"We worship an awesome God in the Blue States, and we don't like federal agents poking around in our libraries in the Red States. We coach Little League in the Blue States, and yes, we've got some gay friends in the Red States. There are patriots who opposed the war in Iraq, and there are patriots who supported the war in Iraq." On July 27, 2004, U.S. Senate candidate Barack Obama riveted a nationwide television audience with his Democratic National Convention keynote speech. In this stirring volume, Senator Obama shares his thoughts about healing the divisions in our country.
… what's most impressive about Obama, 45, is an intelligence that his new book displays in abundance. He articulates a mode of liberalism that sounds both highly pragmatic and deeply moral. The Audacity of Hope -- the title comes from a sermon by his Chicago pastor -- trumpets no unifying theme or grand theory about how the American dream will be reclaimed and by whom. Chapters bear such prosaic titles as "Values," "Opportunity" and "Faith." But in a disarmingly modest way, Obama offers a more sensible perspective on "how we might begin the process of changing our politics and our civic life" than his more seasoned Capitol Hill colleagues have provided.
The Washington Post
In a very short time, Barack Obama has made himself into a figure of national interest, curiosity and some undefined hope. This book fully encourages those sentiments. His greatest test will be that of sensing the times, of matching his timing with the tides of the nation.
He is at his best when he writes things like this: “I find comfort in the fact that the longer I’m in politics the less nourishing popularity becomes, that a striving for power and rank and fame seems to betray a poverty of ambition, and that I am answerable mainly to the steady gaze of my own conscience.”
The New York Times Sunday Book Review
Portions of the volume read like outtakes from a stump speech, and the bulk of it is devoted to laying out Mr. Obama's policy positions on a host of issues, from education to health care to the war in Iraq.
But while Mr. Obama occasionally slips into the flabby platitudes favored by politicians, enough of the narrative voice in this volume is recognizably similar to the one in Dreams from My Father, an elastic, personable voice that is capable of accommodating everything from dense discussions of foreign policy to streetwise reminiscences, incisive comments on constitutional law to New-Agey personal asides.
The New York Times
Obama reads his own words with the conviction and strength that listeners would expect from the Ilinois Democratic senator. The audacity of his hope echoes in each sentence he speaks as he lays the groundwork for reclaiming the values and inner strength that makes the United States so grand. While Obama is a great public speaker, those same skills could be overwhelming within the confines of an audiobook. Listeners will rejoice that he does not turn this reading opportunity into a six-hour speech. Instead, his cadence, speed and tone work to bring the listener from point to point, building inspiration through provocative thought rather than intense voice and personal charisma. Political inclinations will determine whether Obama's solutions or intentions are valued or disregarded. However, in his sincerest moments, he seizes hold of the problems plaguing the nation while criticizing both sides' failure to grasp the actual problem and to become bogged down in petty politics. He emphasizes the complexity of politics in a pluralist country spread out over millions of square miles. But even in his exploration of the political landscape, he does not hesitate to admit to his own limitations within the system. Simultaneous release with the Crown hardcover (Reviews, Oct. 2). (Nov.)Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
This book has been available in hardcover, audiobook, and trade paperback, but here it is now in a mass-market edition, highly affordable. It has been a bestseller for many months, especially as the campaign for President of the US has put Obama and his political ideas front and center in American life. Here in his own words he describes his basic political philosophies and how they have been formed in his own mind. He reveals himself to be a visionary"reclaiming the American dream"but all the while he shows he understands the complexities of problems and how difficult it can be to effect change. So, his pragmatic side is revealed, as well as his legal mind. Here are the chapter titles: Republicans and Democrats; Values; Our Constitution; Politics; Opportunity; Faith; Race; the World Beyond Our Borders; and Family. Throughout are woven his own personal experiences, past and present: an important book that can inform readers about how Obama thinks and lives. He is an accomplished writer, and his books have probably influenced voters as much as his speeches have. Reviewer: Claire Rosser
The Democrats' rising star wants U.S. politicians to start thinking big again. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
"He is one of the best writers to enter modern politics."
—Jonathan Alter, Newsweek.com
"[Barack Obama] is that rare politician who can actually write- and write movingly and genuinely about himself...In these pages he often speaks to the reader as if he were an old friend from back in the day, salting policy recommendations with colorful asides about the absurdities of political life...[He] strives in these pages to ground his policy thinking in simple common sense...while articulating these venomous pre-election days, but also in these increasingly polarized and polarizing times."
—Michiko Katutani, New York Times
"[Few] on the partisan landscape can discuss the word 'hope' in a political context and be regarded as the least bit sincere. Obama is such a man, and he proves it by employing a fresh and buoyant vocabulary to scrub away some of the toxins from contemporary political debate. Those polling categories that presume to define the vast chasm between us do not, Obama reminds us, add up to the sum of our concerns or hint at where our hearts otherwise intersect...Obama advances ordinary words like 'empathy', 'humility', 'grace' and 'balance' into the extraordinary context of 2006's hyper-agitated partisan politics. The effect is not only refreshing but also hopeful...As you might anticipate from a former civil lawyer and a university lecturer on constitutional law, Obama writes convincingly about race as well as the lofty place the Constitution holds in American life...He writes tenderly about family and knowingly about faith. Readers, no matter what their party affiliation, may experience the oddly uplifting sensation of comparing the everyday contemptuous view of politics that circulates so widely in our civic conversations with the practical idealism set down by this slender, smiling, 45-year-old former sate legislator who is included on virtually every credible list of future presidential contenders."
—Los Angeles Times
"What's impressive about Obama is an intelligence that his new books diplays in aubundance."
—Washington Post Book World
"An upbeat view of the country's potential and a political biography that concentrates on the senator's core values."
“The self-portrait is appealing. It presents a man of relative youth yet maturity, a wise observer of the human condition, a figure who possesses perseverance and writing skills that have flashes of grandeur. Obama also demonstrates a wry sense of humor…His particular upbringing gives him special insights into the transition of American politics in the 1960s and ’70s from debates over economic principles to a focus on culture and morality, and into the divisiveness, polarization and incivility that accompanied this transition.”
—Gary Hart, The New York Times Book Review
“America’s founders set a high standard for political writing, and most contemporary efforts fall woefully short. How nice, then, to have a politician who can write as well as U.S. Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois. … The Audacity of Hope … is fascinating in its revelation of Obama as someone who considers and questions, rather than asserts and declares. In nine focused chapters, Obama shows himself an agile thinker. This is an idea book, not a public-policy primer.”
—Elizabeth Taylor, Philadelphia Daily News
“Not only is Obama a good writer, his mind is top-shelf, his heart tender.”
—Les Payne, Newsday
“A thoughtful, careful analysis of what needs to be done to preserve our freedoms in a time of terror.”
—Newton N. Minow, Chicago Tribune