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on October 28, 2013
I have devoured Hertzberg's articles on Obama in The New Yorker, and am thrilled whenever one appears. He's a superb writer, and I think his instincts are keen and wonderfully in harmony with my thinking. I had not quite understood, however, that this book is a reprise of all those writings....so I was a little bit disappointed.....but still enjoyed rereading, and this is a good book to keep.
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on February 22, 2010
Around 90% of this book can be read for free online (just search in the New Yorker website). The essays were either past blogs by Hertzberg or his contribution to the Comments section of the magazine, which I think he corners at least once every month. (Hertzberg is a New Yorker columnist, essentially). Most of them are also available as free audio podcasts, read professionally and nicely. (See the New Yorker Podcasts Channel in iTunes). Lastly, if you already subscribe to the New Yorker (as I do), ideally, you shouldn't buy this book any more.

But I recommend that you still procure one. Why?
1) The introductory essay is one of the most solid, concise, well-knit introduction that Ive seen in a collection of essays or stories in general. How Hendrik Hertzberg dispensed "I value political liberty and political rights (freedom of thought, speech)... highly than economic liberty, and econonomic rights (property rights...)... so Im a Liberal." is brilliant. It's a perfect demo how to put away the preliminaries before diving into specifics. It's also a way to draw the line between that proverbial conservative-liberal divide in a few words.

2) The chronological presentation of the essays substitutes for a very good chronicle, from the groundwork to the peak, of a historical milestone. Without waiting weekly, the essays leading to the Obama presidency is presented in succession. The first essay was about the Democratic Convention for Kerry's campaign, where Obama delivered the convention speech, and then the last two: a celebratory essay on Obama's win and a very solid New Yorker editorial entitled "The Choice." That essay is only the second time the magazine endorsed a candidate explicitly.

3) It is cited in another review that the absence of New Yorker's typeface and column layout makes "Hertzberg's fury naked to the eye." At times, imposing, but most of the time, Hertzberg demonstrates how surgeon-like argumentative essays should be chucked out.

The essays' structure, finesse humor, the literary cadence, the manner of exposition of facts, conciseness, are all brilliant. These pieces should be studied in universities and writing workshops.
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on November 22, 2009
Hendrik Hertzberg writes the way a Tiger Woods drives a golf ball, Roger Federer srikes a forehand and Dave Grohl plays the drums. Even if some readers may disagree with Hertzberg's unabashed support for Barack Obama, they will enjoy his elegant phrases and unexpected metaphors that bring his ideas and analysis into stark relief. Obamanos has the added element of a Cinderella story, from his early flagging of Obama's political genius through his victory in 2008. Hertzberg is a good guide to this unfolding drama as it happens.

I only wish more of the selected essays addressed Hertzberg's passion for political reforms like proportional representation, instant runoff voting and a national popular vote for president. Perhaps those collected writings will need to wait until, like Obama, those reforms have their shining moment of national victories that put them in the nation's media spotlight -- certainly Hertzberg will have a great archive to draw on, as he does in Obamanos about the political rise of Barack Obama.
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on January 3, 2010
Hendrik Hertzberg is one of the reasons why I subscribe to The New Yorker magazine so I anticipated a terrific read when I purchased "¡Obámanos!". I got it. Hertzberg knows how to write a perfect essay and here he strings together four years of them, following political events from just before the 2004 election to Obama's presidential ascendancy in 2008.

As an essay collection, "¡Obámanos!" actually improves as it goes along. The earlier chapters are a bit harder to get through because it's like revisiting really old news. But when the author gets into the primary season and delivers an hysterical chapter called "Brouhaha", (on Hillary's laughing capacity) things really take off. Hertzberg is a liberal, of course, and says so up front...just in case you're wondering! Yet his ability to skewer the other side, making light of John McCain, Sarah Palin, et al. is a "smile per paragraph". His short offering on "Palinopsia" presents a humorous, surprising addition.

In the end, Hertzberg says how proud he feels when he goes to vote, letting his son pull the levers and how he let the tears roll on Election Night, 2008. I felt the same way. It's a poignant ending to a wonderful book and I highly recommend "¡Obámanos!".
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on August 20, 2014
Excellent language. Tidbits of history, here & there. Writer on the liberal side who is trying his best to remain balanced.
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on February 13, 2010
If you have enjoyed the author's New Yorker columns, you will love this book. It's a collection of writings from Obama's campaign, and it almost gave me hope again. There was more depth and background than I expected. I am glad to own it because I know I will reread it; and I look forward to the author's next book.
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on June 6, 2011
While reading this book I remebered the almost electric and at times volatile poltical atmosphere which was churning at the time of the last presidential campaign. This was a BLAST to read.
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on March 22, 2014
I got this as a gift. I did skim it but if the subject matter isn't enough to gag you, the poor writing is. I found from what I read as a misguided writer, looking for truth, passing that truth by entirely and then falling back on his twisted, demented ideology to explain it away.
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on January 28, 2011
Hendrick Hertzberg is a gifted writer. But he falls short in allowing his unabashed liberalism to go too far. Those who hold different views are demonized, those whom he supports are lionized. If you are a fan of the President, this book reads like the newsletter, written by a groupie, about the object of her adoration. He comes across like a school girl who is infatuated.

What is amazing about this book is that it was penned at the pinnacle of Obama's popularity. Many tomes are written which presume a certain outcome, because of how things look in one fleeting moment, only to embarass the author when the actual events play out.

President Obama has been the most divisive president in out nations' history. Never before have such sweeping legislative bills been passed and signed into law with ZERO input or support from the other party. Never before have people who opposed these chnages been demonized as the enemy, or other, similar epithets which makes the president appear peevish and weak.

The new era being ushered in by Obama is one where compromise is a dirty word, where presidential decorum is optional, and the chief executive can act like a petulant child when the country does not support his agenda. Of course, none of this is predicted in Hertzberg's book.

But if you want to read a mushy love story, where Obama is the hero, and the country is the villain, this is your book.
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