Dreams from My Father – A Revisit

51FOmnPzYmL._SX326_BO1,204,203,200_  Dreams from My Father

I happened to see this book at the bookshelf corner while looking for the last copy of 2017-01-19 17.54.13Russian Roulette

During President Obama’s last few years in office, his book Dreams of My Father was an all time Bestseller deficting his growing up years in Kenya, Indonesia and Hawaii. It was the same time when then candidate Trump started his campaign about Obama not being an American. The question of citizenship kept popping up from this candidate throughout.

Through his book, Obama explores his heritage as a Black American and what it means to his life up to maintaining his heritage and yet be equal to everyone when he become President in 2008. Obama’s legacy as the first minority non caucasian President was a turning point of history.  Till this day, some people still try to question it happened hence is also part of the contention why America will take a while to even elect a Woman Madame President.

Obama’s journey from happy, race-less boy running barefoot through the muddy back streets of Jakarta to perplexed adolescent and student in Honolulu, Los Angeles and New York, and to eager but ignorant and, eventually, reasonably productive community organiser on Chicago’s South Side depicts life of immigrants who came to the US young or in their teenage years. The ability to adapt to change living in the US while keeping one’s heritage alive is what immigrants depict. The ability to blend with both cultures and lifestyles is really the most important structure to living at present in American society.

Someone who never gained such experience will never undertand the immigrant life in the USA. As such the superficial thinking of the bad criminals are more predominant to associate them with undocumented aliens. The reality is that crime is integrated to society and people who commits any crime can be anyone regardless of rare, culture, gender or identity.

Dreams from My Father tells the story of Obama’s struggle to understand the forces that shaped him as the son of a black African father and white American mother—a struggle that takes him from the American heartland to the ancestral home of his great-aunt in the tiny African village of Alego. This is an example of the same questions and realities of immigrants living in America.

With Russian Roulette, For more than a year now, journalists Michael Isikoff and David Corn have been devoted to covering the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia.   On Trump’s interest in meeting Vladimir Putin during his 2013 trip to Moscow, On how the project to build a Trump Tower in Moscow influenced Trump’s views on Russia. Hence the book mostly talks on connecting the dots between Russian the 2016 Presidential elections.

Both books are bestsellers yet Obama’s book reprintedin 2007 and Russisn Roulette was just published a few weeks ago. I’ll leave it to the reader and book critics the comparison the historical perspectives of both books.

Alex Esguerra

ADLE International

 

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Russia’s Tampering – Return of History

With the recent headlines in mind about Vladimir Putin’s maneuvering of the 2016 US Presidential elections reminds me of the book written by bestselling author, Jennifer Welsh

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 The Return of History

Recalling the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 which I personally witness was very much similar to another political change in 1983 in a country like the Philippines when then Philippine President Marcos ended an era under a Martial Law regime by fleeing out the Malacanang Palace en-route to exile in Honolulu, Hawaii.

As author Welsh quoted American political commentator Francis Fukuyama about his famous essay, “The End of History”. The essay depicts the demise between communism and capitalism towards expanding the West Liberal Democracy towards the ideals of “progress”in history. In both of the above events, the breakdown of the wall during the Reagan years signified one of the greatest achievements of the divide between East and West Germany. Growing up in terms of living a couple of teenage years in Germany I can personally testify the mass disparity of income and inequality prior to that historic wall coming down.  At the same watching the news on the developments on the fall of the Marcos regime was very significant to the impoverished society living right at the wall of the Pacific Ocean in Manila.

The book illustrates the traditional barbaric and aristocratic way of a tyrant in this new millennium age by way of Vladimir Putin. The espionage and treason of course is local in Russia but the new cyber way and hacking which was seen in the recent US Presidential elections is a good example. Back in the cold war era it was of course more exemplified by warfare showing off military might. Today’s new tactics on spying, hacking, adware as well as internet viruses and attacks are just some of the most creative way of advance technology led infiltrations.

As Jennifer Welsh writes, ” Another way in which the West could re-examine its recent history and temper its triumphalism would be to look inward and reassess the health of its own political and economic model in this renewed era of competition with Russia”.

Indeed the  Soviet threat in arms takes a turn on a new form with regards to how the West should assess what goes on today and with the recent analysis on how Russia has played it’s cyber attacks during the recent US Presidential elections.

Alex Esguerra

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