Here is to share 10 books that you like (one book per day). No explanations, no critique, only the cover. And to nominate one person per day to accept the challenge. Let’s promote a #books #reading culture.
PS: Reviewed 2019.
Today, I recommend this book worth reading: The Brilliant but Self-Destructive Life of BARACK OBAMA SR. The Evil of Tribalism. Sally Jacob’s book “The Other Barack: The Bold and Reckless Life of President Obama’s Father” is instructive on two levels.
On one level, the book informs its readers about some of the lessons POTUS #44 learned from his late father.
The wonderful but sobering read also offers a microcosm into some of the challenges still bedeviling the Luo community – their men in particular. Along this same line, the dichotomy that is Barack Obama Senior, as a metaphor, is equally instructive and poses the question:
What lessons can others learn from the short but accomplished life of the senior Obama?
One can argue that America’s 44th President Barack Obama Jr. most likely learned how NOT to treat women, especially his wife Michelle and daughters, from the way his father treated his mom Ann Dunham, wife Ruth Baker, and in general, the many women in the man’s short life.
Jacob offers that Senior was a womanizer who “did not make many attempts to shield his wife from his philandering ways.
“Even when Ruth and the baby were by his side in public, he (Obama Sr.) flirted with women passing by and admonished her angrily if she objected. When she was not present, Obama held back little.”
The man’s open infidelity eventually forced a very heartbroken Ruth to walk away from their union.
Afraid of being assaulted were her husband to find out that she was leaving, Ruth arranged for one of Obama’s friend to drive him to Luoland for the weekend while she, along with her new-born son Okoth, caught a one-way flight to Boston. (p192-193)
Ms. Jacob’s book also offers a window into the intellectual brilliance and destructive self-confidence (arrogance?) of the man who gave America its first non-white president.
Barack Obama Sr. was a brilliant and confident economist.
The time he spent stateside gave him a view of whites; of Europeans that equalized them in his eyes and an African viewing Europeans as an equal was unheard of or unseen in Kenya at the time.
Upon starting work at the new Central Bank of Kenya, the man’s first complaint was the number of Europeans working at the bank – twenty-two out of the bank’s then-sixty employees with most in “controlling positions”.
While most Africans kept their resentment about the British presence to himself, Senior had a little problem calling them out – to anyone who would listen!
“He complained that they knew nothing at all…. (and) the truth is that they (Europeans) were arrogant. Most of them thought that we were black people who knew nothing and they (Europeans) knew everything.” (p191)
Then-PS in the Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Development Yekohada Masakalia cautioned him to “play the fool….in order to survive but he could not because he did not know how.”
Obama Sr. took to denigrating the credentials of economists many years his senior – in age and inexperience – by talking about his “Harvard training” – and pointedly telling them that they called themselves “economists and they hadn’t even been to Harvard.” While some took offense to Obama’s bombast, others ignored him. Barack Obama Sr. was 46years old when he died on November 24, 1982.