A Promised Land Summary

A Promised Land
A Promised Land

This is a complete A Promised Land summary, a book by former American president Barack Obama. A Promised Land gives a unique insight into the first volume of Obama’s presidential memoirs.

About Barack Obama

Obama was elected as the number 44th President of the United States of America. Barack Obama Jnr. was the first African-American President of the United States. He worked as a community organizer in Chicago after he graduated from the University of Columbia in 1983. And in 1988 he enrolled in Harvard Law School, where he became the first black President of the Harvard Law Review. In 2008, Obama was named for President a year after his presidential campaign began. He was elected over Republican candidate John McCain. He was also named the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate a year later. 


A Promised Land is the memoir of former President Barack Obama, telling stories about his background, how he entered politics, and what it was like for him to be president from the year 2009 to 2017, including his role in the assassination of Osama Bin Laden and the Affordable Care Act.

Love him or hate him, the man Barack Obama Jnr is an American icon. As you probably know, he made history as the first black president of the United States. He also received the Nobel Peace Prize, was a healthcare reform leader, and bringing down Osama bin Laden.

We all know his life after his appointment in 2008. But what life experiences made Obama the influential leader he is in today’s world? In his first report or memoir, A Promised Land, we get a very personal and compelling story about the president.

We follow Obama on his journey from the unremarkable child of a single mother in Honolulu, Hawaii, to becoming the first African-American in the White House. We know him as a talented and charismatic leader, but you’ll be surprised to hear a story of struggle, self-doubt, and turmoil, even to the point where he almost gave up politics.

A Brief Summary Of The Major Points

A Promised Land is the first of Barack Obama’s two presidential memorabilia. Obama takes in readers into his childhood, adolescence, and beyond into his political career. All of the important decisions Obama had to make in 2011 are covered in this political brief… It describes the thought process behind those decisions. Obama is honest about the challenges he faces after adopted financial instability. He also explains how he had to move between optimistic hopes and the reality of tough decisions.

Obama’s Childhood In Hawaii

Obama deals with childhood in each of his books. This is the first book that largely describes his upbringing in Hawaii. After living in Indonesia before his teenage years, Obama returned to Hawaii and lived with his grandparent. These grandparents had left the Midwest to escape the racial turmoil in the 1960s before Barack Obama Jnr was born. Obama was a teenager called “Barry”. He spent his teenage years in Hawaii chasing girls and playing basketball. He still has strong friendships from that time, and his transformation surprises these childhood friends.

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For them, the teenager Barry who becomes President Obama is a miracle. The same passions for sports and girls continued in his student years. However, he was not involved in student groups or political associations. Instead, he spent most of his time partying, chasing, and playing basketball.

Obama claims that part of his inadequate leadership was uncomfortable in his skin at this age. He describes himself as from “everywhere and nowhere at once.” Obama barely knew his father. Barack Obama sr worked in Kenya and only met once when Barack Jr. was ten. But the two Baracks kept in touch via letters. This lack of secure identity led Obama to his ultimate cure: books. He visited Honolulu’s jumble sale market and came home with lots of second-hand books. These books and the characters they contain became his companion and his consolation. However, Obama admits that his motivations for reading certain books were mixed. For example, he read Marx to speak to the “leggy socialist” who lived in his dorm. He also read Foucault to get in touch with “the ethereal bisexual who normally wore black.” Obama loved to read but continued to have a passion for fascinating women.

Another habit or addictive practice adopted by Obama in his youthful age was smoking. It’s a habit he struggled with during the early years of his presidency. Obama admits that he sometimes secretly smokes ten cigarettes a day. The inspiration for him to quit was Malia. Obama’s daughter, Malia showed displeasure at the smell of cigarettes on Obama’s breath. However, it was enough to put an end to his smoking habits. 

Obama’s Fuel For Presidency

As he got older, Obama was driven by social change. He started asking questions about race and class after seeing the big gap between 1% and the rest of America. Obama learned more about politics at Occidental College, but his passion has remained for social change. This passion even drove him to run for office in the first place. Another source of inspiration for his political purposes was his mother. Obama’s mother has always been very stubborn and has rebelled against convention all her life. This uprising included defenders of the Vietnam War and the struggle for women’s rights. Although Barack’s mother, Stanley Ann, was not politically active, she inspired Barack to pursue the same passion as the president.

Obama admits there were times his ego got the upper hand. This has happened in its failures and successes. But he would always notice it. Finally, he focused on the importance of social change and got mad at himself for putting his ego on top. It took some time for Obama to realize that politics was his goal of social change. The first moment he understood this was when he saw Harold Washington become Chicago’s first black mayor. This moment encouraged Barack to someday bring about change through politics as well. Obama, therefore, urges readers that it is not necessary to have a goal from an early age. You will learn over time to translate your passions into a specific goal.

Obama’s Senate Race In Illinois

Another factor that pushed Obama was his family. Obama says one of his biggest failures was in the mid-1990s when he ran for a congressional seat in Illinois. The result of this election was a great loss. Obama was beaten by his rival. He uses this failure as an example of how it will be grouped together. After a failure, Obama returns to his constant, his family. Obama spoke to Michelle and wondered if politics was his life. As a result, he noticed he had to try again, but he had to pull himself together and get better. Obama won the Senate race in 1996 in Illinois. He served three terms in that post, from 1997 to 2004. Obama attributes the improvement to spending more time with his family after his failure. This decision allowed Obama to regain his balance. In 2003, Obama was honored for his resistance to George W. Bush’s war in Iraq. The following year, he won a Senate seat with a record 70-27% margin.

Obama’s Political Evolution

Despite this record, Michelle was not quite behind Barack, attempting to run for the Senate again. She realized the importance of Barack spending time with his family and knew that successfully bidding would be a barrier. As I said, Barack believed in his ability to make a difference. After the victory, he decided to follow in Hillary Clinton’s footsteps. Hilary wanted to be a functional senator, not a glamorous senator. She tried to make a difference instead of just being there to make up the numbers and react to the media. Barack was the same. He didn’t want to be in the spotlight; he just wanted to work hard and make a difference. However, Hurricane Katrina made it clear that it was not that easy to get things done. Barack found the Senate to be full of attitudes that made real change difficult. So he realized that he had to become president to achieve his goal.

Obama notes that others around him seemed more confident than he was in his ability to run for president. Even so, Obama knew he had to be ready when the opportunity presented itself. This realization enabled Obama to run for president at the right time for the country and for himself.

A Low-Tech Solution To A Big Decision

A Promised Land reveals the intricate details of the vast decisions Obama made during his presidency. For example, Obama explains an alternative strategy he had to take when he called for his first military intervention in Libya. Obama was in Brazil at the time. He had a high-tech communications system that had to be extremely secure. Unfortunately, just when Obama had to use it, it stopped working. Obama, therefore, had to use a regular cell phone to make the critical decision to intervene in Libya. As Obama described this phone, it was probably used to order pizza. The same phone was used to give a cryptic order to a general in Washington.

A Relaxed Approach To A Big Decision

Obama also reveals his surroundings when he orders the attack on Bin Laden in Pakistan. Again, the decision was made two months after calling from Brazil on a regular cell phone. This time Obama was in the White House. But he called with a basketball game in the background. Obama also describes how Joe Biden advised against the raid. 

Obama’s Perspective On Other World Leaders

Obama doesn’t say much about the leaders he has met. However, in spite of this, he gives a concise overview of his take on the major world leaders of his time. Plus, his insight into how the Trump administration has become a reality.

  • David Cameron

David Cameron looked confident. Obama admits that he believes the trust is due to his privilege. Nevertheless, Cameron had the self-assurance of someone who hadn’t struggled much in his life.

  • Wladimir Putin

Putin is described as a leader of the Dark Ages. He would demonstrate his military capabilities by talking about nuclear weapons and vetoing his UN Security Council.

  • Donald trump

Obama believes Trump’s success may have been partly a reaction to the first African American President. Obama describes it as a deep panic that arose when he became and remained President. With Obama as the first African American President, some voters felt disturbed in the President’s natural order. Trump responded to these concerns with false lies about Obama, for example, by claiming that Obama was not born in the United States. In addition, he would claim that Obama is an illegal president. Thus, Trump was an elixir of the racial fear some Americans felt in response to Obama’s presidency.

  • Joe Biden

Barack Obama describes Joe Biden as an honest, decent, and loyal fellow. Biden would always have a different point of view than other Obama advisers. Biden took care of ordinary people and always lived up to expectations when the going got tough. Obama knew the circumstances under which he could trust Biden. The only weakness Obama talks about that isn’t necessarily a weakness was Joe Biden’s ability to talk. Biden didn’t have a filter, meaning he spoke more than twice as long as his allotted time. He would also say how it is.

Obama’s Take On America

Obama has always loved America. He read books about America’s deeds growing up, and his friends would say America is the greatest source of oppression. Obama would not deny the mistakes of American history but believed in American principles. For him, America was a country where all people were created equal.

When Obama became President, he continued to meet people who claimed America was oppressive. Nevertheless, Obama stood firm in his belief that America was a force for good. For instance, Obama would visit international conventions and forums. In these meetings, people from other countries asserted that America was an oppressive power. Meanwhile, these complaining countries have trusted the United States to keep their systems afloat. Obama, therefore, believes that America is one of the most powerful countries that makes the world a better place. Even so, he remains humble when speaking in other countries. As an American, he believes in American exceptionalism just as other countries believe in their own exceptionalism.

The Response To The Obama Presidency

Towards the end of the book, Obama talks about a pivotal moment in his presidency. In 2010, his ambitions to drive social change were hampered by his performance in the midterms. Republicans were able to dominate the House of Representatives after a disastrous Democratic by-election. For Obama, it seemed like the start of a more fragmented America. The Republican Party threatened to obtain the first American standard to block the legislation. Obama understood that this response was not purely political. Perhaps because he was the first African-American president, there had been a strong emotional reaction to Obama’s presidency. 

Obama’s Take On His Presidency


Obama believes his presidency has had a net positive effect. He took responsibility when the United States was in financial crisis and united the country. There are several decisions taken by Obama that are considered controversial. Obama notes, however, that these decisions were not entirely his. He took over at a time when several of his decisions had already been made. With each controversy, he explains what thought processes he went through and how he came to certain conclusions. Ultimately, Obama always stands behind every decision he makes. He says he always made the best of a series of bad decisions. In his eyes, no one could have done better than him during his two terms.

Specific Examples

Obama explains the deportations that took place during his tenure. His hands were tied when he inherited a bush age policy. Obama suggests that he cannot reverse this policy. It would only give Republicans ammunition to claim Democrats never enforce immigration laws.

Obama also talks about his account of the cop who arrested Henry Louis Gates Jr. for “acting stupid.” Obama notes that this comment drastically reduced his popularity with white voters and ultimately influenced his interim results. Obama stands by those comments, however. He still thinks the arrest of Henry Louis Gates Jr. on his own porch in 2009 was a stupid act.

Finally, Obama defends his decision not to prosecute Wall Street bankers whose policies led to the 2008 financial crisis. According to him, it was up to the Department of Justice to make this decision. 

Why Obama Didn’t Have A Bigger Impact

Obama added that his first two years in office have been successful. It describes the introduction of the Affordable Care Act, the Recovery Act, and his investment in environmentally friendly energy. In addition, Obama says Congress has accomplished more than it had in any single session in the past 40 years. However, he also regrets the administration he inherited. If he had had a more stable America than the Bush administration, he could have done more.

But Barack Obama is willing to accept that he did not offer the American people a story about his work. The Republican Party has tried to block as much legislation as possible. Obama did not specify what efforts he was making to bring about social change. Obama admits that Roosevelt wouldn’t have allowed Republicans to run his presidency in the same way. This is Obama’s biggest regret. 

Three Lessons From Obama’s Life

  1. Obama wanted to change the world from an early age and almost gave it up by political means.
  2. With Obama’s growing popularity, it wasn’t long before he won and became president of the United States.
  3. The Affordable Care Act and the raiding and killing of Osama bin Laden are just two of the many milestones of the Obama presidency.

Let’s get right to the point and see how much we can learn from a Promised Land: 

Lesson One

If it weren’t for one last-ditch effort, the idealistic Barack Obama might never have become president.

Barack Hussein Obama grew up with his mother and grandparents in Honolulu. No one would expect him to run for office, let alone become president. He used to take drugs and party in his youth, and even his grades were poor.

But in his teen years, reading became his passion. Very quickly, he was fascinated by political theory and wanted to use his knowledge to solve social and economic problems.

After graduating from Columbia Uni, he worked with communities in Chicago to help those affected by steel mill closures. Even though he was learning a lot, he wanted more changes that could impact communities. So he went to Harvard Law school.

After graduating, he became a senator and now has a young family. It seemed like he had it all. But he wanted more. So he determined to run for the House of Representatives regardless of Michelle’s hesitant that he should be more present.

It was also a brave move as the opponent was a popular incumbent. He lost 30 points. It is at this low point in his life that he reflects on his decisions. He had made an arrogant decision to participate in an almost impossible race and, worse yet, had let his family down.

But for some reason, he couldn’t entirely withdraw from politics. He couldn’t give up his dream of helping Americans of all different political, racial, and socio-economic backgrounds. So, with Michelle’s approval, he decided to try the national office again. They agreed that if that didn’t work, he would quit politics without looking back. 

Lesson Two

As Obama’s popularity skyrocketed, his chances of becoming president increased.

While running for the Senate, some of his speeches went viral on blogs and MySpace. His powerful and compelling message got people moving and increasing the momentum. As a result, before even being elected, he had the opportunity to address the Democratic National Congress once in his life.

It turned out to be the last time he would enter into any room unrecognized. Shortly after his moving speech, his popularity skyrocketed, and he won the Senate with a landslide. As soon as he departed the stage, there was talk of one day becoming president.

But inside, he couldn’t believe it. He had many doubts about himself, not to mention that he was not very experienced at the moment in his career. The U.S media did not seem to take NO for an answer. But his attitude changed when he visited Senator Ted Kennady. He told Obama that now is his time and that life does not allow us to choose when our time is.

When he announced he was going for a run, people flocked to visit him. But all would not be easy. He was young and inexperienced and often spoke like a teacher. But the racial issues were even worse.

Some thought America was not ready for a black president. Others noted that he was not “black enough” to represent them. Yet, he continued to win. Everywhere he went, multitudes came to see him. He realized that all of his hopes and dreams were tied to them, and he was constantly afraid of letting them down. 

Lesson Three

The assassination of the 9/11 terrorist, Osama bin Laden and the Affordable Care Act are just two notable achievements of the Obama presidency.

His electoral victory in 2008 made history. But he also had fantastic performances in both his periods. And one of the most outstanding of these was the signing of the Affordable Care Act. But the path was uphill.

Those on the Right fought tooth and nail against it, worrying over what they called a “government takeover.” Opposition was rife all over the internet, and the Tea Party movement fought against what they called Obamacare.

Obama feared they might not be able to fight this resistance. Still, in the end, it barely materialized, and Obama’s promise to make available and provide medical care to all Americans was kept. And while it helped many struggling Americans get the coverage they badly needed; many were still unhappy because they were still suffering from the recession.

Another impressive achievement in Obama’s period was the capture of Osama bin Laden, the man behind nine-eleven “9/11”. He has been missing since 2001. Obama made hunting down bin Laden a top priority because he hated that bin Laden’s freedom was a painful issue for families affected by September 11, 2001.

In 2010, they suspected they had found the Bin Laden compound in Pakistan. The CIA estimated the likelihood of him being there at 60-80 percent. Knowing that one mistake can ruin it, he gave the green light for a special mission after keeping it a secret for two straight years.

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It was the first live military action he saw, and he was so nervous. But eventually, Bin Laden was found and killed. The country cheered on the news, and it was like a victory for everyone, no matter which side they were on. The historic win was the first time he didn’t have to sell what he had made. 

Final Summary And Analysis Of A Promised Land

A Promised Land gives a unique insight into the first volume of Barack Obama’s presidential memoirs. Obama explains that while his family has always fought for justice, he was the first to enter politics. However, it was not the dream of a lifetime. His childhood friends never predicted that party smoker Barry would become President of the United States. Not only does Obama guide readers through his trip to the Oval Office, but he also provides insight into the challenges associated with the presidency. He had to make tough decisions, but those tough decisions are necessary to be the leader of such an influential country. 

A Promised Land
A Promised Land


I’ve always thought it would be lovely and memorable to hang out with Barack Obama. But, as that hasn’t happened yet, I’m pleased to read some real insights about him that he wrote down in his book A Promised Land.

I don’t know why certain people are so much against him; he is a family man and a good role model, whatever you believe politically. Maybe I’m just biased because I share a birthday with him, though. Either way, A Promised Land is a great book and worth reading!

We’re just scratching the surface here. If you don’t already have the original book, “Promised Land by Barack Obama,” order it here now on Amazon to learn the juicy details.

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