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Change We Can Believe In: Barack Obama's Plan to Renew America's Promise Hardcover – 2008

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 291 pages
  • Publisher: Canongate Books; First Edition edition (2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847674321
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847674326
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 1.2 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (90 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,548,451 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

78 of 90 people found the following review helpful By Andre M. on October 26, 2008
Format: Paperback
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.
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128 of 171 people found the following review helpful By Julie Neal VINE VOICE on September 9, 2008
Format: Paperback
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.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Todd G. Wylie on October 1, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
read this book now... in the Fall of 2014.... you'll find the promises from a couple of years back hilarious. Politicians are such tools and Mr. Obama is no exception.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Herbert L Calhoun on October 5, 2010
Format: Paperback
A month before the 2010 mid-term elections is as good a time as any to see how our new president is doing. This book provides and unmistakable metric for evaluating the president's performance, so far during the first half of his term. It also puts clearly on the record BHO's rhetorical positions and platform. And thus, it serves as the perfect metric for evaluating BHO's success, so far. And while it would be unfair and premature to prejudge him on everything he has promised, just half way through his first term, it is not unfair to judge him on those aspects of his promises that he has kept and that have already been implemented as Obama successes. That in my view is the primary utility of this book.

The good news is that, President Obama (against severe opposition from Republicans and from corporate lobbyists), has managed to keep many of the campaign promises listed in his platform on pages 23-24, to: reform health care, curb Wall Street excesses, create a federally-funded stimulus program to help bring the nation out of the recession, and to remove American troops from the needless Iraq war. He has also pledged to eliminate the Bush/Cheney tax cuts for the rich, while not raising taxes on the middle- and lower-classes.

The bad news is that in each of these instances of his success, BHO has strove for and achieved only the absolute minimum. This lack of courage to get into the battle and defend progressive ideals, has left a bad taste in the mouth of his progressive base. By repeatedly capitulating pre-emptively to Republican pressure, demagoguery, and negotiating tactics - BHO has unnecessarily given away everything dear in the "progressive store;" and has done so often without even putting up a fight.
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