Dreams of my father by Barack Obama

I picked this up at the railway station and have been reading it for some time. At Christmas I had four books on the go, and I have been steadily trying to rationalise down from that.

Anyway this is an outstandingly well written and thoughtfull book. It is not really an autobiography, he writes perceptively about others, but tells us little about himself or his opinions. It is not a book about what he believes or what he did, it is about him figuring out what it is to be black.

The book could quite easily be edited down, and although it is very well written it is probably a bit too confusing for the average reader to really keep up with all the different characters.

However this is all rather irrelevant now, it is a book written by the first black president of the USA. What does it tell us about him? He is a decent and thoughtful person, someone who cares, too educated to fit in easily with people in the slums, too concerned to fit in with the well to do, his family are a consistent, welcoming and positive influence on his life. On the basis of this book, Obama is a truly exceptional candidate for president of the USA. History will come to its own judgement on his merits as president, but it is to America's credit that they could put aside racism and elect him.