The Obamas: The Untold Story of an African Family

Front Cover
Arrow, 2011 - Africa - 317 pages
Peter Firstbrook spent many months in Kenya researching the history of Barack Obama's family. He is the only person to have traced the President's roots back through more than twenty generations, thanks to the Luo tribe's remarkable oral tradition. Seen though the eyes of the African Obama family, this is the story of a dynasty going back over 400 years. It is a truly astonishing drama, culminating in the inauguration of Barack Obama on 20 January 2009. Which his African family watched on a flickering television, clustered under a group of trees, in the twilight of Kobama village in Kenya. A very special hundred or so men, women and children amongst the billions who viewed the swearing in of the first black president. This book establishes the early ancestry of the Obama family in the Alego region, telling the story of farmers and fishermen, of love and tribal warfare, of families lost and found. It traces the Obama roots from famous tribal warriors in the seventeenth century to the first encounters with the white man in the early 1900s; generation by generation we follow the family through colonial rule and the fight for Kenyan independence, including the Mau Mau and the relationship of Barack Obama's father with President Kenyatta. This is a book about a family whose destiny is unknown to them. It is a true testament to the belief that any person can make their mark in the world, no matter how humble their origins.

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The Obamas: The Untold Story of an African Family

User Review  - Book Verdict

Combining oral and academic history, former BBC documentarian Firstbrook (Lost on Everest) spins a story that traces President Obama's Kenyan roots to the Luo tribe—a proud, polygamous people reputed ... Read full review

THE OBAMAS: The Untold Story of an African Family

User Review  - Kirkus

Multigenerational history of the president's African ancestors.Former BBC documentary director and producer Firstbrook (Surviving the Iron Age, 2003, etc.) takes care to note that Barack Obama is, of ... Read full review

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About the author (2011)

Peter Firstbrook worked for the BBC for twenty-five years before developing a successful freelance writing and filmmaking career in 2002. He specialises in making historical and international documentaries. He has published three bestselling books.

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