The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream (Vintage)

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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.

The Audacity of Hope is Barack Obama's call for a new kind of politics—a politics that builds upon those shared understandings that pull us together as Americans. Lucid in his vision of America's place in the world, refreshingly candid about his family life and his time in the Senate, Obama here sets out his political convictions and inspires us to trust in the dogged optimism that has long defined us and that is our best hope going forward.

Customer Reviews:

  • Inspiring!
    This book does inspire one to hope. It shows great depth of knowledge and thought on many subjects linked to the American dream. It gives hope to know that is it so eloquently written by our president. ...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
  • Journal of the journey
    This book is more of a journal that he has kept during his efforts to become the senator. These are accounts of his earnest and honest efforts. Not all chapters are interesting. He could have kept some topics concise. He will have more books on the way, now that he is the President....more info
  • Audacity of Hope Reveals Obama's Thought Process
    I found the Audacity of Hope to be an honest and refreshing look at politics as it should be and what could be done to get this country back on track. Driven by the injustices he sees and the opportunity for this country to excell, Obama spells out a clear and compelling narrative on his philosophy of government. He is as good a writer as he is a speaker. The stories and justification of his positions are clearly laid out. You may not agree with them all, but they are there for you to read yourself and not have someone interpret them for you. It's Obama's life experiences, not just political experiences that he brings to his job. For those who say we don't really know who Obama is or what he stands for, read this book!! ...more info

    BRENDA S.C....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
  • 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
  • A fascinating introduction to the political views of Barack Obama
    I still vividly remember when I first discovered Barack Obama. It was the fall of 2003. At work I always listen all day long to NPR. From 9 to 10 there is a show entitled 848 (in 2003 I believe it had slightly longer hours), which focuses on local (primarily Chicago but also in Illinois as a whole) affairs. I got back to my desk with an interview already in progress. The interviewee was discussing the Iraq War (which he opposed) and universal healthcare (which he thought crucial for the well-being of the country). Even though he explained that he was not in favor of a single payer healthcare system (he felt the structures were not in place for that), I was impressed with his intelligence and how articulate he was. During the course of the interview I realized that he was a candidate for the senate seat that Peter Fitzgerald was vacating (848 was doing an hour long interview with all of the Democratic and Republican candidates for the senate seat). I had been leaning towards Dan Hynes, but I was so impressed listening to this individual that I stayed glued to my radio waiting to hear what his name was. Then, at the conclusion of the very impressive interview, I heard the announcer thank Barack Obama for participating in the interview. I was so taken with the candidate that I instantly knew that I was now leaning towards Obama. I voted for him both in the primary and in the general election.

    When Barack Obama wrote this book it is pretty obvious that he intended someday to run for president. It became a commonplace after his electrifying keynote speech at the 2004 Democratic Convention to ponder whether he might one day become president. The only question would be whether he would run in 2008 or 2012 or 2016. He was young enough that any of those years were possible. I personally was hoping for 2008, primarily because I did not believe (and still don't) that Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton's economic views differed substantially from all the presidents from Carter through Bush 43 (Clinton and Reagan are closer in their economic policies than either is to Nixon, who has more in common with all of the presidents on economics from FDR through LBJ than he does to any who came before Obama). I felt that the number one need for the country was to get away from the string of presidents who contradictorily advocated smaller government (even while people like Reagan and Bush 43 dramatically expanded the size of government), nonprogressive tax cuts (in nearly every instance except one by Clinton shifting the tax burden from the rich to the middle class and working poor), and abandonment of progressive federal programs that had served to empower the middle class from FDR through Nixon. In other words, we had tried the kinds of free market, small government (even if it wasn't actually smaller government, it was the myth Reagan pushed) policies for decades, and they didn't work.

    I knew a great deal about Obama's positions on a wide range of issues so at the time I didn't feel that I needed to read this book. I did know that it stood out from other such books. Over the past few decades there have been a vast number of books similar to this one published by individuals hoping or planning to run for president. Most are forgettable. Does anyone remember that Bush 43 and John McCain wrote similar books? Though in fairness to Obama, the vast majority of these books are ghostwritten. THE AUDACITY OF HOPE is unique in that Obama actually wrote it and that it is the rare campaign book that is likely to be remembered. It is distinguished both by Obama's wonderfully lucid prose style and the breadth of his political vision. On the former, this is not as well written as his earlier book DREAMS FROM MY FATHER, which almost reaches the level of prose poetry at times. But that is not surprising. The earlier book was far more personal and far more literary; the newer book was more of a political credo addressed to the electorate.

    What is impressive to me is that despite the various things that were said by Obama during his presidential campaign, as president (so far) his agenda is completely consistent with the views expressed in this book. If you want to understand Barack Obama and the political values he holds dear, you need to read this book. In contrast with other political candidates, like Reagan and Bush 43, he isn't the tiniest bit ideological. He truly does hearken back to FDR (whom he resembles in many ways), in that he is driven not by ideology but values. Unless one wants to call the generalized belief that all Americans should be well off an ideology. He is obviously of the opinion that the policies that have driven government the past few decades have not worked and he lays out the nature of the various problems facing the nation and explains what he believes are possible solutions. Now, as president, he is putting many of these solutions into place. He definitely looks back to FDR as his political role model. Though conservative radio talk show hosts disagree, virtually everyone acknowledges that the foundation that FDR laid down in the thirties helped pull the country out of an economic morass and created the longest sustained period of economic success in American history. Carter began abandoning those policies (it was Carter and not Reagan who began the mania for deregulation) and Reagan accelerated them, leading to three decades of middle class decline (though the decline was slightly reversed during the Clinton years). Obama more than anything wants a politics centered on the vast majority of Americans and not merely the top 2% of the population.

    Obama writes with a rare eloquence and intelligence on the problems facing America. His reflections are also wonderfully nuanced. He possesses a rare ability to evaluate both himself and the world around him and achieve a balanced and fair view of things. In the book Obama frequently expresses dissent (he clearly is not fan of George W. Bush) with other views, but at no point is his tone combative or polemical. He manages to see both sides of every argument, even while coming down strongly on one side of that argument. To opponents of abortion, he "gets" their opposition, even while he disagrees. He understands why many are sceptical of government programs, even while he touts a crucial role for government helping to correct the problems in our society.

    It is clear from this book that Obama has read deeply in American political history. He has a profound grasp of the political issues that dominated each era of our nation's history and how they translate into today. This is hardly surprising, given that he was a constitutional law professor at one of the most prestigious law schools in America, but he doesn't discuss these issues like a professor. You get the sense that he has mastered an immense body of knowledge about the United States, but has taken a further step to ponder how it all relates to today's political scene. I have for many years been a fairly serious armchair student of the American presidency. I've read biographies on most of the American presidents, and sometimes (especially with Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Madison, Lincoln, the Roosevelts, and more recent presidents) more than one. Of all of them, Obama seems to have the most overarching view of America of any since Lincoln (FDR is my favorite president, but he didn't possess the global understanding of either Lincoln or Obama--anyone wanting to see how profound Lincoln's understanding of America was should read his second annual report to congress, now known as the State of the Union Address). He understands the country in its diversity and complexity. Although I've long been a supporter of Obama, seeing just how wide-ranging his knowledge of and love for America truly is made me more confident than ever that Obama has a true shot at being a great president. Whether he will be a truly great president depends on a host of factors, but he certainly seems to be different. As a student of the presidency, I've often been frustrated reading earlier presidential biographies. Since becoming an adult I've had to suffer through a long string of average to mediocre presidents. The presidents from FDR through LBJ were all remarkable, strong, gifted presidents, Democrat and Republican alike. From Nixon through Bush 43 we've suffered through a string of weak (though in the case of Reagan ridiculously over-hyped) presidents. This has often happened in American history. Lincoln was preceded by a string of weak presidents. McKinley and Teddy Roosevelt were preceded by an equally long string of mediocre presidents while FDR was preceded by a shorter string. Historically, many of our best presidents have followed weak ones. I only know that in my adult life this is the first time I've looked at my president with pride and hope. As a native of Arkansas, I was happy to see an fellow Arkansan in the White House, but while his economic policies were a slight improvement over Reagan and Bush (and certainly the middle class did better under Clinton), he largely to me seemed to be GOP Lite. Obama just might end up the most exciting president in my lifetime, and hopefully someone that future generations of Americans will envy us for having, just as I've envied others for having presidents like Lincoln and the Roosevelts....more info
    This book does not offer anything new about Obama or his political views. If you support Obama, then you will enjoy the book and continue to support him.

    On another note, he talks about the centralization of the American Political System, which falls in line with the continued centralization of power in America. What Obama fails to realize about centralized power is that it (almost always) equals tyranny.

    When reading this book, you almost get the sense that Obama was certain he would be the next president of the United States. In my first book titled "The Conspiracy Fraud", I predicted that Obama would win the presidency. It was an easy guess because the globalist needed a dramatic "face-lift".

    Jose M. Paulino
    Author of "The War on Terror Fraud"
    ...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
  • 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
  • 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
  • The Stuff Presidents Are Made Of
    This book doesn't really NEED another to sing its praises. But for me,
    the greatest part of the book is that it helped its author get elected.
    I must be the exception, since I only read it in the first month AFTER
    the election last year. It is superlative in its analysis of what is going
    wrongly in America, what is needed to fix it, and how to get from here to
    there. To think beyond party politics and partisanship to the kinds of
    changes he proposes is indeed AUDACITY. But that is just what we need today in the U.S., a positive kind of audacity: hope. I highly commend
    this book to any and all readers; I found it eminenetly readable and enjoyed it immensely. Didn't want to put it down. Now that he's there
    longer than his first month, I pray for him daily. I know he welcomes that....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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Yes, He Can!
    Obama's book "The Audacity of Hope" is a refreshing change in politician's books. I read this before the election and again a couple of months after, and still find it a good read. The book is good content wise because it is very readable while at the same time mindful and intelligent. While the book is written as something many U.S. adults would be able to read, the content does not appear top be sold short.

    But this book is imprtant for another reason: this book changes the idea of hope; after years of hope being the politicians way to get people to chase the golden carrot, a desperate need always within sight, always out of reach, Obama removes the bitter taste of believing things can get better. His book reveals truth afer truth, constantly with attempts to explore the world not as a division of Democrat and Republican, but as both American and world citizen, with a responsibility and a love that is beyond compare.

    Those two possibilities melted into one: loving responsibility is what makes Obama's book, and his work, so compelling; life in goodwill with good outcomes is not only plausible, it is here for us to take responsibility to obtain. Impressive. Read it; if for no other reason then to know the choices he has made for his Cabinet have been built on carefully laid foundations that we are one together....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
  • The Audacity of Hope
    Audacious, indeed. Our new President is outragously thoughtful, philosophical, and inspiring. I am THRILLED that he is our new leader. Anyone who doubts him at all should read this book. And anyone who wants to believe in the Future should read this book....more info
  • Obama, Audacity of Hope
    The book is a presentation of politics of real life--of how politics is versus should be. A "must read" for any one caring to evaluate his leaders with....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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • everybody needs to read this now
    President Obama has anticipated correctly most of the challenges facing someone who wants to be responsible for his thoughts, feelings and actions.
    I hope that we can all identify with his facing the challenges.

    Victor Frankl wrote that we have a statue of Liberty on the East Coast, and we need a statue of Responsibility on the West Coast. I heartily concur. As does Obama, it appears, strongly.

    ...more info
  • Spot-on, accurate book on the realistic state of America today!
    This is one fantastic, necessary read! Barack Obama is a true visionary and articulate statesman, who writes accurately and with passion. I found myself agreeing with almost everything in this book, especially his stance on government and it's more than ever needed role. I am sick and tired of so many 'knee jerk', simpleton, right-wingers over-using the word 'socialist' to 'fan the flames' against government in general, when in fact, NO country has ever achieved true socialism. Countries like Canada, Sweden, Germany, France, etc. are all 'mixed economy' capitalist nations, and their expanded role of government steps in where pure market capitalism fails. We have a LOT to learn from them! Given the many cyclical economic downturns our nation has weathered over the decades, it is evident that capitalism (now global capitalism) is not near the perfect system so many think it is. Government's role in this global economy has increased by necessity, and is often the engine needed to help our limping economy get back on it's feet again, after free market failures have manifested themselves (AIG, bank bailouts, automotive bailouts, stimulus plan, etc.). To read this book is to understand what crossroads we are at as a nation, and what we need to do to solve our most pressing issues, which are many. Don't miss this book folks... it's that good!...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
  • 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
  • Great reading and current.
    This book contains some great reading and I recommend it to anyone that enjoys a real family experience....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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Audacity
    "The Audacity of Hope" by Barack Obama is a visit to the ideals of the early 60's. I like how Barack emphasizes "common ground" in stead of our differences. i am ready for hope....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
  • interesting, informative,bold
    quite an interesting piece, very inspirational true to the core, quite dignified in retrospect, "know thy self" pursue your dreams steadfast ahead and dont waiver ...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
  • The Audacity of Hope
    If anyone (regardless of their political leanings) wants to understand how our new president thinks and makes decisions, then reading this book is a must for all Americans. It is also a very readable and deeply insightful book about our American past and our hope for the future....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
  • 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 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
  • 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
  • Insightful and Very Interesting
    As a Hawaiian and resident of the state of Hawaii, I was very interested in knowing a lot more about President Obama and what he stands for. His messages throughout this book clearly provides his vision for American. His campaign was a refelction of this throughout and now you can begin to see his vision become a reality. A wonderful book for all to enjoy and learn about our 44th president....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
  • 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


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