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The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream
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The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream

3.7  ·  Rating details ·  115,584 Ratings  ·  4,549 Reviews
In July 2004, Barack Obama electrified the Democratic National Convention with an address that spoke to Americans across the political spectrum. One phrase in particular anchored itself in listeners’ minds, a reminder that for all the discord and struggle to be found in our history as a nation, we have always been guided by a dogged optimism in the future, or what Senator ...more
Hardcover, Large Print, 608 pages
Published November 7th 2006 by Random House Large Print Publishing (first published 2006)
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I’m assuming Obama will be the next President of the USA. That will probably be a good thing. Recently I did an online quiz to pick which candidate I would be most likely to vote for – as an Australian this was purely an academic exercise – but it said I should support Obama. Naturally, my politics and his are quite different – I’m to his extreme left, but I thought I should find out more about him just the same.

It is an odd thing how different Australians are from Americans. We are both ‘fronti
Jan 27, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've now finished this book, which I've been reviewing a chapter at a time. Before starting, I was concerned that it might lower my opinion of him. Many people have been rather dismissive, and perhaps that's why I didn't read it earlier. In fact, it has had the opposite effect. It's well thought out and convincing, and I respect him more. The one major criticism I have is that it's stylistically unimpressive; you can see that it would have benefited from another revision pass. He is however so i ...more
Mar 29, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyable book! Amazing insight and a wonderful read....(paperback!)
May 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-again
Excellent book. When I found out he was the narrator had to buy it. Did read the hard copy back in 2007. Missed his voice so much, intelligent, inspiring speeches. Fall in love with him at the 2004 Democratic convention.
His work in Chicago, ambitious political journey, how he met his wife. Values, American history, family and his understanding of the issues we are facing. He had the Audacity of Hope to do something about them, but his hands was tied at his back, legs knocked under him.
One think
Jun 25, 2007 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
It is a good thing that these days, if a Democratic candidate wants to continue war and occupation in Iraq, he has to call it "phased redeployment" a la Obama, rather than "20,000 more troops," a la Kerry. People are fed up with the old policies, and they're looking towards candidates who talk left. I think that's a sign of a real shift among regular people, and we shouldn't dismiss anyone who wants to see real change but still has hopes in the Democratic Party. This is true even if we already k ...more
Linda C.
Jun 20, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
Barack Obama fills me with hope.

Hope for the United States, and hope for America's standing on the world stage.

This book shows the human side of a man who is running for president. He tackles many different issues from faith, race, family life, war, international relations, and politics.

All are done in a thoughtful manner.

I get the sense that when he attempts to address an issue that he truly wants to hear from all interested parties, and work to come to an accommodation that everyone can live w
Diane Wallace
May 23, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great book! amazing insight and a wonderful read...(paperback!)
Dec 26, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: auto-and-biog
I found the first couple of chapters of this book a bit murky, due to my ignorance of American political life and methods, but after that I found it fascinating. I loved the way that Obama can communicate at all levels. This book could so easily have been a dry and dusty analysis of his political life and experiences, but instead it was an intensely human and open discussion of the issues that matter to him. I liked him before I read the book, and I liked him even more afterwards.

I was particula
Mar 09, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I used to think that a liberal was simply someone whose background and education was deficient of the facts needed to understand the full ramifications of their left-leaning policies. For example, in a debate I once heard Maxine Waters (D-CA) incredulously ask "Why not?!" when told that the government can't afford free healthcare, free college, free daycare, etc. Because apart from the land of fairies and puppy-dog tails where the Congresswoman, if not grew up, at least spent most of her summers ...more
Nov 06, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I didn't like it because it was fiction parading as non-fiction, from the story to the author. William Ayers wrote this book, not Obama. And it's filled from the first page to the last with evasions, omissions, obfuscations, skirtings of the truth, and outright lies.
May 13, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone who's voting in 2008
One reviewer said he'd read this whole book and was left not knowing what Barack Obama was a way, I see his point--readers expecting a manifesto of voting positions will be sorely disappointed. For that, read the congressional record. Readers expecting a standard-bearer for the left will also be disappointed, as Obama's focus is not a solid 'Yes' check in all the predictable party line talking points. For instance, neither pro nor anti-war, he wholeheartedly supported the war in Afghani ...more
3.5 stars.

This week was.........not a good time to read this book. I thought that it would be, that it would be the perfect time to read about the need for compassion in politics and how there's always hope for the future.

Instead? This was just...sad. 2006 Barack Obama had so much hope for the future, so much determination that we could make the world a better place. He talks so passionately about the godawful state of the US health insurance system, the arguments against marriage equality, th
Nov 29, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: any American adult
Recommended to Jan by: my brother
Is it possible to think clearly if you can't speak and write clearly? It must be, because Bush and Palin can't be stupid and have made it as far as they have. Oh, but what a pleasure it will be to have a President whose writing can compare with some of the Federalist Papers by Madison or the speeches of Lincoln.

There are a few clichés in the book, and a few typos and grammatical or style errors that led me to think the editor, not the author, was asleep at the switch. There are several passages
Jan 14, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everbody, especially all Americans.
Often, I like to read books outloud. It helps me to stay attentive and be an active reader. Rarely is a book so pleasing to hear in my own voice as The Audacity of Hope was. Most political or historical writing can be cumbersome and difficult to explore in this manner. Barack Obama's writing, instead, is strong, clear, and easy to read, with a cadence and strong diction that many writers do not succeed to develop.

Part memoir, part declaration and history of liberal wisdom, this book was a true
Jul 02, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: 2008 voters
Superb rhetorician. Polished delivery. (I listened to this as an audio book.) Consummate politician. (His words worked well with varying positions he may or may not take.) Would make a great friend and neighbor. (Genuine and endearing family anecdotes -- courtship, diapers, daughters with wardrobe issues, wife with absentee-husband issues.) But overall, it was clear that he and I see things through very different lenses, and that through his lens he sees himself being somewhat bigger than life. ...more
What kind of bozo writes his memoirs before having achieved anything of merit (Read my review of Harry Potter). He is simply a classic socialist/marxist redistribution of wealth liberal. "From each, according to their ability, to each, according to their need." Would you give your 'A' to the most struggling student in the class? What good would it do anyways? The same goes for money! I really thought people weren't making these moronic arguments anymore, I guess I was wrong.
Wow, this man is really going to be our President? I imagine most politicians except Dubya and Sarah Palin could recite some of the political and economic and foreign history that Obama talks about in this book, but they could never frame it so well or so inspirationally. Not only does he know the history, he thinks about it and clarifies it. He thinks! This president-elect loves America and Americans, what we are and what we can be. Fascinating book, and I loved getting a little glimpses into h ...more
Mar 15, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: politics-history
Whether the reader agrees or disagrees with Obama's politics is of course the greatest factor in his or her enjoyment of the book. As an Obama supporter, I was a biased reader and indeed very impressed by his writing and reasoning. However, this book represents the core of his politics and is not simply the icing on the cake.

First of all, it must be noted that I was rather worried that he would disappoint as an author. Having read several politicians' books, I was used to that excessively frien
Beth F.
I pay as little attention as possible to the political arena in the hope that I can find a healthy balance between being peripherally aware of what’s going on without being sucked into the madness. I never intended to read this book and the only reason I picked it up in the first place was because it counted for a reading challenge I’m participating in through a group on this site.

Before starting the book, I had read some reviews written by other users and without fail, every single one reminded
Sep 23, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Sparrow by: Sarah Palin, when she said "Who is that guy?"
I could not help but think to myself, “Get a room,” as I finished the section titled “Our Constitution” in Senator Barack Obama’s most recently published book, The Audacity of Hope. I’ll admit that by the time I finished the first chapter, “Republicans and Democrats” I had a little crush on Senator Obama (sorry Michelle), so his love letter to the American Constitution felt a little like I had gone through his desk looking for a pen and come upon something I was never meant to see. I got the fee ...more
Sep 11, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I bought this book in April during an unexpectedly long layover at the Houston airport, read half of it, then forced myself to put it down as I was becoming too emotionally invested in the prospect of an Obama presidency and felt that I needed to pace myself, since it was only April and I am frankly still recovering from the political PTSD of November 2004. I picked it up again during another transcontinental trip this past week and determined to finish it this time, hoping to educate myself abo ...more
Aug 08, 2007 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: patient readers
Obama is not a writer nor a storyteller; good thing neither are required to be a good leader. I like Obama, but this book was a disappointment. I don't know if I can honestly classify it as "read," as I had to keep skimming and skimming to get to anything interesting. Lots of meandering reminiscences and obseravations in politics in general.

I was hoping more for clear and strong political essays, with personal experiences to solidify them. It is all well and good that he knows so much about the
Aug 20, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all those people who still say they "don't know what Obama is about"
He really is a great writer! And he's fricking brilliant. I enjoyed this immensely and can't wait to see him put these plans into action.
Aug 18, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2008books
I just finished Barack Obama’s “The Audacity of Hope,” which I started what feels like a year ago, but completing it at this point nicely dovetails in with all the unavoidable political coverage of late. While there’s certainly no way I would have started this book in the MIDST of all the conventions and coverage, I have to say it has come to a conclusion at a fitting time. I find Obama such a compelling, captivating figure, but I’m often frustrated at only being able to learn so much (of a subs ...more
Jul 02, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Brainwashing anyone?
In "The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream," Senator Barack Obama offers a message of hope to the cynics that would claim that our country is hopelessly divided and politics has devolved into a power game of little interest to ordinary Americans. Senator Obama believes there are, in fact, ordinary Americans out there that do care about our country, are engaged in politics, and can manage to find common ground with neighbors and friends whose politics or values they may d ...more
Apr 28, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: semi-read
I initially approached this book with a fairly open mind, but soon enough found myself filled not with hope but boredom. Obama certainly is a smart and likable guy, but his autobiographical meanderings and relatively trite, feel-good messages (e.g. that an advocate of abortion rights and a pro-life doctor can both be basically decent people) did not engage my mind at all. This is not to say that I think Senator Obama has not brought something positive to the public sphere - I think he has had a ...more
Andre Gonzalez
Nov 17, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was such a refreshing perspective on the changes in American politics. This was written by President Obama in 2006, while he was still a Senator for Illinois. He discusses the internal struggle to unite Washington while trying maintain a normal life in raising his children and keep his marriage strong. Despite how you feel about President Obama and his policies, this book will provide you an honest insight into his train of thought that really makes you wonder if every politician goes ...more
Will Byrnes
Obama wrote the book himself. That is a good thing. On the other hand, I was actively annoyed with the guy for the first 150 pages or so as it seemed to me that he was all about talking around subjects in order to let us know that he respected both sides’ views. But I stuck with the book and he eventually got around to citing some positions. They are, in general, your basic moderate Democratic views, with maybe a tilt left here and a little right there. We could do worse. He portrays himself as ...more
Nov 08, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who want to understand how the (messy) U.S. political system works
Shelves: history, biography
The Audacity of Hope is not a biography, it is a discussion of politics in the United States. It is not a denunciation of the current political system, but a description of it and how and why it developed the way it has.

Obama walks through a number of topics, the two-party system, values, the constitution, politics, opportunity, faith, and race, and writes about how each is related to the political process. He discusses the actual issues that are involved, how various groups within the United St
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Around the Year i...: The Audacity of Hope, by Barack Obama 1 13 May 01, 2017 11:29AM  
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The Audacity of Hope 4 90 Jun 30, 2012 09:40AM  
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Barack Obama was the 44th President of the United States of America. He was the first African-American to be elected President of the United States and was the first to be nominated for President by a major U.S. political party. He was the junior U.S. Senator from Illinois from 2005 until he resigned on November 16, 2008, following his election to the Presidency.

Barack Obama is the son of Barack O
More about Barack Obama...
“I believe in evolution, scientific inquiry, and global warming; I believe in free speech, whether politically correct or politically incorrect, and I am suspicious of using government to impose anybody's religious beliefs -including my own- on nonbelievers.” 158 likes
“We think of faith as a source of comfort and understanding but find our expressions of faith sowing division; we believe ourselves to be a tolerant people even as racial, religious, and cultural tensions roil the landscape. And instead of resolving these tensions or mediating these conflicts, our politics fans them, exploits them,and drives us further apart.” 56 likes
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