Just finished. The story is a bit complicated. Obama seems to have been very confused about his identity, being the child of an African father who really wanted nothing to do with him or his mother, the step son of an Indonesian in what turned out to be a failed marriage, growing up in Hawaii with very few African Americans, living with his white grandparents. He was very confused and felt abandoned by his parents, and fell into bad habits such as drugs etc. His search for identity leads him to an old african American poet, a marxist, who seems to have been his father and grandfather figure. Obama learns to identify with African American culture, almost from the outside in, becomes immersed in some of the more radical doctrines almost to "prove" that he is an authentic black man, so as no longer to be an outsider. He transfers from a college in California to Columbia, and then moves to Chicago after graduation to work on a community outreach organization based on the Alinsky model. He then goes to law school. He returns to do grassroots work in Chicago with the same organization. He is employed at a law firm that does Rezko's work. He meets his wife, they marry. He is embraced as a rising political star. He joins the liberation theology church and becomes a professed "Christian" according to the standards of that church. Rezko seems to have been his principal campaign "bundler", and many of Rezko's slums are in Obama's district, which creates the impression of hypocrisy, since Obama is portraying himself as the defender of the poor, while his biggest campaign contributor is accepting major contracts to renovate and construct low income housing for poor African Americans and is in fact pocketing the cash and leaving obama's constituents in rat holes without heat. The district is heavily involved with, frankly, the most radical elements of the left and the African American community. Alinsky, Farakhan, Wright, Ayers Dorne all figure prominently in that district, and Obama is certainly familiar with Ayers and Dorne, having served on charitable boards and attended political events at their house. Rezko is financed by a principle bag man for Saddam Hussein's oil for food scam in Europe. Rezko helps Obama buy a house under shady circumstances. Obama supports his tribal relation Odinga, of the Kenyan Luo tribe, in his Presidential Campaign. Odinga has made an agreement with the radical islamic community in Kenya to make Sharia the official law of the land upon victory. The agreement was secret at the time Obama campaigned with odinga, so he may not have been aware of it. Odinga was educated in East Germany under the Communists. Odinga loses the election and foments a pogrom against Christian communities in Kenya, causing the burning of hundreds of churches and the displacement of 300,000 people. The violence brings in Annan of the UN to create a power sharing arrangement, giving Odinga the power he failed to achieve by election. Obama was registered as a Muslim in school in Indonesia where he lived for 4-5 years. He attended Koran classes for at least one and possibly two years, which was the most time consuming portion of Indonesian curriculum at that time. He was considered a Muslim by those who knew him, and dressed in that garb. This does not necessarily mean he felt himself to be a muslim, or believed what he was reading or learning. If he claims to be a Christian no man can know what is in another man's heart. In conclusion, My impression is as follows: Having come from a confused background, Obama searched for a community to which he could belong. The African American community was the one he found, and the one that embraced him. To prove his credentials, he gravitated toward the most radical elements of that community ideologically. This pattern of radical associations is undeniable and extends back to his very early youth, and the sympathies of his mother. He seems to have been nurtured through the morass of Chicago politics as a political prince, benefiting from questionable associations like any other politician. He strikes me as a charismatic man with an almost mystical belief in his own powers of persuasion. His associations and his voting record throughout his life place him firmly on the very far left, and he is attempting to disguise this during the general election and hope a cult of personality and dissatisfaction with Bush will vault him to victory. I feel he views America in its essence as a colonial tyrant, both at home and abroad, not as the defender of liberty, and the birthplace of modern freedom, as I do. Therefore I do not believe he respects our existing institutions, and embraces the progressive agenda of "remaking" the country in an alternate image, one that adheres to a socialist framework. It is painful to read a book whose motive is to deconstruct the carefully crafted image of another human being. However it seems important to educate oneself, weighing the POV from both sides, and not fall prey to a cult of personality. Anyway, that's my book review in a nutshell.