With the Wall Street boom, Manhattan was humming, new developments cropping up everywhere, men and women barely out of their twenties already enjoying incredible wealth, the fashion merchants fast on their heels. The beauty, the filth, the noise, and the excess all dazzled my senses; there seemed to be no constraints on originality of lifestyles or the manufacture of desire — a more expensive restaurant, a finer suit of clothes, a more exclusive nightspot, a more beautiful woman, a more potent high. Uncertain of my ability to steer a course of moderation, fearful of falling into old habits, I took on the temperament if not the convictions of a street corner preacher, prepared to see temptation everywhere, ready to overrun a fragile will.

Dreams from my Father, Barack Obama