A Promised Land

A Promised Land

Written by:
Barack Obama
Narrated by:
Barack Obama

Unabridged Audiobook

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Release Date
November 2020
29 hours 10 minutes
Brought to you by Penguin.


A riveting, deeply personal account of history in the making-from the president who inspired us to believe in the power of democracy.

In the stirring, highly anticipated first volume of his presidential memoirs, Barack Obama tells the story of his improbable odyssey from young man searching for his identity to leader of the free world, describing in strikingly personal detail both his political education and the landmark moments of the first term of his historic presidency-a time of dramatic transformation and turmoil.

Obama takes readers on a compelling journey from his earliest political aspirations to the pivotal Iowa caucus victory that demonstrated the power of grassroots activism to the watershed night of November 4, 2008, when he was elected 44th president of the United States, becoming the first African American to hold the nation's highest office.

Reflecting on the presidency, he offers a unique and thoughtful exploration of both the awesome reach and the limits of presidential power, as well as singular insights into the dynamics of U.S. partisan politics and international diplomacy. Obama brings readers inside the Oval Office and the White House Situation Room, and to Moscow, Cairo, Beijing, and points beyond. We are privy to his thoughts as he assembles his cabinet, wrestles with a global financial crisis, takes the measure of Vladimir Putin, overcomes seemingly insurmountable odds to secure passage of the Affordable Care Act, clashes with generals about U.S. strategy in Afghanistan, tackles Wall Street reform, responds to the devastating Deepwater Horizon blowout, and authorizes Operation Neptune's Spear, which leads to the death of Osama bin Laden.

A Promised Land is extraordinarily intimate and introspective-the story of one man's bet with history, the faith of a community organizer tested on the world stage. Obama is candid about the balancing act of running for office as a Black American, bearing the expectations of a generation buoyed by messages of 'hope and change,' and meeting the moral challenges of high-stakes decision-making. He is frank about the forces that opposed him at home and abroad, open about how living in the White House affected his wife and daughters, and unafraid to reveal self-doubt and disappointment. Yet he never wavers from his belief that inside the great, ongoing American experiment, progress is always possible.

This beautifully written and powerful book captures Barack Obama's conviction that democracy is not a gift from on high but something founded on empathy and common understanding and built together, day by day.


'What is unexpected in A Promised Land is the former president's candour' David Olusoga, Observer

'Gorgeously written, humorous, compelling, life affirming' Justin Webb, Mail on Sunday

© 2020 Barack Obama (P) 2020 Penguin Audio
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Jo-Anne G.

I expected to be informed. I expected to be frustrated at times, intrigued, even annoyed. What I didn’t expect was how much this book moved me. It is an incredible character shift from young adulthood to POTUS. Obama makes this journey with humour, compassion, warmth and an unshakable belief in himself and the people of America. I loved it.

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Nathaniel A.

Great book

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Leopold N.

Man, was there ever a book you had to read, except now you don't have to. The last true leader of the free world has done it all for you! Entirely amazing having the recent world history events captured and explained firsthand in layman’s terms by one of the main-stage players. Completely captivating storytelling by one of the best natural talent orators of our time. Mr. President, it was a great honor!

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Marina A.

Great book, really interesting to hear the behind the scene details. The mann sure can certainly write and read a book.

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Andrea T.

Incredibly detailed behind the scenes of Barack Obama’s presidency, his process, policy, press staff and family all in the mix. It was fascinating insight

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The job of President of United States is a big task. I have read heaps of biographies and autobiographies of these people. Over the last 50 years I have read these books in the context of lots of news and views in the public space about the writer and the job they did. I love the way autobiographies reveal a different side of the presidency. Mr Obama clearly unpacks the isolation of the job which is well known but weaves a multilayered tale of conflicting priorities and frustrations that are inherent in the job. He clearly deals with the constraints imposed from inside government (entrenched power blocks such as the military and elements of Congress) He weaves the story of mopping up after the Great Recession and the challenge of fulfilling election promises while encountering the limits of his place in the nation.He is like most autobiographers very confident about how well he did the job and is very gentle on himself about what many around him would say are his failures. I loved his willingness to use some of his word count to give historical context to the issues he deals with. I love the fact that he is comfortable talking about stuff ups by predecessors in both parties. I will buy volume two as soon as it is available. I truly love hearing the story in his voice.

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I have read this as well as BO and MO other looks, fascinating and beautifully written.

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Nathan Z.

I loved it!!

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Outstanding- beautifully written and narrated by the man himself!

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Aaron L.

Really interesting book! Insightful, at points powerful, and detailed about American foreign policy under his tenure

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Neal C.

This was always going to be one-sided but its a profound insight into a political system that was too small, petty and self interested to allow a great man to better his country. If he couldn't do it, who will ever.

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Loved the book. All 29 hours.

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Declan F.

Great books if you are interested in politics. Not so much about Obama himself.

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Jude B.

Fantastic read!

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Niall Roper

A fascinating account of Barack Obama’s impressive career in politics, and its challenges, dilemmas and compromises. The story is made even more engaging by Obama’s narration.

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Jerusha L.

Such an interesting book, spoken in his own words. A behind the scenes look at the headlines and the challenges he and his family faced. Recommend

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Darrell W.

This work inspired and motivated me to be better.  It helped me to understand what motivated President Obama and I marveled at the principled nature of the man.  He entered politics to make the world a better place and understood the significance of his becoming President.    The book provided an excellent account of history and will no doubt be very useful in this regard in the years ahead.  Hi voice captured the moments so passionately and intensely, that I often felt I was sitting next to him when the events unfolded.  I truly enjoyed this presentation and could hardly stop listening.  I am eagerly looking forward to volume 2.

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Jo Nugent

Love this... Such a great insight into all that goes on and so educational about world histories and cultures without seeming too heavy. Lots of funny anecdotes mixed in too. Can't imagine doing all this work and then handing the job over to someone with such vastly different views, principles and priorities. Great to have President Obama reading it himself too... Wouldn't have been the same read by anyone else!

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Louise McCartney

Very enjoyable & interesting. I learnt a couples of things while I was at it which is a bonus. this could only have been narrated by the author, who did a great job. I wasn't sure how is cope with a mammoth read such as this but I flew threw it. only at a couple of point did I get a bit bored, listing of people mostly, but it was worth the read & the quickest 29 hours I've ever spent

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