to read this book. She was such a humble personality. Everyone talks about only his or her country but Mother used to talk about the whole world. She was concerned about each and every person in the whole universe. She used to say that she would have even gone to the moon if she would find any poor there as well. This was the kind of focus and dedication she used to have.


The book is written by Navin Chawla and it is considered the most accurate biography of Mother Teresa. The author used to closely know Mother for 23 years. He spent 5 years for research on her life, especially in her work. Author was very clear about Mother’s life mission and principal and that is the reason he wrote this book so precisely.

This is the biography of world’s most admired women. The book starts with the childhood chapter of mother, which is known to very few people. She was from Skopje which became a part of Yugoslavia. Her family was townsmen engaged in business. Her father, Nicholas Bojaxhiu, was a building contractor. Her father was a member of town council who never used to refuse poor. She always used to describe that her family was a joyful one and very closely united, especially after her father’s death. She was very close to her mother and described her mother as very holy.

 She was only seven when her father passed away leaving his widow and three children. She further explained how her mother started a small business to take care of her children. Her mother taught her to love God and to love neighbor. The Church became an important part of the family’s life. Mother and her sister began to participate in a number of parish activities. She used to visit the church library very frequently as she loved books.

Now the time came when at the age of only 12, she felt the desire to become a nun, and it was natural for her mother to oppose at first because mother was after all a 12 years child. Her family came to a contact of Father Jambrenkovic, who had started a society called Sodality, where mother came to know about Calcutta(now Kolkata).

 Meanwhile, she started giving religious instruction to children and grew to love teaching. After 6 years, when mother was eighteen, she decided to leave her family and loved ones behind and become a missionary. Mother Teresa, then applied to the Loreto order in West Bengal, India. On 26th September 1928, she said good bye to her mother, her siblings, her relatives and friends of the Sodality Society. This was the last time that she saw her mother.


On 6th January 1929 she came to her destination Calcutta. On 16th January she was sent to Darjeeling (400 miles from Calcutta), where she finally began her life as a novice. She began to learn Bengali and on August 1931 she took her first vow.

Her novitiate completed and from then people used to call her as "Mother Teresa". She was sent to Loreto in the Calcutta. She remained there happily for seventeen years, first as a teacher and then as a principal.

In 1946 she decided to leave Loreto and serve the poor people. According to her, it was a direct communication from god. She made her first sacrifice when she left her family and her mother and now she made another sacrifice perhaps as big as the first, when she left Loreto. She had to take permissions from the Vatican itself so that she could be able to help the poors directly.

 After so many conversations over letters and telegrams, she got the permission letter from Vatican in 1948 and that was the first time that she wore white and blue border saree. She had undertaken few months in nursing, dispensary and hospitals where she learnt to administer injections and to prescribe medicines.

She started her first work for slum in Motijhil in Calcutta. There were no schools, no dispensaries and sewage flowed into open drains. When she started her mission, she was all alone with no money, no support. She requested the slum people to send their children to her for schooling and on her second day she found 5 children waiting for her but there were no buildings, no class rooms, and she didn't have money to even buy a black board, so she started teaching them under a tree.

She took stick as a marker and ground as a board. Initially, she started to beg and during that phase she did not receive blessings, but got first class abuse. Very soon, in spite of these many struggles, she finally started Shishu bhavan(school for poor children) for unwanted children, Nirmal Hriday, dispensaries(places for leprosies). Her missionary started growing worldwide.


After all her efforts, she saved thousands of children, patients, women, adopted so many unwanted children and gradually she became the most powerful woman yet unaffected. The president of India, the President of the United States and her friend Jyoti Basu(chief minister of West Bengal at that time), used to send her telegrams. King and queen of Belgium went specially to see her.

She got many prestigious awards like Padma Shree, Bharat Ratna, Nobel Prize and many more. With 4000 plus nuns, she created a multinational enterprise which gives free services to the poorest of the poor.

By the time she died in 1997, her mission had established 594 houses in 120 countries. Immediately after her death, there was world wide clamor for her to be declared a saint.

 For the very first time dispensation from the rule of waiting for the mandatory five years after death, for the process of enquiry and investigation began, and this was the fastest case of canonization in recent centuries. This is how she entered into the world of sainthood and world will always remember this Saint.

Review Of Book Mother Teresa:

All the Nobel things she has done but people still questions that is Mother Teresa a saint?

 I would just say if mother Teresa is not saint then no one could be a saint.

I am really thankful to Navin Chawla who wrote Mother Teresa Biography and because of him I am able to know so much about  mother.

Things I liked about this book:

The excellent research work done by author about her life. In fact the most detailed version.
He has presented all the sides, he has also discussed the criticism about Mother Teresa and also presented Mother’s stand on those criticisms.

So many old and rare photographs and letters of mother are also there in the book.
Book focuses on the mother’s struggle, determination and the great work done by her.

 Things I disliked about this book:

There are few repetitions at the end of the book which could had been easily removed.
There were few misprinting in it but those could be neglected.

Purpose to read this book:

My purpose was very clear that I wanted to closely see the world’s most selfless person’s life, her struggle and her determination to make the impossible thing possible. If you really wish the same then do read this book.

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