James Hecker's Reviews > The Faith of Barack Obama

The Faith of Barack Obama by Stephen Mansfield
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's review
Jul 02, 2012

it was ok

I bought this book sometime back because I had read three other books by this author and had met him and enjoyed his books and the meeting. It was written before the 2008 Presidential election, in fact even before Obama had secured his party's nomination. I finally picked it up almost soley because I knew it would be a quick read.

I found the first part of the book the most interesting. It told simply of his family and his upbringing. I found myself in awe of how even in our times, one of such humble beginnings could reach the highest office in our country and arguably in the world. The fact that his upbrining may not have been so humbling as protrayed did little to dampen my sense of awe.

As it progressed to his faith "conversion" and his affiliation with Trinity United Church of Christ and it's controversial leader Jeremy Wright, there were parts that I found insincere. I think in the author's effort to appeal to both supporters and opponents of Obama, the text felt wishy washy. Parts felt like fluff where other parts I accepted as truth. I do recognize though that my feelings may come from my own political and personal bias.

Regardless, the impression I got from this part of the book was that Obama's faith is quite "cafeteria" style. Choosing elements of faith to practice and believe as they matched with his own values, rather than coming to believe and accept as truth a complete set of tenets as they are proposed.

Although I liked the previous books by this author that I have read, this one left me feeling as though he published it in a timely manner to capitalize on the moment, and not as much to bring something of lasting value.

I don't recommend this book, but I do recommend three others of his. Feel free to ask me about them.


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Reading Progress

July 2, 2012 – Started Reading
July 2, 2012 – Shelved
July 2, 2012 –
page 13
July 5, 2012 –
page 65
33.85% "Some books are harder to get through than others..."
July 7, 2012 – Finished Reading

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