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Barack Obama and the Future of American Politics

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  36 ratings  ·  11 reviews

Many Americans believe Barack Obama represents a hopeful future for America. But does he also reflect the American politics of the past? This book offers the broadest and best-informed understanding on the meaning of the “Obama phenomenon” to date.

Paul Street was on the ground throughout the Iowa campaign, and his stories of the rising Obama phenomenon are poignant. Yet th

Hardcover, 280 pages
Published October 30th 2008 by Routledge
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3.92  · 
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 ·  36 ratings  ·  11 reviews

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Randall Wallace
Dec 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Black commentator Gary Younge said in the Guardian that Obama represents the “removal of ‘black’ issues from the political arena” as well as “a repudiation of the existence of American racism itself.” Look back in history and the Democratic Party was the “party of the openly racist white South.” Blacks leave the party of Lincoln for the Democratic Party because of the New Deal. The real reason Democrats finally helped the race problem in the 60’s was because they saw to the world, America looked ...more
Jan 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
Paul Street finished his penetrating manuscript just as Obama took over the helm of American politics. He argues in extremely sober terms the truth about the four year, carefully monitored process within the corporate-dominated and militaristic US election system, from fund raising to final election. He includes documented notes from Zinn, Chomsky, Pilger and many others to quantify his remarks and provides 43 pages of well documented notes.
In the end he can only guess how the Obama phenomenon
Tara van Beurden
I am studying a Masters of International Relations as part of a double Masters (at the uni I work for). I decided to do this, partly because I have always wanted to do a Masters, partly because I work at a uni and it seemed like a good idea while I was there, and partly because I am pretty passionate/interested in politics, particularly American politics, and international political relations which I think is endlessly interesting. I randomly picked up this book from the library because I was on ...more
Reminds us that Obama is, above all else, a politician. Gives interesting information that few people are talking about. Street reminds of the irony in Obama rightfully pointing out that "change doesn't happen from the top down. Change happens from the bottom up" while telling us that a vote for him will bring change, from the top down. I love this Howard Zinn quote from the book referring specifically to the war but applicable to so much more.
"We who protest the war are not politicians. We are
Apr 21, 2009 rated it liked it
Who could hate a book that quotes Howard Zinn, Noam Chomsky and Christopher Hitchens? The premise is that Obama is much more conservative than most people think and for him to become a real progressive force, we need to push hard from the left. Street sometimes gets repetition, but overall this title is worth a read to get an overview of how at least one critic from the left feels about Obama. I found myself recalling that Obama's father was from Africa, and that Obama simply never experienced s ...more
Dec 16, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: marxism, feel-4, 3-5
I agreed with virtually everthing this book says. It is pretty much a no-brainer that Obama's soul is a corporate one. And this book very thoroughly proves it. Unfortunately though, it is a hard plough and would seem most have rejected trying to read it...I wonder if those criticizing this book so strongly shouldn't reconsider after seeing Obama's performance?
Julie Marsh
Nov 25, 2011 rated it it was ok
Enlightening but far too repetitive. Distracting use of quotes, and content comprised primarily of citations of others' work.
Dec 12, 2011 rated it it was ok
the references were pretty good but he lacked some analysis of them.also it should have been in detail not abrupt
Oct 22, 2008 rated it really liked it
Lefty critique of Obama. Totally worthwhile.
Liberty Abbott-Sylvester
Jun 30, 2009 rated it did not like it
I can't comment on this as I didn't come close to finishing. I have discovered that political books are not for me.
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Paul Street is an independent radical-democratic policy researcher, journalist, historian, author and speaker based in Iowa City, Iowa, and Chicago, Illinois. He is the author of six books to date: Empire and Inequality: America and the World Since 9/11 (Boulder, CO: Paradigm, 2004); Segregated Schools: Educational Apartheid in the Post-Civil Rights Era(New York: Routledge, 2005); Racial Oppressio ...more