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Book Review: by Lang Reid
The Audacity of Hope
Senator Barrack Obama seems to embody “hope” itself for millions of
Americans. His latest book, “The Audacity of Hope” (ISBN 0-307-23769-9 (hard
cover), Crown Publishers, 2006) has as its sub-title “Thoughts of Reclaiming
the American Dream” and with the prevailing concept that this man could one
day become the President of the United States, this book might perhaps show
how his thoughts would influence the nation.
Within the first few pages, the reader is taken up with the fluidity of the
author’s writing. Even though I am neither American, nor follow American
politics other than a cursory overview, from the outset, Barrack Obama
involves the reader and gently explains the insurmountability of some of the
political problems besetting the US divisionist bipartisan system.
Barrack Obama writes of the human side of his job as a senator and gives
wonderful insights into life in the political arena, right down to President
George W Bush having an aide dispensing hand sanitizer during handshaking
photo opportunity sessions!
He shares with the reader his insight into today’s political administration.
“Most people who serve in Washington have been trained either as lawyers or
political operatives - professions that tend to place a premium on winning
arguments rather than solving problems.”
Of course, all the way through the book, Barrack Obama has taken the high
moral ground for himself, though does this without needlessly attacking
those politicians of the other persuasion. He presents himself as
empathetic, rather than representing the black Afro-American population.
It is a very current book, with frequent references to the Bush
administration led US involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan, or the debate and
fervor regarding the right to turn off the life support for Terry Schiavo.
As expected, the book does deal with the minutiae of American politics, and
the Senate in particular. As I pointed out earlier, I have had no real
interest in this, but author Obama’s use of the English language is such
that he has the ability to suck you along and provokes your interest with
his very human pen sketches.
Other topics, which each get a chapter in this book, include Values, the
Constitution, Opportunity, Faith, Race, the World Beyond Our Borders, and
He has a very good background in American history and uses this to explain
current directions within American politics, and even the spread of
Christianity (in all its various forms) throughout America. He also
describes his own faith and his attempts to come to terms with what he
believes is the correct path and divergent opinions, all quoting from the
I would have had to take author Obama to task where he describes Bill
Clinton as “the former leader of the free world”. He was the former leader
of one of the countries that describes itself as “free”. Free non-Americans
did not vote him as their leader.
At B. 995 this is not a cheap read; however, I put it down, feeling that I
had just read his campaign dossiers for the forthcoming presidential
election, and felt that perhaps he should have been paying me, rather than
me paying him.
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