Tracy's Reviews > The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream

The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama
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Mar 03, 2009

it was amazing
bookshelves: 2009, borrowed, want-to-own, non-fiction
Read in March, 2009

Not only was this fascinating, insightful, thought-provoking, and very well-written, it serves as a blueprint for the Obama platform, and gives everyone a working knowledge of the thoughts and intentions of President Barack Obama.

This book is divided into nine chapters, each addressing a major issue in American politics: Republicans and Democrats, Values, Our Constitution, Politics, Opportunity (discussing economics, health care, and education, among other things), Faith, Race, the World Beyond Our Borders, and Family. Each chapter is full of personal anecdotes, smooth and easy writing, and thoughtful analysis, giving an impression of earnest effort on the part of a real person concerned with the country at large, and people as individuals. For every issue he addresses, Obama clearly tries to present all arguments and perspectives in as respectful a manner as possible while still taking his own stance. Occasionally, this constant open-mindedness does sink into what seems like vague political waffling, but for the most part I found this balanced approach to be refreshing and fair while still taking a stand. A very thorough and polite "I see where you're coming from, but I still think I'm right and here's why."

There is a great deal of personal as well as political insight here. This was written during Mr. Obama's first term as a US Senator and I can't help feeling that it was even written with the Presidency in mind. Regardless, if it was meant to make the reader think seriously about thoughtless assumptions they've made about certain issues and to convince them of the validity of Obama's politics, it succeeded with me. Now, I've always been a die-hard liberal with no patience for conservatives at all, so I began reading this book prepared to love it and agree with it, but even so it caused me to revise some opinions. Perhaps my liking of President Obama made me more open-minded, but his considerate treatment of Republican and conservative thinking made me give serious thought to my casual assumptions about what motivates the other side.

In light of the election and President Obama's first month in office, most of these ideas seem familiar but no less powerful. This clear elucidation of what we can expect from the next four years made me feel all warm and proud inside. There is indeed a very tough road ahead for Americans, certainly tougher than when this book was written and Obama didn't expect a picnic then, either, but if this book is any indication, we are in steady, informed, good hands.
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Quotes Tracy Liked

Barack Obama
“Each path to knowledge involves different rules and these rules are not interchangeable.”
Barack Obama, The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream


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