Of the many driving forces in the book, I would say that the complex nature of racial identity and the experience of ethnicity becomes the major thesis in the book. The President engages in a narrative that divulges the reality of someone with a complex heritage. Being born of a White mother and African father, the President's narrative is one where individuals from different backgrounds have to make sense of this reality, its implications on one's upbringing and their identities as adults. The reality explored through the memoir is that idea that multiple experiences of ethnicity and race are revealed through one's background. The memoir explores this theme throughout and how one comes to terms with it as part of their experience, their reality.