Barack Obama in Hawai'i and Indonesia

Barack Obama in Hawai'i and Indonesia

The Making of A Global President

Book - 2011
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The first 18 years of President Obama's life, from his birth in 1961 to his departure for college in 1979, were spent in Hawai'i and Indonesia. These years fundamentally shaped the traits for which the adult Obama is noted: his protean identity, his nuanced appreciation of multiple views of the same object, his cosmopolitan breadth of view, and his self-rooted "outpost" patriotism. Barack Obama in Hawai'i and Indonesia: The Making of a Global President is the first study to examine, in fascinating detail, how his early years impacted this unique leader. Existing biographies of President Obama are primarily political treatments. Here, cross-cultural psychologist and marketing consultant Dinesh Sharma explores the connections between Obama's early upbringing and his adult views of civil society, secular Islam, and globalization. The book draws on the author's on-the-ground research and extensive first-hand interviews in Jakarta; Honolulu; New York; Washington, DC; and Chicago to evaluate the multicultural inputs to Obama's character and the ways in which they prepared him to meet the challenges of world leadership in the 21st century.
Publisher: Santa Barbara, Calif. : Praeger, c2011
Description: xxvi, 274 p., [20] p. of plates : ill. ; 25 cm
ISBN: 9780313385339
Branch Call Number: 973.932092 Oba


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Jan 22, 2015

'When I met with several members of the Friends of Obama at the Besuki School, their stories about Obama’s childhood in Indonesia came alive through our conversation. Obama’s friends are also members of the alumni association of the Besuki School, 300 people who meet regularly at the school for various events and functions. At one such alumni meeting, I spoke with several former classmates of Obama, who knew him and remembered that “he was taller than most Indonesian children in his class.”

He was generally a naughty kid, according to his friends, and sometimes used to get into trouble because he would chase after girls. “One time we tied him to a tree and [another time] put him in the toilet and locked him up, just for the fun of it,” said one classmate. “He was a cute kid, very funny and different from all of us. He was a bit chubby and black so he stood out,” said another classmate. “He was mostly a good sport, although sometime he would get into altercations,” said another.

Ann Dunham was the main authority figure in Barry’s early years, a woman whose worldview by far exercised the strongest influence on Barry’s emerging mind. Although he had a stepfather who was a strong male role model, Barry’s personality, daily habits and behaviors, sense of right and wrong, and way of looking at things were indelibly shaped by his mother.

Slamet Januadi, one of Obama’s other boyhood friends, was the son of their landlord’s chauffeur. Slamet, who still lives in the same servant quarters next to the former Soetoro residence, confirmed that Ann Dunham was indeed a stern mother and a strict disciplinarian, although she encouraged Barry to play with children from all economic backgrounds, not to discriminate based on social status, and to get along with everybody.

. . . Kay Ikranagara, a colleague of Ann Dunham’s at the PPM who still lives in Jakarta, said, “I think Ann Soetoro always thought that her greatest contribution to the world would be Barack and Maya.” Ikranagara met Barry as a child and later when he was a senator. She remembered him as a “plump kid with big ears” who was an extrovert, very outgoing, and friendly with everyone because he had lived around different kinds of people and cultures. She believes this is the main reason why he truly has the ability to listen to people from all kinds of backgrounds.

Indonesian children have a lot of freedom to run around. People’s homes are generally open, and kids have fun running in and out of their neighbors’ homes and doing lots of mischievous things. Ikranagara recalled, “What my son Inno remembers is that Barry took him and his sister, Maya, up to the attic where they were not allowed to go. They were not allowed to touch the swords or keris [belonging to Lolo] up there. The swords are supposed to be full of all kinds of ghosts and spirits, but he took them up there. He touched the swords and did all kind of wicked things that an older boy would do.”

According to personality psychologist David Keirsey, who has worked with thousands of companies and many different organizations, including the U.S. military, Barack Obama is an idealist. Obama’s specific personality type is an extraverted, intuitive, feeling, and perceptive type (ENFP) . . .

Obama prefers to perceive the world through its possibilities intuitively and translate these possibilities through interpersonal and intrapersonal relationships based on feelings. Because Obama is an extravert, all of this takes place in lively interaction with the outside world while his keen perceptive attitude guides him with a never-ending flow of alternatives to the changing social and electoral landscape.

As an idealist, Obama likes to champion big causes and is convinced that he can easily motivate people around him . . .'

Dec 27, 2011

Although I was excited about the subject of this book, I was disappointed and frustrated by the author's writing style. He has a tendency to frequently (very frequently) quote other writers, researchers and bloggers. I read two chapters and didn't learn a single thing new. I'm a huge fan of Obama and yet I couldn't make myself keep reading; I was too aggravated.


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Jan 22, 2015

- pages 94-95: Pak Saman revealed that Ann Dunham was a tough mother, at times bordering on being domineering. “At that age, Obama used to be really afraid of her,” he said. Ann Dunham was Pak Saman’s supervisor at the PPM, and when she needed someone to look after Barry, she selected him because he was a good worker and a loyal and trustworthy person . . .

Pak Saman also discussed Obama’s daily routine. In addition to waking him up at 4 a.m. to study English from an American correspondence school, Ann Dunham made sure that he had a fixed routine when he came home from school . . . He was forced to drink his milk and take extra tonics in the morning and evening, generally before and after school. He was not allowed to go out and play until he had finished all his homework. At times when he would slack off, Ann was known to spank him; Pak Saman attested to hearing him cry in the privacy of his room after he was physically punished for not finishing his homework.

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