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The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  156,636 ratings  ·  5,545 reviews
The Audacity of Hope is Barack Obama's call for a new kind of politics—a politics that builds upon those shared understandings that pull us together as Americans. Lucid in his vision of America's place in the world, refreshingly candid about his family life and his time in the Senate, Obama here sets out his political convictions and inspires us to trust in the dogged opti ...more
Hardcover, First Edition, 375 pages
Published October 17th 2006 by Crown Publishers (first published June 30th 2004)
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Omar Delawar You start at page one and do not stop until you get to the end.
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Average rating 3.78  · 
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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
May 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 27, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
Nandakishore Mridula
‘The Audacity of Hope’ by Barack Obama is subtitled “thoughts on reclaiming the American Dream”. This immediately gives the reader a whiff of things to come: this book is written by a politician, on the make, with specific political objectives. And when one realises that it was first published in 2006, one immediately understands what the main objective is.

The so-called “American Dream” is about a utopia where anyone can rise up in life from the rock bottom by sheer hard work, without any suppor
Jun 25, 2007 rated it did not like it
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
Ahmad Sharabiani
The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream, Barack Obama
The book, divided into nine chapters, outlines Obama's political and spiritual beliefs, as well as his opinions on different aspects of American culture. The Audacity of Hope is Barack Obama's call for a new kind of politics.
"In the end, that's what this election is about. Do we participate in a politics of cynicism or a politics of hope? John Kerry calls on us to hope. John Edwards calls on us to hope. I'm not talking
Diane Wallace
May 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
Great book! amazing insight and a wonderful read...(paperback!)
Linda C.
Jun 20, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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
Dec 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
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 20, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: biography, abandoned
It bored me quickly. Skimmed through it,feels like a lecture on Obama's political views and the American political system.And I am not enough of an Obama fan to slog through all that.

(Infact,in my view,he alongwith George W.Bush,is among the worst US presidents.His aggressive policy against Pakistan still rankles.During his era,all those drone attacks and retaliatory terrorism ,turned Pakistan into a killing field.Besides,all those efforts at regime change in the Middle East and the total destab
Hai Quan
Jul 07, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Almost all American people, in all walks of life, rich, middle class or poor, well educated or illiterate, young or old , just like everybody in the world , politically ARE JUST LIKE SHEEPS, running in whatever direction the shepherd directs 'em.

Just like 'em shepherd who owns 'em sheeps , can sell or butcher 'em sheeps, the human shepherd can do LIKEWISE literally or figuratively .
Well , the human shepherd ( POTUS) cand send 'em dumb foot soldiers to international robbery ( example: in Chin
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
Mar 09, 2008 rated it it was ok
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
Sep 14, 2008 rated it did not like it
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. ...more
Nov 06, 2008 rated it did not like it
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. ...more
May 13, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
Tom Quinn
Feb 24, 2019 rated it liked it
I rarely read memoirs, even more rarely read biographies, and rarest of all read books by political figures. But we've been going through a "thing" in America lately, and now there's about two thousand Democrats all clamoring to announce their candidacy for president in 2020, and the news keeps getting me down by reporting the fragmented half-sentences our current commander-in-chief seems to think are appropriate for the leader of a country to spout off on camera, and so I got nostalgic for a le ...more
Nov 29, 2008 rated it really liked it
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
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
Mar 15, 2008 rated it really liked it
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
Jul 02, 2008 rated it it was ok
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
Sep 11, 2008 rated it really liked it
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
Ross Blocher
Sep 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I'm late to the game. Barack Obama wrote The Audacity of Hope in 2006, before he'd even announced his intention to run for president. Here I am in 2019, hearing Obama's hopes and plans for the nation from the perspective of one who has seen his presidency play out, productive in many regards despite the concentrated wall of congressional obstruction, and passed along to the tin-pot dictator who currently, inexplicably holds the office. I listened to the Grammy-winning performance of Audacity, re ...more
Jan 05, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
Jul 02, 2008 rated it did not like it
Brainwashing anyone?
Meredith Holley
Sep 23, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Meredith 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
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
Apr 28, 2008 rated it did not like it
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
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
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
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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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