The Audacity of Hope
US Senator Barrack Obama seems to embody “hope” itself for millions of
Americans. His latest book, “The Audacity of Hope” (ISBN 0-307-23769-9 (hard
cover), Crown Publishers, 2006) has as its sub-title “Thoughts of Reclaiming
the American Dream” and with the prevailing concept that this man could one
day become the President of the United States, this book might perhaps show
how his thoughts would influence the nation.
Within the first few pages, the reader is taken up with
the fluidity of the author’s writing. Even though I am neither American, nor
follow American politics other than a cursory overview, from the outset,
Barrack Obama involves the reader and gently explains the insurmountability
of some of the political problems besetting the US divisionist bipartisan
Barrack Obama writes of the human side of his job as a
senator and gives wonderful insights into life in the political arena, right
down to President George W Bush having an aide dispensing hand sanitizer
during handshaking photo opportunity sessions!
He shares with the reader his insight into today’s
political administration. “Most people who serve in Washington have been
trained either as lawyers or political operatives - professions that tend to
place a premium on winning arguments rather than solving problems.”
Of course, all the way through the book, Barrack Obama
has taken the high moral ground for himself, though does this without
needlessly attacking those politicians of the other persuasion. He presents
himself as empathetic, rather than representing the black Afro-American
It is a very current book, with frequent references to
the Bush administration led US involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan, or the
debate and fervor regarding the right to turn off the life support for Terry
As expected, the book does deal with the minutiae of
American politics, and the Senate in particular. As I pointed out earlier, I
have had no real interest in this, but author Obama’s use of the English
language is such that he has the ability to suck you along and provokes your
interest with his very human pen sketches.
Other topics, which each get a chapter in this book,
include Values, the Constitution, Opportunity, Faith, Race, the World Beyond
Our Borders, and the Family.
He has a very good background in American history and
uses this to explain current directions within American politics, and even
the spread of Christianity (in all its various forms) throughout America. He
also describes his own faith and his attempts to come to terms with what he
believes is the correct path and divergent opinions, all quoting from the
I would have had to take author Obama to task where he
describes Bill Clinton as “the former leader of the free world”. He was the
former leader of one of the countries that describes itself as “free”. Free
non-Americans did not vote him as their leader.
At B. 995 this is not a cheap read; however, I put it down, feeling that
I had just read his campaign dossiers for the forthcoming presidential
election, and felt that perhaps he should have been paying me, rather than
me paying him.