Read an excerpt of this book online recently and was pulled in immediately. Something about all the anti-Obama sentiment is what compelled me. The aut...moreRead an excerpt of this book online recently and was pulled in immediately. Something about all the anti-Obama sentiment is what compelled me. The author argues that racism, once a transparent social construct, has become a latent social construct, and the invisibility is pernicious. It has got me thinking about Eurocentricism, white apathy, and everyday moral complicity in the power structures. Between the moral issues it raises and the tight overview of social construct philosophies that it provides, this 133-page book is a heavy-hitter.(less)
I bypassed this book many times because it looked too hokey. I guess at some point I had internalized the smear that Obama is merely a "motivational s...moreI bypassed this book many times because it looked too hokey. I guess at some point I had internalized the smear that Obama is merely a "motivational speaker." Thankfully, he isn't. President-elect Obama has clearly taken the time to study US presidential history and contemporary economic and social woes and has melded them into a book that mixes policy ideas with personal narrative. It is well written, engaging, and revealing. It's also very funny and relatable at times. I love his descriptions of Alan Keyes: "Unlike most politicians... Mr. Keyes made no effort to conceal what he clearly considered to be his moral and intellectual superiority... that self-assuredness disabled in him the instincts for self-censorship that allow most people to navigate the world without getting into constant fistfights." Ha! Obama's own journey to Christianity, despite nagging doubts, is something I have experienced myself. There are very few politicians I have ever found relatable; Obama is refreshingly candid about his doubts and fears.
"The Audacity of Hope" is not without its flaws (some chapters are too long; others strive too hard to put a fine point on things), but it is a good read.(less)