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Excerpts From 'A Promised Land': Listen To Former President Obama Tell His Story

Former President Barack Obama speaks during a drive-in campaign rally for Joe Biden on Oct. 31 in Flint, Michigan.
Drew Angerer
Getty Images
Former President Barack Obama speaks during a drive-in campaign rally for Joe Biden on Oct. 31 in Flint, Michigan.

Former President Barack Obama's memoir A Promised Land,focusing on his political life from his time in Chicago through the killing of Osama bin Laden during his presidency, hits shelves Tuesday.

The book acts as a record of the former president's rise to the nation's top elected office — and his first two years on the job. But it also gives a window into his thinking along the way, about policy, his political life and his personal life.

Here, we present five clips of Obama reading from his memoir. The first is of his decision to approve the raid that led to the killing of terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden. But this recollection, like the others here, contains reflections on times spent with some of the women in his life, including his wife, Michelle; his mother, Ann; his grandmother "Toot"; his mother-in-law, Marian; and his daughters, Malia and Sasha.

Audio excerpted is courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio fromA Promised Land, by Barack Obama, read by the author.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Meghan Collins Sullivan is a senior editor on the Arts & Culture Desk, overseeing non-fiction books coverage at NPR. She has worked at NPR over the last 13 years in various capacities, including as the supervising editor for NPR.org – managing a team of online producers and reporters and editing multi-platform news coverage. She was also lead editor for the 13.7: Cosmos and Culture blog, written by five scientists on topics related to the intersection of science and culture.
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