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The Dream Begins: How Hawai'i Shaped Barack Obama

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Born and raised in the most multicultural state in the union, United States presidential candidate Barack Obama bears the indelible stamp of his native Hawai'i. The social mores of the Aloha State and the experience of growing up in an island culture have had a deep and lasting influence on the candidate. Obama himself has noted, "What's best in me, and what's best in my m Born and raised in the most multicultural state in the union, United States presidential candidate Barack Obama bears the indelible stamp of his native Hawai'i. The social mores of the Aloha State and the experience of growing up in an island culture have had a deep and lasting influence on the candidate. Obama himself has noted, "What's best in me, and what's best in my message, is consistent with the tradition of Hawai'i." Glauberman and Burris offer concise lessons in Hawai'i history to help the reader understand its racial and social climate, and how such an environment could impact a young man like Obama. For, as his wife, Michelle Obama, has said, "You can't really understand Barack until you understand Hawai'i." Interviews with Obama's Punahou School classmates and teachers, as well as others who knew the Senator in his youth, add a personal dimension to the narrative. Obama's paternal and maternal family history and his years in Indonesia are also thoroughly covered.


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Born and raised in the most multicultural state in the union, United States presidential candidate Barack Obama bears the indelible stamp of his native Hawai'i. The social mores of the Aloha State and the experience of growing up in an island culture have had a deep and lasting influence on the candidate. Obama himself has noted, "What's best in me, and what's best in my m Born and raised in the most multicultural state in the union, United States presidential candidate Barack Obama bears the indelible stamp of his native Hawai'i. The social mores of the Aloha State and the experience of growing up in an island culture have had a deep and lasting influence on the candidate. Obama himself has noted, "What's best in me, and what's best in my message, is consistent with the tradition of Hawai'i." Glauberman and Burris offer concise lessons in Hawai'i history to help the reader understand its racial and social climate, and how such an environment could impact a young man like Obama. For, as his wife, Michelle Obama, has said, "You can't really understand Barack until you understand Hawai'i." Interviews with Obama's Punahou School classmates and teachers, as well as others who knew the Senator in his youth, add a personal dimension to the narrative. Obama's paternal and maternal family history and his years in Indonesia are also thoroughly covered.

27 review for The Dream Begins: How Hawai'i Shaped Barack Obama

  1. 5 out of 5

    Linda 😊 Tam

    Three stars means I enjoyed it. Is it cohesive? No-it’s kind of scattered, exactly the way you expect of a book that was rushed for publication prior to the election of 2008. There’s a lot of interesting information in here, and the rather scattered approach actually makes it ideal for a book you pick up and read a few pages of here and there. There’s some fascinating information about Hawaii and to a lesser extent Indonesia and Kenya. Recommended for any Obama fan.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jay Brara

    Skimmed.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Bill

    Way too repetitive. By the time you're done, you are indoctrinated with the idea that Hawaii is truly a multicultural state and may very well be the future of America. However, it does explain Obama's apparent accommodating style. Way too repetitive. By the time you're done, you are indoctrinated with the idea that Hawaii is truly a multicultural state and may very well be the future of America. However, it does explain Obama's apparent accommodating style.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Emi

    got all excited when i saw this "local" book about Obama growing up in Hawaii. got all excited when i saw this "local" book about Obama growing up in Hawaii.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Christine Hayashida

  6. 5 out of 5

    Mei

  7. 4 out of 5

    Aladdin Elaasar

  8. 5 out of 5

    Ana Delgado

  9. 4 out of 5

    Alanna Bradley

  10. 4 out of 5

    Alan Loo

  11. 5 out of 5

    Marilyn Litt

    Interesting if somewhat repetitive. It could be easily read by a high school student.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

  13. 4 out of 5

    Gail Baugniet

  14. 4 out of 5

    Snorkelbuddy

  15. 5 out of 5

    Eugenia

  16. 4 out of 5

    Bowen Dean

  17. 4 out of 5

    Carol

  18. 4 out of 5

    MCC Libraries

  19. 4 out of 5

    Steve Laube

  20. 4 out of 5

    Bronson

  21. 4 out of 5

    sarah atkinson

  22. 5 out of 5

    Diane

  23. 4 out of 5

    Daniel Mount

  24. 4 out of 5

    Casper

  25. 4 out of 5

    Kevin Wright

  26. 5 out of 5

    sarah atkinson

  27. 5 out of 5

    Garnet

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