An Obama’s Journey

An Obama’s Journey
My Odyssey of Self-Discovery across Three Cultures

by Mark Obama Ndesandjo

Globe Pequot Press

Hardcover, $25.95

392 pages

ISBN: 978-1-4930-0751-6

Book Review by Kam Williams

“’My family will hate me for this book, baby,’ I explained [to my wife]. She hugged me and assured me they would not, while no doubt sensing I was right.
513GC4X1jPLLater that day in Beijing, my brother replied to an interviewer’s question about our meeting: ‘I don’t know him very well. I met him for the first time only two years ago.’

Hearing myself referred to in the third person like that felt surreal… The pain in my heart disregard any logic or excuse. After all, I had met him a number of times before…

At that moment, my brother scared me… He had become not my brother, but the President of the United States. This was the politicking Barack, in the media spotlight where politicians perform every day.

I’d thought there might be something about our family tie that would override the carefully bland, ready response, but the dismissive words were spoken… How naïve I had been.”

– Excerpted from the Prelude (pages xiv-xv)

 

President Obama barely knew the biological father who separated from his mother while he was still an infant. In fact, he only saw his dad once ever again, and that was during a brief visit to Hawaii in 1971.

By contrast, his half-brother, Mark Obama Ndesandjo, was in a far better position to take a measure of the man, given how he had spent his formative years with Barack, Sr. So, it would make sense that Barack might consult his younger sibling while conducting researching in Kenya about their dad for a book during the summer of 1988.

When they met, Mark matter-of-factly offered that, “He was a drunk, he beat my mother and us kids.” Nevertheless, Barack would wax Obamabros375romantic about his absentee parent in “Dreams from My Father,” painting a relatively-benign portrait that bears little resemblance to the womanizing, wife-beating alcoholic revealed in Mark’s own new autobiography.

An Obama’s Journey is a jaw-dropping memoir which casts a pall not only over Barack, Sr. but over Barack as well. In it, Mark calls his brother “a stuck-up asshole” and an “arrogant bastard” with a cold demeanor. Perhaps more chilling is his description of a “darker, more insidious presence that was as much a part of him as his DNA.”

That almost demonic side of Barack apparently came to the fore when he lied so cavalierly to the press about Mark, minimizing how long the two knew each other, ostensibly for purely political purposes. Mark felt hurt by this display of callousness reminiscent of how the President had similarly thrown Reverend Wright, the pastor of the church where he’d married and worshipped for 20 years, under the bus when it was expedient for his career to do so.

Lesser character flaws highlighted here include “the faint smell of cigarettes” Mark detected upon meeting the President in Beijing at a time when he supposedly had kicked the habit. He also felt insulted when his brother stuck out a hand rather than hug him at that reunion.

 

In spite of all of the above, Mark loves his brother dearly. After all, they have far more in common than their differences. Besides the same father, they both come from broken families, have white American mothers, brilliant minds, and attended Ivy League schools.

But I digress. For this tome has a larger purpose, and the trajectory of Mark’s own life is no mere footnote to that of the first African-American President. Rather it is fascinating in its own right, a riveting transcontinental tale of survival, accomplishment, adjustment, transformation and, ultimately, triumph taking the reader from Africa to America to China and back.

Lucky for us, the author happens to be blessed with a refreshingly-unguarded honest and introspective nature which in combination with a wonderful a way with words add up to a must-read regardless of how you feel about his very famous sibling.

mark and wife

 

To order a copy of An Obama’s Journey, visit:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1493007513/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

 

Real Estate

Real Estate, Professional, For Sale by Owner, mortgage interest rates, home prices, marketing plan, Reviews, testimonials

How to Hire a Winner in Real Estate

  How to Hire a Winner in Real Estate by Amy Lignor   You want to buy that new house because the twins are on their way. Little Betty and Little John are already … [Read More...]

More Posts from this Category

Travel

Deception Island, Easter Island, Heavenly Lake, Lake Baikal, Perth, Kauai, peace & quiet, vacation, remote

Finding Relaxation in the Most Remote Locations of All

    Finding Relaxation in the Most Remote Locations of All by Amy Lignor   It is a fact that the largest travel locations are also beyond popular. Among the … [Read More...]

More Posts from this Category

Entertainment

Baby Driver, Film Review, best film of the year, Edgar Wright, Jamie Foxx, Kevin Spacey, Jon Hamm, Lily James, Ansel Elgort

Mob Wheelman Puts Pedal to the Metal in Adrenaline-Fueled Blockbuster

  Baby Driver Film Review by Kam Williams Mob Wheelman Puts Pedal to the Metal in Adrenaline-Fueled Blockbuster All you really need to know about Baby Driver is that … [Read More...]

More Posts from this Category