Date of Publication: 2006, Vintage Books
Number of Pages: 427
Synopsis (from back cover): 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 optimism that has long defined us and that is our best hope going forward.
Review: To be fair, I should say up front that I am a very enthusiastic supporter of Barack Obama. This bias of course affected my reaction to this book, so please take that into account when reading this review. First of all, this book is superbly written. Obama has an immense talent for writing and for clearly putting forth his views. There is no more doubt about who the real Barack Obama is…all you have to do is read this book. It’s easy to get a sense of his intelligence, his thoughtfulness, and his idealism, all of which have affected the way he approached politics. He comes across not as a perfect person, but as a real person, someone to whom all Americans can relate.
In this book, Obama explores all aspects of American politics, like race, family, and relations between the two major parties. It’s obvious that he’s a Democrat, but it’s also apparent that he respects Republicans. His approach to politics isn’t one of exclusion and strict party loyalty. He knows that all Americans, no matter their beliefs or political leanings, have worth and he fights for all of them. He doesn’t just represent Demorats…he represents Americans.
All this may sound like an endorsement of Obama’s presidential candidacy (you can take it that way if you want), but this book truly opens one’s eyes to who the real Obama is (a funny, friendly, intelligent, and thoughtful man), what he stands for (liberty, freedom, and opportunity for everyone), and how he thinks politics should be exercised in America (with an open dialogue and a real debate of the issues). If you want to get to know Obama, or if you simply want to be inspired and believe that America is still a great country, then you have to read this book!