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Change We Can Believe In: Barack Obama's Plan to Renew America's Promise
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Change We Can Believe In: Barack Obama's Plan to Renew America's Promise

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  1,455 ratings  ·  95 reviews
The election of Barack Obama as President of the United States is a defining moment in American history. After years of failed policies and failed politics from Washington, this is our chance to reclaim the American dream. Barack Obama has proven to be a new kind of leader–one who can bring people together, be honest about the challenges we face, and move this nation forwa ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published September 9th 2008 by Broadway Books (first published January 1st 2008)
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Gil Bradshaw
Jan 06, 2009 rated it liked it
I'm glad to see that someone in Obama's team has thought through so many issues in such a comprehensive manner. There is value from a PR standpoint in this book.

Not a beach read though. And its depressing because he addresses so many issues that are confronting our country and the whole country seems like its at such a dead end.

I like the idea of this book because his writing of the book will hold him accountable more than other presidents. To rebut his actions, you can point to page [_] where h
May 12, 2009 rated it really liked it
I actually didn't know what this book was when I started reading it. I thought it was written by Obama, but in fact it appears to have been written by his campaign staff with a foreword from Obama. And that's fine, but I wish I had read this book before the campaign because reading it after the election is a little silly. I already voted for the man so it's really not necessary for anyone to try and sell me on him. That's what this book does, essentially. It lays out everything Obama hopes to do ...more
Dec 19, 2008 rated it did not like it
Since I don't agree with most liberal policies, this book didn't stand a good chance of being "liked" - but I was pleasantly surprised to see some of the more moderate stances he has, particularly as concerns some national defense issues... if these are sincere and not just rhetoric to appease the masses who care about our security. However, apart from a summary and laundry list of policies and goals, there is no philosophical or argumentative basis (or support or examples for that matter) to pe ...more
Sep 22, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I arrived home from work today and found this book in my mailbox. I walked into my home, sat down, and read it in its entirety. It is rare that I consume a book so completely without pause.

As with any all encompassing policy proposal there will be items that you completely agree with and others that you would want to see some alterations to before being implemented. But, when read in the light (or shadows) of the last eight years under the Bush administration, Obama's vision is a breath of fresh
The one thing I loved about this book is that it legitimately undermined anyone who criticized Obama for lack of providing specifics. Who is the last presidential candidate who released a book during a campaign that laid out most of his positions with modest intellectual support for why he thinks the way he/she does? Has anyone ever done it?

What stuck out to me most is that there is actually some social and historical analysis here. It may be light but it is a breath of fresh air when you're use
Nov 24, 2008 rated it liked it
This is a good book to read if you have not been keeping up with Barack Obama's plans for when he gets into the White House. He has many plans that in my opinion sounds like good ideas. However, this book does not go into detail of how all these plans will work out. He talks about cutting this and giving money for that but, I really would like to see where the money for all his plans is coming from. And how come we got or can get all this money during the current state the US economy is in. This ...more
Nov 09, 2008 rated it really liked it
Change We Can Believe In outlines Barack Obama's vision for America.

This trade sized paperback is just 288 pages, but inside the pages you will read about specific ideas about how to fix our ailing economy and strengthen the middle class, make health care affordable for all, achieve energy independence, and keep America safe in a dangerous world. They writing is clear and succinct. I especially enjoyed reading his speeches, as it has been many months since I first heard some of them. The eloquen
Sep 22, 2008 rated it really liked it
This is a neat little book filled with mostly Barack's policies. Even better, the book contains 7 of the good senator's speeches from the campaign trail. I have listened to many of those speeches and they are fascinating, not only for the content, but for his eloquent way of speaking. If you have ever heard him speak, you will hear his voice clearly in this book.
Lori Tatar
Jan 10, 2009 rated it liked it
It is a great accounting of what we have been promised and will become a great instrument with which to measure how many promises have been fulfilled. It is no wonder Obama was elected president. However, after having heard most of his speeches and being very familiar with his campaign and its platforms, the book is redundant.
Nov 15, 2008 rated it liked it
Do you know what happens when you break a promise, Barack? Fairies die and children cry.

Just something you should think about before hedging on your promise to require 10 percent of electricity come from renewable sources by 2012.
Sep 17, 2008 added it
Outlines what the heck he's gonna do as President. I like clear cut answers and plans! Obama 08!
I appreciated that Barack laid out his plan for moving the US forward. I listened to each section multiple times to make sure I understood it, whether or not I agreed.
T.L. Cooper
Feb 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Change We Can Believe In: Barack Obama's Plan to Renew America's Promise set on my shelves in my reading stacks for approximately a decade before I finally read it. It's interesting to read it now that Barack Obama has served two terms as President of the United States. The successes, failures, and compromises of his presidency are all highlighted by reading this plan filled with hope, unifying ideas, and calls for working together. Reading it also reminded me of my own cynicism and how importan ...more
Michael Jolls
Oct 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Obama's official campaign companion, "Change We Can Believe In", we see the detailed framework of reconfiguring the economy - which seems to be a litany of where billions of dollars are going to spread to various sectors. The stance on immigration (which I did screen shot) reads just like Donald Trump; different rhetoric, but the same message. The last quarter of the book includes a variety of speeches which really bring home that "new-JFK" patriotism that captured the vast majority of America i ...more
Jun 16, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: other
Not a fan. I listened to this book after listening to Obama's, "The Audacity of Hope." I will say, this book was a big let down after hearing Mr. President read his own book. The words are more convincing when you hear it from the horse's mouth.
Jul 09, 2020 rated it liked it
This was a pretty dry book to read but informative. I think most conservatives would be surprised by some of Obama’s moderate takes. Also, I think it’s great that his stances were all compiled together so that someone who isn’t entrenched with politics could read/understand.
Dec 11, 2017 rated it it was ok
The book was kinda just a list of his policies and little explanations under them. However, it was somewhat interesting even though it wasn't even written by him.
Sep 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was an interesting read even though it was written before he became president. It set out all what he wanted to do as president.
Oct 07, 2018 rated it liked it
Great book
Oct 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
For the speeches at the end.
Rafael Suleiman
Nov 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
A very good synopsis of the agenda of President Barack Obama.
Denise Kruse
Nov 18, 2020 rated it liked it
While it is interesting to look back to 2008 at Obama’s plan, to access what he was able to accomplish and what he was not, the telling is very dry.
Kyla Middleton
May 25, 2012 rated it liked it
A “Change We Can Believe In” is not a typical novel; it is a collection of seven speeches President Barack Obama made while he was a senator of Illinois and running for the presidency. The novel starts off in part one with the President’s own words. It begins with his opinion of what society was like while he was running for president, and also massive amounts of criticism of George W. Bush. The entire novel consists of this. The novel includes Obama’s own plans for the economy, foreign policy, ...more
Bjorn Sorensen
If we're using ratings, I would say that Obama ran a 5-star campaign and has so far been a 3-star president. I appreciate his calmness, his openness, and not in comparison to Bush because we as a country have far more to do than simply make up for 2000-2008: we now have an opportunity to change economic and political systems that continually brings us cycles of poverty and war.

The book itself, while having its moments of specificity and inspiration, is still frustrating. A lot of numbers are th
Alex Gregory
Dec 07, 2013 rated it liked it
So, I guess hindsight is 20/20?

Change We Can Believe In is a introductory primer for Barack Obama's policies, delivered through a series of speeches outlining his plans in the run-up to the '08 election. While I, like other reviewers, appreciate the fact that the book is thorough and descriptive in its material, it comes off more as a PR puff piece than anything else.

The first thing this book is missing is a co-author credit for Jon Favreau. Who's that, you ask? Well, it's not the film director,
Jan 06, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
It is a moot point now after the election ... I've voted and Obama's the next president. I just wish I had read this book earlier since it would have helped bolster my arguments with neighbors and friends regarding Obama's plan of action for the next four years. I finished this book in one day which, lately, is unusual for me as I am hitting a reading slump.

The first half of the book is a summary of the issues Obama would like to address once he is in office. He addresses the issues of global w
Jeff Stockett
Jan 03, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: political
I read this book because I have been displeased with President Obama in his first year in office. I thought/hoped that if I better understood his plan I might at least have an idea where he was coming from and it might make me a little less angry.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that there were a few things that I agreed with. He talked about the failures of the No Child Left Behind program and how he wanted to put forth legislation that would not alienate teachers the way that program has. I
Will Crim
Jun 11, 2010 rated it really liked it
Change We Can Believe In by Barack Obama is more inspirational than anything. It was published during his 2008 campaign which made me think of him as superman or somethin'. Like how do you do that and compete with Hilary Clinton? Anyways, something that really caught my attention early in the book was when Obama wrote "...these challenge were not inevitable. They are the result of flawed policies and failed leadership. As our world and economy have changed, the thinkinh in Washington has not ke ...more
Oct 17, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: politics
This book comes from Pres. Barack Obama's 2008 campaign for the presidency, but unlike other similar books released by politicians about how to get America back on track, this one is really the campaign's promises rather than some personal & anecdotal account of what's wrong with the country and how to fix it. In fact, you could've looked up all of these promises on the campaign website and saved yourself the money. So, why read a book with a typical campaign bombast, even for Obama's energetic ...more
Colleen Martin
Oct 16, 2008 rated it really liked it
This isn't a book of new material, but rather a compendium of Barack Obama's policies and stances on a huge variety of issues. I learned a few things that I hadn't previously known, but most of it was old news to me, an Obama supporter for two years. This would be great reading for an undecided voter all those people who insist that they "don't know where he stands on the issues." Please. What kind of lame excuse is that? If you just make an effort, you can find out anything you'd ...more
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Barack Obama was the 44th president of the United States, elected in November 2008 and holding office for two terms. He is the author of two previous New York Times bestselling books, Dreams from My Father and The Audacity of Hope, and the recipient of the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize. He lives in Washington, D.C., with his wife, Michelle. They have two daughters, Malia and Sasha.

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