Sam Leith Sam Leith

Barack Obama was decidedly a man of action as well as words

Many of his triumphs, particularly the Affordable Care Act, were fought for with steely determination in the teeth of ferocious opposition

One of Obama’s tics is to describe himself, at some resonant moment, contemplating the scene and having a Deep Thought or a Meaningful Memory. Credit: Alamy

Well, it’s quite the title, isn’t it? It tends to invite comparisons. The first one that occurred to me, though, was that the original Promised Land guy managed to get all the important stuff down on two stone tablets. His would-be successor doesn’t have quite that gift for compression. As he semi-apologises in the opening pages (he feels bad about it, but not bad enough to do a ruthless edit), this memoir was originally envisioned as a 500-pager.

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