The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream
The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream

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Barack Obama's first book, Dreams from My Father, was a compelling and moving memoir focusing on personal issues of race, identity, and community. With his second book The Audacity of Hope, Obama engages themes raised in his keynote speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, shares personal views on faith and values and offers a vision of the future that involves repairing a "political process that is broken" and restoring a government that has fallen out of touch with the people. We had the opportunity to ask Senator Obama a few questions about writing, reading, and politics--see his responses below. --Daphne Durham

20 Second Interview: A Few Words with Barack Obama

Q: How did writing a book that you knew would be read so closely by so many compare to writing your first book, when few people knew who you were?
A: In many ways, Dreams from My Father was harder to write. At that point, I wasn't even sure that I could write a book. And writing the first book really was a process of self-discovery, since it touched on my family and my childhood in a much more intimate way. On the other hand, writing The Audacity of Hope paralleled the work that I do every day--trying to give shape to all the issues that we face as a country, and providing my own personal stamp on them.

Q: What is your writing process like? You have such a busy schedule, how did you find time to write?
A: I'm a night owl, so I usually wrote at night after my Senate day was over, and after my family was asleep--from 9:30 p.m. or so until 1 a.m. I would work off an outline--certain themes or stories that I wanted to tell--and get them down in longhand on a yellow pad. Then I'd edit while typing in what I'd written.

Q: If readers are to come away from The Audacity of Hope with one action item (a New Year's Resolution for 2007, perhaps?), what should it be?
A: Get involved in an issue that you're passionate about. It almost doesn?t matter what it is--improving the school system, developing strategies to wean ourselves off foreign oil, expanding health care for kids. We give too much of our power away, to the professional politicians, to the lobbyists, to cynicism. And our democracy suffers as a result.

Q: You're known for being able to work with people across ideological lines. Is that possible in today's polarized Washington?
A: It is possible. There are a lot of well-meaning people in both political parties. Unfortunately, the political culture tends to emphasize conflict, the media emphasizes conflict, and the structure of our campaigns rewards the negative. I write about these obstacles in chapter 4 of my book, "Politics." When you focus on solving problems instead of scoring political points, and emphasize common sense over ideology, you'd be surprised what can be accomplished. It also helps if you're willing to give other people credit--something politicians have a hard time doing sometimes.

Q: How do you make people passionate about moderate and complex ideas?
A: I think the country recognizes that the challenges we face aren't amenable to sound-bite solutions. People are looking for serious solutions to complex problems. I don't think we need more moderation per se--I think we should be bolder in promoting universal health care, or dealing with global warming. We just need to understand that actually solving these problems won't be easy, and that whatever solutions we come up with will require consensus among groups with divergent interests. That means everybody has to listen, and everybody has to give a little. That's not easy to do.

Q: What has surprised you most about the way Washington works?
A: How little serious debate and deliberation takes place on the floor of the House or the Senate.

Q: You talk about how we have a personal responsibility to educate our children. What small thing can the average parent (or person) do to help improve the educational system in America? What small thing can make a big impact?
A: Nothing has a bigger impact than reading to children early in life. Obviously we all have a personal obligation to turn off the TV and read to our own children; but beyond that, participating in a literacy program, working with parents who themselves may have difficulty reading, helping their children with their literacy skills, can make a huge difference in a child's life.

Q: Do you ever find time to read? What kinds of books do you try to make time for? What is on your nightstand now?
A: Unfortunately, I had very little time to read while I was writing. I'm trying to make up for lost time now. My tastes are pretty eclectic. I just finished Marilynne Robinson?s Gilead, a wonderful book. The language just shimmers. I've started Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin, which is a great study of Lincoln as a political strategist. I read just about anything by Toni Morrison, E.L. Doctorow, or Philip Roth. And I've got a soft spot for John le Carre.

Q: What inspires you? How do you stay motivated?
A: I'm inspired by the people I meet in my travels--hearing their stories, seeing the hardships they overcome, their fundamental optimism and decency. I'm inspired by the love people have for their children. And I'm inspired by my own children, how full they make my heart. They make me want to work to make the world a little bit better. And they make me want to be a better man.

In July 2004, Barack Obama electrified the Democratic National Convention with an address that spoke to Americans across the political spectrum. One phrase in particular anchored itself in listeners’ minds, a reminder that for all the discord and struggle to be found in our history as a nation, we have always been guided by a dogged optimism in the future, or what Obama called “the audacity of hope.”

The Audacity of Hope is Barack Obama’s call for a different brand of politics—a politics for those weary of bitter partisanship and alienated by the “endless clash of armies” we see in congress and on the campaign trail; a politics rooted in the faith, inclusiveness, and nobility of spirit at the heart of “our improbable experiment in democracy.” He explores those forces—from the fear of losing to the perpetual need to raise money to the power of the media—that can stifle even the best-intentioned politician. He also writes, with surprising intimacy and self-deprecating humor, about settling in as a senator, seeking to balance the demands of public service and family life, and his own deepening religious commitment.

At the heart of this book is Barack Obama’s vision of how we can move beyond our divisions to tackle concrete problems. He examines the growing economic insecurity of American families, the racial and religious tensions within the body politic, and the transnational threats—from terrorism to pandemic—that gather beyond our shores. And he grapples with the role that faith plays in a democracy—where it is vital and where it must never intrude. Underlying his stories about family, friends, and members of the Senate is a vigorous search for connection: the foundation for a radically hopeful political consensus.

A public servant and a lawyer, a professor and a father, a Christian and a skeptic, and above all a student of history and human nature, Barack Obama has written a book of transforming power. Only by returning to the principles that gave birth to our Constitution, he says, can Americans repair a political process that is broken, and restore to working order a government that has fallen dangerously out of touch with millions of ordinary Americans. Those Americans are out there, he writes—“waiting for Republicans and Democrats to catch up with them.”

From the Hardcover edition.

Customer Reviews:

  • Fair forward-thinking non-partisan critique of America
    I'm strictly non-partisan, voting for neither Democrats nor Republicans, and I was pleasantly surprised by this thoughtful, intelligent, introspective and well-written look at American politics by a supreme political player. While it does double duty as an effective marketing piece, what impressed me was our president's fairness, caution, and ability to see both sides of issues and frame arguments intelligently. He reveals a profound sense of the complexity of foreign relations and a sharp assessment of history. That he taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago for years deepens his understanding. His unique background puts him in a wonderful position to bring up sensitive, swept-under-the-rug topics like racism, and his fairness and sensitivity on these issues are impressive. So I am quietly and cautiously optimistic that America will be well-served under his stewardship.

    Still, I would like to remind the public that numerous thinkers have suggested that the office of the presidency has become dangerously powerful. It would be easy to use the excuse of a terrorist attack to proclaim martial law and use the machinery of government to silence critics. Presidents can start wars; Congress was supposed to have this power, according to the Constitution. Ordinary Americans have dropped out of the political process to the extent that they expect the president to do the hard work of democracy for them (see Dana D. Nelson's excellent "Bad for Democracy" in which she argues that excessive trust in the presidency is a grave problem). The meager extent of American political participation seems to be voting for president -- that's all we do -- and that's not enough. The office is a magnet for the shrewd, for persons with extreme political ambition, and there is real danger that any president, even one as apparently good and fair as President Obama seems to be, may become a tyrant.

    There should be no mistaking that America's problems are substantial: partisan gridlock, corruption, inability to confront serious looming problems like the specter of nuclear terrorism or social security underfunding, economic competition from rising nations, financial meltdown, excessive lobbying, the decline of real citizenship, and breakdown of the federal structure. Washington, not state governments, manages the economy, and it does this job badly. Most Americans are not real citizens but rather apathetic consumers who have little interest in local political participation.

    I think the challenges facing America are bigger than any one man's ability to solve them, even one as apparently exceptional and smart as President Obama, so I am summoning a Second Constitutional Convention to Independence Hall in Philadelphia, beginning July 4th, 2009, to craft a revised Constitution to fix numerous flaws mentioned by constitutional scholars such as Sanford Levinson and Dana D. Nelson and Kevin R. C. Gutzman, and to base their work on the existing constitution as much as possible. In particular, I think the foreign policy architecture is broken because too much power is entrusted with only one official (the president) and so foreign policy can only be as competent as this one person. I advocate: a restoration of the federal structure so that individual states can regain much of their authority to regulate their respective economies; a new understanding of citizenship as an active relation between people and government with specific responsibilities and privileges; identification of movement in public to prevent terrorism while preserving privacy; de-politicization of the Supreme Court; reforms to restore competition for public office in congress and the senate; tolerance; and restoration of healthy democratic process. After the new Constitution is written, then it should be ratified or rejected by the public in a special vote.

    And, I think our impressive President Barack Obama is highly qualified to be a delegate to this convention, so I am extending this invitation to him, and I hope he will decide to attend. His excellent book is one more sign of many that he is highly qualified to help revise the Constitution.

    Thomas W. Sulcer
    author of "Common Sense II: How to Prevent the Three Types of Terrorism" (Amazon)...more info
  • wiating for refund, still
    Sorry but the book, as I was informed, was not in the stocked--after I purchased it, and I waited for several days. Then, I was notified that I was told that I was going to receive a refund and I am still waiting. ...more info
  • You just keep on reading...!!!
    I am kind of new to politics and instead of reading old Lincoln books, I preferred this and looks like it charged my political ambition. Hats off Barack..!!! We need this president for next 8 years...after what Bush did to our country. He has new ideas, new energy...!! We are into a new global economy. I believe in President who believes in Google and Maytag factory in Iowa. Not a fool like Bush, who tried to kill our Middle class...Keep on reading this book and tell others..!!!...more info
  • A masterpiece
    When I bought the book I was very skeptical about it, and I truly wanted to read it in a neutral way. Turns out this book became one of my favorite books. I was humbled by his style of writing and to see that it was like reading my own thoughts and ideals. It gave me hope, it brought back a sea of emotions and dreams that I had once lost. I love the book! He is a marvelous writer, love it! ...more info
  • Pure Torture
    The reason I give this book a two is because it was pure torture for me. I was bored silly. Occasionally, he would say something that I thought was interesting. It took me forever to get through it. I recommend it only because everyone should read what the president thinks about stuff. For me, it was generally a lot of propoganda, and I voted President Barack....more info
  • Written Motivation
    This was a great read! However, some of the events that happen throughout this text are trite--which sometimes lead to a devastatingly mundane read. Obama's book captures a myriad of spiritual messages that inspires..well...hope. I also bought this book for my friend's mother who is an avid support of President-elect Obama. ...more info
  • Get to know your president
    (audiobook review) If there are any holes left in this, I couldn't find them. If you want to get to know who your president is and what he's all about, definately check this out. Obama discusses race, religion, sex, and family. He makes many valid points; however, in coming to the conclusion that hispanic immigrants should be treated like human beings, he really doesn't come to a convincing solution to the problem of lack of jobs, or where the majority of latino earned money goes in this country (like, back to their home countries). But, maybe some of that is none of my make sure you learn Spanish? I don't know, if you're curious about his views, check it out. I have a hard time not liking him, and he's even a lawyer....more info
  • Hail to the Chief
    This book and "Dreams from my Father" evidence the fact that the US now has the most erudite and intelligent man in the Oval Office since at least JFK (who won a Pulitzer for "Profiles in Courage"), or perhaps FDR or even Lincoln.
    The impact of the books is even greater on the abridged audio versions, with the 44th President reading his own work in his mellifluous voice.
    It was these works, both of which I read during the campaign, even more than his electrifying speeches, which switched me from a Hilary supporter to the Obama camp. As an Australian, I didn't get to vote, but I still cried when he won.
    Hail to the Chief....more info
  • Now You Know Why He is Our President!
    What a wonderful well written ...a book all should read. He is now our President and after reading this book where he gives you his take on politics you understand why. Please, all should read this book....more info
  • Obama
    Can't put this book down. This really gives a thorough appreciation for the man, Barack Obama. I wish I read it before Elections, it would have made me even more confident that he is the man of this century....more info
  • book
    I really enjoy this book. If you like history or like politic you will like this book....more info
  • Feeling good about lies...
    If you're the type that likes style over substance, this just may be your find of a lifetime. Truly a fluff piece for those who want to live in a social utopia... denying reality and substituting dreams along the way.

    Skip this if you're grounded in reality....more info
  • Barack is My Homeboy!
    Hey ya'll what's up in this piece? I just logged in to review my new favorite book, the Audassity of Hope! I feel as dough ya'll should know that I voted for Barack because he is black. That's it. Yo, when I heard my dawg was running fo office dat was all I needed to hear. Now, I didn't acutally vote for ma man, but I did buy the t shirt sos I can sho him my support. Ok, I stole dat shirt, but the thought was still sincere.

    For more good books, read Tupac and Fitty Cent. ...more info
  • Hope?Ha!!!!!!!!!!!!

    This 'One' who is setting himself up as a 'Messiah' gives me the creeps.He is setting himself as a savior of the
    world.His articulateness and the media propping his enormous popularity reminds me of a 'sheep' Hitler.Just
    because he has no bloodlust doesn't make him any harmless.I feel his legacy would be ending America's gre-
    atness and I think of that not in racial terms as I myself isn't Caucasian....more info
  • A good summary of his world views (prior to election as President)
    This book is a summary of Obama's world views and the personal experiences which helped reinforce those views. It is not a biography, though some important biographical details are found throughout. Mostly it focuses on his reflections on U.S. politics, inequality and opportunity, as well is issues of faith, race, and foreign policy. As it is work written before his election as President, much of it focuses on politics is his challenges to being first elected as an Illinois Senator. Obama's book is easily read, as it is written in a very accessible style. He believes in a strong, limited, but progressive role of the United States government, which would help the poor and the marginalized, but also acknowledge the realities of a globalized economy. There is still work to be done to heal racial prejudice and the injustices suffered as a consequence of it, and Obama is for women's freedom to choose abortion, if necessary, and to work as equal participants to men in the economy. Religiously he also affirms his Protestant Christian world view. Reading this book one finds a fairly comprehensive and centrist approach to American politics, which only those on the political extremes would object to. It is informative, and certainly worth perusal. ...more info
  • An important foundation for serious politics
    I picked this book up in a local store, just before Christmas. I wanted to get a feel for the person the U.S. had just elected as president and how he might be expected to cope with the burdens of current times. The book is well-written and a pleasure to read. The main themes running through the content give me hope for the world.

    The problems have grown so large, complex and immediate that only a sober discussion of facts and an earnest search for solutions can give direction on how to solve them. But even then, it remains for proposals to be put into action - something only the largest governments can ensure.

    Barack Obama's stated belief that politics needs to base on sober discussion of facts and compromise, rather than ideology and unilateral action, would be a sound foundation for getting a handle on the global problems challenging the world. I hope many people all over the world pick up this book, read it, and realize the importance of sober, factual analysis and discussion. We, the people, need to get involved, in whatever manner the system we live in allows. We need to show the politicians and the media that we need and appreciate that kind of coverage, rather than one-sided emphasis of negatives.

    I live in Switzerland, a comparatively tiny country, but one steeped in an older and more direct democracy (possible due to the small size), comprising four offical languages and multiple cultures. At the very core of Swiss government and politics are empathy for other views and working out viable compromises. But recently, there has been a tendency towards right-left polarization and a simplification of discussion that has been very disturbing.

    So the analyses in this book about the evolution of how politics and campaigning function in the modern world has been enlightening and has brought into better focus what's going on in Switzerland. It has shown me the importance of working to nip this in the bud, before our politics, as well, devolve into a circus....more info
  • Great book
    I boiught this book and it was delivered within 4 days. I could not believe it came so fast, and the quality of the book was new, I was told it was a used book but it was better than bookstore quality. Thank you for the book....more info
  • Good, but improvement in distribution of products
    am highly dissapointed, out of the two books i oredered , only one has been dispatched . still waiting for the other one over a month. highly dissapointed. though the website and mode of payment seems smooth and working well. the distribution is poor. this may affect continuing business with you...more info
  • The reason I am still a registered Democrat
    I work with a vast majority of Republicans. In fact, about 90% of my work group considers themselves to be Conservative. Many of my peers ask why I am still a Democrat, although I make good money now, and I tend to be very suspicious of Government. I suppose that part of the reason may be because I am still young, and I was raised by Democratic parents. I can now point to Barack Obama and the principles that he lays forth in The Audacity of Hope as the primary reason why I remain a registered Democrat.

    I have watched CNN and Fox News, or read the newspaper many times and wondered what talking heads like Keith Oberman and Sean Hannity are talking about. I have often wondered if they even live in the real world. I mean, in my life, issues are not as cut and dry as these personalities make them seem. Mr. Obama gets at the heart of this in The Audacity of Hope. In this book, we see that though Mr. Obama is a politician, he sees the world in a very practical manner. That is, ideology doesn't always dictate how one should act. For example, Mr. Obama clearly explains the dual-nature of the American people. He describes the Christian mother who has had to pay for her daughter's abortion, or the Liberal citizen who has a problem with Gay marriage. That is the reality that I live. Those are the people that I interact with, not the predictable characters of Radio and TV.

    The key reason why I remain a Democrat is because I agree with Mr. Obama's portrayal of both parties. For example, I concur with his observation that "...what has characterized the ideological core of today's GOP is absolutism, not conservatism. I see the Republican Party as the more ideological of the two parties. There does not seem to be any flexibility or diversity of ideas within the Conservative base. On the other hand, while not perfect, the Democratic Party is fueled by more practical thinkers like Mr. Obama. For example, Obama describes the plight of women: "...two visions [of women are always] at war with each other-the desire to be the woman her mother had been, solid, dependable, making a home and always there for her kids; and the desire to excel in her profession, to make her mark on the world..." He goes on to suggest that Government can help implement ways in which women are better able to fulfill both roles.

    Regardless of your political ideology and affiliation, The Audacity of Hope is a must read, if for no other reason than because Mr. Obama is our President for the next 4 years and we all need to be informed of his plans. In addition, I rate The Audacity of Hope 5 stars because it is very well written and easy to read....more info
  • Listen to Barack
    Absolutely wonderful..and to listen to Barack read his own book,get to know all his views, hopes beliefs....I know I would have had difficulty reading all this...but listening was a joy....more info
  • Should be mandatory reading
    If you want to get some insight to the thoughts of the new president on a wide variety of of issues ( politics, faith, race, opportunity, family, the world beyond our borders), then this book is mandatory reading. Written before Obama ran for president, these pages portray a man who spends a great deal of time internalizing issues with great insight and looking for sensible solutions. ...more info
  • YES WE CAN!!!
    Everyone Hates a Ball Hog but they All Love a Scorer: The Complete Guide to Scoring Points on and off the Basketball Court

  • No Text To Speech!
    I'll leave the review of the content to the printed book. Disabling text to speech - thanks for the arbitrary limitation!...more info
  • Best Book Detailing the Life of Somebody Who Never Did Anything
    Barack Obama's The Audacity of Hope, infamously named for a sermon by much-respected civil rights pioneer Rev. Wright (a man with, truly, the most incredible sensitivity to other cultures out there), is an amazing book. It's a book that details the political ideology of a man that lacks any semblance of a consistent ideology. I do suspect that he vowed to keep the book at under 200 pages right until he submitted the manuscript, as that type of thing does to tend to be the M.O of Obama.

    It's even more amusing when you realize that he, personally, has done things that he finds intolerable. His view on bipartisanship has been discarded, almost completely, by himself. He has done what he claimed was NOT bipartisan thus far in his administration and then, in a move he labeled dishonest RIGHT until he decided he'd do it. Consistency is a bit too audacious.

    To be honest, little in this book is remotely engaging. I must ask if Platitudes R Us was the secret ghost writer as this was just a collection of vague platitudes about how evil partisan politics are --- and how the Republicans might, in fact, be comparable to Nazis because they're not as bipartisan as lovely people like Barack Obama. Truly, a noble sentiment for all of America. One I feel infinitely more enlightened for having been exposed to. It was similar to my exposure to strep throat...first it hurt like heck and then it became hard to eat or swallow, but it eventually settled it into a dull ache. Which is how Obama's time on the national stage has been thus far.

    It is nice to say we need to do this or that without having to worry about how in the world we'll actually pay for it --- though, in his defense, that has hardly changed since he won the White House. But it's not realistic and it's going to cause unmanageable problems in the very near future.

    But, hey, it's the golden days NOW, right? Right?

    Audacity of Hope gives a fairly depressing insight into the thought process of the man in the White House. Initially viewed as him trying to straddle the fence to avoid hurting his bipartisan images, it has now been demonstrated to be a tragic problem of the thought process of the White House. Well, it cannot be said that we were not warned....more info
  • My mom and Sis love this book
    There is really not that much 2 say. I ordered the book for my mother and she loved it and she gave 2 my sister, who also loved it.......more info
  • The Audacity of Celebrity
    "Audacity of Hope" is the book that launched Pres.-elect Obama's career. It made him the celebrity president-elect he is now. It's an eloquent,well-written book,showing that Obama is incredibly articulate. He speaks powerfully of "reclaiming the American dream." His title is from a sermon by the controversial Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

    "Audacity of Hope" has Obama's numerous hopes and dreams--be it for a less unilateral foreign policy,socialized health care,or a quick retreat from Iraq. One does have to admire Obama for questioning the Iraq War when it was still popular. He did have the audacity to do so. He was willing to ask if it were really the smart thing to do.

    "Audacity of Hope" is Obama's socialism with a smile. For him,the American Dream means the government does everything. Sort of like the "Sicko" documentary where Michael Moore revels in the fact that the French government does people's laundry while they're on maternity leave.

    The best sections in "Audacity of Hope" are on Faith and Family. He amusingly describes his debate with the self-righteous Alan Keyes (so righteous he disowned his pro-life,lesbian daughter) He argues,rightly,that the right-wing "Moral Majority" has used their religion to attack others. The conservative scare tactics on abortion and same-sex marriage have enjoyed their pyrrhic victories (if they've been victorious at all) Obama is right that women having crisis pregnancies need help--but does abortion exactly help? He has said he doesn't want his daughters "punished with a child"--which is very telling. Obama also discusses same-sex marriage. He opposed Prop.8 as hateful and divisive, yet he plans to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act. He is avidly pro-choice,but ambiguous on gay rights.

    "Audacity of Hope" has an accurate portrait of the President-to-be. He has the audacity of celebrity....more info
  • Happy senior...happy woman...happy American!
    Now that this highly intelligent, humanly-warm being is president, I also have the audacity of hope. This book projects the greatest quality in any human being--citizen or leader--that of being authentic. You know his words reflect the truth as he perceives it on any given topic, question or problem, and you know that an incredible intelligence guides his opinions.
    I am happy--at 83--to have this human being as president. With all this, he is an avid reader and historian which gives him the informed backdrop for making wise decisions. I do sleep better with him at the helm....more info
  • Reclaiming the American Dream with Barack Obama
    His second book reaffirms my wisdom and that of millions of Americans in voting for him to be President. I just hope he hasn't set us up to be disappointed because his book is so upbeat and positive and intellectually thrilling to me. I wish we could clone him! Let's make it Reclaiming the American Reality so it doesn't remain a dream....more info
  • A Message of Hope for the Future of American Politics
    To be fair, I should say up front that I am a very enthusiastic supporter of Barack Obama. This bias of course affected my reaction to this book, so please take that into account when reading this review. First of all, this book is superbly written. Obama has an immense talent for writing and for clearly putting forth his views. There is no more doubt about who the real Barack Obama is...all you have to do is read this book. It's easy to get a sense of his intelligence, his thoughtfulness, and his idealism, all of which have affected the way he approached politics. He comes across not as a perfect person, but as a real person, someone to whom all Americans can relate.

    In this book, Obama explores all aspects of American politics, like race, family, and relations between the two major parties. It's obvious that he's a Democrat, but it's also apparent that he respects Republicans. His approach to politics isn't one of exclusion and strict party loyalty. He knows that all Americans, no matter their beliefs or political leanings, have worth and he fights for all of them. He doesn't just represent Demorats...he represents Americans.

    All this may sound like an endorsement of Obama's presidential candidacy (you can take it that way if you want), but this book truly opens one's eyes to who the real Obama is (a funny, friendly, intelligent, and thoughtful man), what he stands for (liberty, freedom, and opportunity for everyone), and how he thinks politics should be exercised in America (with an open dialogue and a real debate of the issues). If you want to get to know Obama, or if you simply want to be inspired and believe that America is still a great country, then you have to read this book!...more info
  • Audacity of Hope
    Lofty though his goals may be, The Audacity of Hope let's you believe.

    Not since John F. Kennedy have we've seen such an articulate speaker, capable of leading the nation with his words and communicating his vision in simple terms that make sense to those outside the beltway.

    Kudos....more info

    BRENDA S.C....more info
  • Audaciously excellent book!
    I loved this book, shows how thoughtful and intelligent Barack is. He indeed has the makings of an excellent president. He'll be up there with our greatest presidents....more info
  • Great and optimistic view of America.
    I love the way our soon to be President Obama looks at people and issues. I wish this could be required reading for students and adults. I think it would help us come together as a nation....more info
  • Sheer Brilliance
    Bo is still a puppy, so it took me a long time to read my Dad's book, because he is very smart a uses bigger words then Bio is familiar with. But, it was worth all my time and efforts. My Dad's book, "The Audacity of Hope" is the true story of one brilliant kind man who loved his country above all things except for my Mom, sisters and me. It tells the story of a heart and mind large enough to not only encompass the dreams of our fore fathers and bring them once again to shinning life for the American people, who he loves so well.

    In closing, this book is soo good that Bo had to roll over...Four paws way up!!!...more info
  • Pres. Obama is an Eloquent Speaker - BUT - His Book Cannot Speak!
    This book is SPEECHLESS to the blind and disabled who would like to "read" it by using the Text-to-Speech function. Does President Obama know that his book is disabled? Hopefully, he will see the error of this and demand change... now that's a hopeful thought....more info
  • A Man Who Means What He Says
    A fantastic book written by a man who is proving to be a promise keeper of the highest sort. Phenominal writing....more info
  • Very Interesting
    This is a great book. I was looking for a little more insight into our current presidents goals for his time in office, and it has really provided that. I liked his views before reading the book, and I respect them even more now. ...more info
  • The Audacity 0f Hope
    I sent this book to one of my Native American students that is in prison in the hope that he will take President Obama's words and turn his life around. There can be no more excuses after we have elected and President Obama. Everthing is possible ...more info
  • A Fascist Manifesto
    The state is getting more and more deeply involved in business, even taking controlling interests in some private companies. And the state is even trying to "make policy" for private companies they do not control, but merely "help" with "infusions of capital," as in the recent call for salary caps for certain CEOs. So state power is growing at the expense of corporations.

    But that's not socialism. Socialism rests on a firm theoretical bedrock: the abolition of private property. I haven't heard anyone this side of Barney Frank calling for any such thing. What is happening now-and Newsweek is honest enough to say so down in the body of the article-is an expansion of the state's role, an increase in public/private joint ventures and partnerships, and much more state regulation of business. Yes, it's very "European," and some of the Europeans even call it "social democracy," but it isn't.

    It's fascism.
    ...more info
  • audacity of hope
    bought for my 22 yr old daughter. She was enthusiastic to receive this book but it has taken a back seat to the Twilight series which she vowed was "too cheesy" and she would never read. Her sister got this series and they have both speed read through them. Sorry Barack. I expect you will get your due....more info
  • Excellent service
    This book came on time, there was no problem at all, and it was a good price and I am a completely satisfied customer. I would use this service and again and recommend it to anyone....more info
  • Capricious, he is not!
    What Mr. Obama has brought to the table with this well written, heartfelt and sensitive book is the idea nay, the promise of what it means to be not-so- much an American, but a human being! Since I am not a politically oriented person, the policies and opines from the President are a bit lofty for me. That doesn't mean I don't appreciate them, I'm just not well versed enough in the "Health Care problem" for example, to offer any relevant or cogent opinions; except to say that it certainly needs tending to.

    No, what I got from this book was a relatively close-up view of the leader of the free world and his ostensibly sincere, bridge building, rigorously calculated plans to insert a sense of spirituality (and I don't mean religiosity!) honor, pride and dare I say - compassion, back into the oval office in particular and government in general. I say "ostensibly" as the proof of course, is in the pudding!

    It is quite evident to me, based on this thorough and complex manuscript that President Obama has a genuine affection for the electorate specifically; as well as people from all walks of life. The sentiment that he wants everyone, (and by "everyone," I mean" EVERYONE") to learn, grow & succeed - leaps off each page. If he is able to instill half the virtue, unfailing decency, uncompromising character and almost boundless imagination & intelligence into the white house that is replete in his book, then America will be in fine, capable hands. Finally. Five stars for the book, and six stars for his efforts in office thus far!
    ...more info
  • Same old cliche socialism in fancy Chicago clothes
    I like to read a lot of books and I read very fast, but this book is a drag.

    Obama is not swayed by facts and research. He has his ideas and he knows that most of his audience lacks the sophistication to understand the consequences of political decisions. For this reason, in his book he will weave a large set of platitudes with some light personal stories.

    Read the book and please tell me if you can explain in 500 words what you found out about Obama.

    However I gave the book 2 stars because, it is true, Obama can express his ideas in such convoluted ways that it's easy to forget that he is 100% in disagreement with you.

    Obama is the person who can say that he thinks that there should be common sense anti-gun laws and believe in the second amendment in the same sentence.

    What I don't understand is why a lot of people (most of them endowed with a slower processor than myself) can fall head over heels for these sophisticated platitudes. What is also interesting is to see somebody who twists and turns its discourse in such windy way that whatever comes out, appears plausible.

    Obama wastes no time with theory, with actual assumption, implications and testing of his ideas. What he does instead is to provide some historical background, expose a lot of positives for his ideas, few negatives, while for the opposing camp has few positives (to appear unbiased) and a lot of disadvantages. He is very manipulative in basically capturing the reader in believing his story. In fact, reading his book, you will rarely, if ever, be able to understand his position on the issue. He just wants to appear a "good guy".

    But he isn't. I suggest you read the first chapter of Freddoso's book: the case Against Barack Obama. I read only the first chapter of the book and the image of corruption in Illinois made my head spin. Obama is a manipulative social climber. He became the Illinois senator in 1996 by disqualifying his opponents.

    Obama's approach in the book is light and unscientific. On page 179 for example he explains why he is against privatizing Social Security. He claims that those who came late, before a company collapses are left with the losses. That is true, but it's also true that individual citizens, left to do what is good for them, make decisions and learn from their mistakes.
    Most of the problems that America faces now come from fixing a non issue at the time in exchange for votes of those who benefit from but don't pay for the particular law. Those who are afraid of the market can buy gold, treasuries etc, while those who like to gamble can buy upstarts or other risky assets.

    Obama is an old cliche socialist in fancy clothes. ...more info
  • The President-elect's game plan for the next four years
    This book was written back in 2006, before Barack Obama ever thought about making a run for the White House. But if you take the time to read it - REALLY read it - you'll see that it reflects what he's been saying during and after the campaign. It's only been three years but his views and philosophy don't seem to have changed that much. And that speaks volumes for what we can look forward to in the next four (hopefully eight) years.

    Obama is very plain-spoken here. He doesn't use sophisticated political language; he speaks an English that the average American should be able to understand, and outlines a philosophy and point of view that, while you may not agree with it, is perfectly understandable.

    There isn't much biography here - that was in his earlier book, "Dreams From my Father", which is on my shelves waiting for me to read it. But there is enough to whet your appetite for that earlier book, including one very funny sequence concerning ants. I'm not going to spoil it; you'll have to read it yourself....more info
  • No Drama Obama's Practical Panorama Causes No Trauma
    President Obama has given supporters and detractors a great gift. Instead of the typical boilerplate, partisan book which every presidential candidate has ghostwritten while running for office, the author put a great deal of thought into this work. It was penned before an attempt at the presidency was even a glimmer in his eyes and it shows by President Obama's unguarded presentation. It is not a detailed blueprint of what he would do once he is in office, but a man grappling with being a father, husband, Senator, a man of mixed race and deeply religious.

    Forthright, humble, respectful of others' views and introspective are the staples of the author's book. The man truly shows a level of emotional maturity and dignity not seen in some of our more recent chief executives. It is very rare to get a glimpse into the inner workings of how our president thinks before he takes the oath of office. We have to rely on third-person narratives which are usually interesting, but give an incomplete if not a blatantly false picture. Here's your opportunity to know your President. Easy to read, yet eloquent and sincere. ...more info

    BRENDA S.C....more info
  • C'mon people lets look at actions not words
    "Words, just words, 'I have a dream', just words"- Barack Obama (another tedious stump speech):: Unfortunately, yes, just words Barack.
    Anyone can write or talk. I'm the King of Siam, I invented the internet, I have a 12 inch ****. Truth is vindicated in action, responsible action. I've now read this book as well as "Dreams From My Father" and, while it is infinitely more likely Obama had more of a hand in contributing to this particular book, Both books were definitely NOT written by this man. Words, just words, until the teleprompter goes whacko and you actually have to come up with an independent thought. The Obama who supposedly wrote these 2 books is not the same Obama who we see stumble when the telepromter fails and he "Um, Um, Um's" himself through press questions. Or makes massive mistakes while reading the prompter(Like calling the somalian piracy "somalian privacy" without skipping a beat. It's clear he doesn't know nor care what "words" he's saying.
    I'm giving this and "dreams" 1 star because plagiarism and/or fraud should not be rewarded and there is no option for zero stars. I've read numerous blogs, internet theories and commentaries from literary experts on both sides of this "did Obama or Ayers or whoever write these books" and, frankly, all I need is my own two eyes and ears. The "words" in these books do not mesh in any cogent way with the actions(obvious illiteracy without tele-prompting) of this man Obama. Nothing more needs to be said. I could go into several paragraphs of the inadequacy of the content of this book as well, but I don't need to do that. Obama did not write these books. And don't think I'm a conservative, I voted for Obama, as well as Kerry in 2004 and Gore in 2000. I made a huge mistake this time. I'm also sorry I donated any cash to this phony buy purchasing his fraudulent publishing's....more info
  • interesting read
    I found the book interesting, this man is a visionary, took the lessons in his own life and has applied it to life. He is a great listener and obviously observes all around him, takes the best of people and trys to make it work, whatever there situation or political view.
    What a novel idea, to listen and care about people from all walks of life, but not as an enabler. I really enjoyed reading this book.
    ...more info
  • Pre-presidential
    I'm a big Obama fan and "The Audacity of Hope" audio book read by Mr. Obama has made me a bigger fan. Of course this book was written around 2005, and the more relevant story is being written in today's headlines and on CNN. Still you might find this a compelling read because I don't think he had any sense that he'd be in The White House 3 years later. He gives his views on life, marriage, kids, faith and politics in a clear comforting "Obama" kind of way. I can understand why his grassroot supporters all over the country jumped on board after reading this book when it came out in 2006. Good luck and Godspeed Mr. President!!!...more info
    First of all, the style in which then, Senator Obama communicates with his readers compels you to want to read more, and to look forward to your next opportunity to pick up the book. He has an appealing ability to make you feel like he is speaking to you personally.

    Secondly, if you enjoy American history, and have interest in such things as our Founding Fathers, the ideals on which they based the cornerstones of our democracy, the people and events which have continued to shape that democracy over time, OR, you enjoy current politics, and have an interest in such things as the mechanisms of the modern day senate, policy making, factors which shape and change our politicians, then this book is for you.

    Lastly, while now, President Obama does call out numerous personal ideas and strategies to deal with the challenges America is facing, these are NOT truly the things which give us 'The Audacity of Hope'. It is in the reading of this book that you discover the Content and Strength of President Obama's Character as a human being, the Depth of his Faith, and his Unwavering Belief that America can once again become the Great Nation she was, and that the American Dream can be Reclaimed. It is THESE THINGS that inspire us to Believe and Dare us to Hope!...more info


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