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Why we are excited: Obama is a talented, charismatic politician and living proof that whites have welcomed blacks into the mainstream. Why he can't win: He's still mired in an ideology of racial victimhood and separatism that Steele (White Guilt), a Hoover Institution fellow and, like Obama, the son of a black father and white mother, deplores in this stimulating, conservative critique. Obama's conflict over his mixed parentage and abandonment by his father, the author argues, engenders a need to prove his racial authenticity by accommodating a black identity politics that, while it energizes his African-American base, risks alienating white voters. Worse, as president Obama might reflexively support affirmative action and government initiatives to help African-Americans, instead of emphasizing the self-reliance, individual responsibility and avid assimilation that Steele contends are the only remedies for the black community's problems. The author's tendency to psychologize Obama's policy agenda sometimes overreaches. Still, the book is full of fresh insights into the cultural politics of race; Steele's analysis of Louis Armstrong and Oprah Winfrey as iconic Negroes granting moral absolution to whites, for example, is a tour de force. (Jan. 8)
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"Full of fresh insights into the cultural politics of race" ---Publishers Weekly --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.See all Editorial Reviews
Excellent account into Obama's and the black American psyche. Perhaps Mr. Steele should change the secod part of the subtitle, "... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Daniel Suarez
I debated with myself about whether to give this book 3 or 4 stars. So, first, let me start with the reasons I had for giving it three, and then reasons why I gave it four instead. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Kevin Currie-Knight
In this fascinating book, African-American columnist and thinker Shelby Steele looks at presidential candidate Barack Obama. Analyzing Obama’s family life and life experiences, Dr. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Kurt A. Johnson
I bought and read this book when it came out, and hoped Steele had it right. Now that Obama has won twice, it's obvious Steele had him pegged completely wrong. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Bill Bradshaw
People need to stop listening to these "experts" and believing things they see and watch on the media. Read morePublished on February 4, 2013 by BLWS
Sadly, this book's general premise -- not its specific argument -- is more relevant in 2011 than it was during the campaign of '08. Read morePublished on August 7, 2011 by Large Pro
So how'd that "He Can't Win" prediction go for ya, Steele? LOL
President Obama's approval is currently between 15 and 25 points higher than Reagan's was at this point in... Read more
Shelby Steele is a talented writer so it is kind of sad that he now has this lifetime ALBATROSS of a book and title hanging around his neck. Read morePublished on March 31, 2010 by Kevin Orth
It's easy to mock Shelby Steele for the title of his 2008 book "A Bound Man: Why We Are Excited about Obama and Why He Can't Win" (Free Press; hardcover; ISBN 1-4165-5917-5). Read morePublished on March 12, 2009 by Michael J. Mazza