Obama’s memoir of his earliest memories through his years as an organizer strike me first as the story of someone I could easily have gone to college with: a liberal, a bit angsty, interested in ideas, anxious to change the world and find his place in it. Which is to say his story is not that unusual for a smart guy who went to a good college. What is stunning about the book, however, is that Obama has lived in other countries, is African, African-American, and white, and above all has the insights to understand what each of those identities represents. That makes him unlike any President, ever. September 2009.