Book Review | The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream by Barack Obama

Whew! It’s difficult to find a lot of time to read lately, but I have picked up a copy of Barack Obama’s The Audacity of Hope. For anyone who may not be aware, Illinois Senator Barack Obama is currently vying for a chance to become the Democratic Candidate for the 2008 Presidential Election. I decided to read the book after Senator Obama won a Grammy this year for reading the book on tape. The most interesting detail about this book is the fact that Obama seems surprisingly aware of the negative perceptions that people do and will express about him and his political career. In the same way that he is able to critique himself, he is also able to see the world around him quite clearly, in a way that many people who have traveled the world and who come from a unique background are able to do.

So…who should read this book? Anyone who is not sure who they want to vote for should definitely read this book- not so that they will end up supporting Obama, but so that they may get a better sense of just how wide of a scope of issues there are out there to read and think about, from the tense, distrustful relationships between politicians, to raising a family, the America dream, foreign relations, and gay rights. Whether you agree with the positions set forth in the book or not, they are certainly worth discussing.

Who will not enjoy this book? Anyone who believes that there is too much focus on “the working man” and the “underprivileged” will find it difficult to tolerate the extremely liberal positions and the focus on unity and giving someone a “hand up.” Also, after reading this book it will be difficult for one to make the argument that there is no substance in Obama’s hope message when, in fact, the whole book covers the topic in substantial detail.

I suggest picking up a copy or borrowing one from someone and reading a chapter or two, or even reading the prologue right there in the bookstore. It is not necessary to read the entire book in order to get a sense of the main thesis of the book.