Barack Obama was elected President of the United States on November 4, 2008. He is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Dreams from My Father and The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream.
Folks, I've met Obama once, heard him speak in person twice, and am very much and admirer of his, but this book (the first half, at least) just doesn't cut it.
The first half of this book, apparently written by campaign satffers, attempts to spell out what "Barackism" has to offer. In other words, it's his program statement through the words of his staffers. My friends, these ideas are good, but reading this part is as exciting as watching paint dry. Dull, dull, dull. Every other sentence begins, "In an Obama administration, this or that will happen." Bring out the sominex, people.
Part 2 is the good stuff. This contains the best of his actual recent speeches from Iowa (Jan. 4, 2008) up to a speech he made this summer in Michigan about the economy (this apparently went to press before the Denver speech of Aug 28, 2008). Even on paper, this is exciting and inspiring. Highlights include the New Hampshire speech of Jan 8, 2008 (best known as the "Yes We Can" speech), the Father's day speech (the one that inadvertantly killed off Jesse Jackson's career after the Rev. was caught making profane and jealous remarks on camera about this message), and his race speech in Philadelphia which articulates what a lot of us post-movement Blacks feel about the bitter ranting and pessimism that passes for Black nationalism.
So for reading the "Best of Barack" in his own words, it's pretty good. The rest? Let the buyer beware. Readers are better off with the various compilations of the "Best of Barack" in speeches and writings.
This calm, straightforward book reminds me why I have a "Women for Obama" bumper sticker on my truck. It's short on rhetoric, long on clear-headed, specific ideas on how to fix America's problems. In back are seven key speeches from this long presidential campaign, speeches so beautifully written they read like poetry. Any voter wanting to know more about who Barack Obama is and what he stands for should read this book.
In essence, it's a glimpse into what Obama will do as president, why these actions are smart, and how he'll get the plan done. It's like a presidential crystal ball, letting readers know what they're voting for -- or against.
Change We Can Believe In was put together by Obama for America, with a foreword by the candidate. Net proceeds from book sales will be donated to charity.
The speeches soar. The "race" speech Obama gave in Philadelphia is striking in its honesty: it is from a leader, not a politician. From the New Hampshire Primary Night speech: "And so tomorrow, as we take this campaign south and west, as we learn that the struggles of the textile worker in Spartanburg are not so different than the plight of the dishwasher in Las Vegas; that the hopes of the little girl who goes to a crumbling school in Dillon are the same as the dreams of the boy who learns on the streets of L.A.; we will remember that there is something happening in America: that we are not as divided as our politics suggests; that we are one people; we are one nation; and together, we will begin the next great chapter in America's story with three words that will ring from coast to coast; from sea to shining sea. Yes. We. Can.Read more ›
This book presents a compelling set of policy proposals on every major issue confronting our nation. It's not just an overly managed, overly sanitized campaign tome. It asks hard questions and provides clear, practical answers. In a time when increasing income inequality and polarization between the parties challenge the ability of ordinary citizens to make democracy work, this book lays out a detailed vision for change--and one that actually seems possible. For example, Obama has a clear, sensible plan for removing the influence of lobbyists in Washington, that involves things like creating an independent agency to investigate congressional ethics, closing the revolving door on lobbyists, and making information about what goes on in government more accessible to ordinary folks. These are practical ways to make government more open to citizens. I found it very easy to read, since Obama writes about policy change in a straightforward way that makes it easy to understand what the problem is, what the challenges to making change are, and how we can negotiate contradictions and conflict to find solutions.
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This book is written by others presenting President Obama's positions on critical problems facing the American people. It shows that his adgenda is too large and going forward with 20:20 forsight you can predict what is going to happen....
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Barack Obama's previous books, especially Audacity, speak eloquently about his vision of politics. This new books speaks with equal clarity and wisdom at greater length about his vision of government. The first two-thirds of the book present "The Plan" for reviving our broken economy, exploiting new technology, confronting our enemies abroad, and fixing a government that helps the few and ignores the many. The final third contains some of his best speeches. The book provides readable details about what President Obama's priorities would be. It successfully blends large themes--like reducing government waste and encouraging American entrepreneurship--with corresponding specifics--like requiring disclosure of legislative earmarks and exempting start-up companies from capital gains taxes. The book is as compelling as it is important.