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Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion Paperback – May 15, 2012


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: AK Press (May 15, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849351104
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849351102
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #249,444 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review


"The book is not organized by topic; it’s a random, if chronological, ride through a catalog of catastrophes. But it’s united by the theme of horrendously bad government in the age of Obama. It ignores the mythology and treats Obama based on his actual performance." — David Swanson, FireDogLake

About the Author

Jeffrey St.Clair: co-editor of Counterpunch,author of Born Under a Bad Sky and Been Brown So Long it Looked Green to Me and co-editor of Red State Rebels: Tales of Grassroots Resistance in the Heartland, Whiteout:The CIA,Drugs,and the Press and Dime's Worth of Difference: Beyond the Lesser of Two Evils.
Joshua Frank: progressive journalist, author of Left Out!: How Liberals Helped Reelect George w.Bush
, and co-editor of Red State Rebels: Tales of Grassroots Resistance in the Heartland.
Kevin Alexander Gray is a civil rights organizer in South Carolina. He is also a contributing editor to Black News, was a former president of the South Carolina ACLU, and was Jesse Jackson’s South Carolina campaign manager in 1988. He s author of Waiting for Lightning to Strike.
Ralph Nader: Author of Unsafe at Any Speed, lecturer, attorney, and five-time campaigner for president of the US.
Kathy Kelly is an author, pacifist,and three time Nobel Peace Prize nominee. She s author of Other Lands Have Dreams: From Baghdad to Pekin Prison.

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Customer Reviews

It covers a wide spectrum of topics.
Richard Bailey
Don't want to read something by a person who thinks Obamacare is good.
DakotaBoy
Everything that a progressive leftist could want.
Jobasaa

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

73 of 77 people found the following review helpful By wildflowerboy on May 15, 2012
Format: Paperback
From the right-wing military coup in Honduras to the U.S. bombing of Libya, the torture of Chelsea Manning to extraordinary renditions, the Obama administration has proven to be no different than the Bush administration. Indeed, despite Obama's campaign rhetoric about Hope and Change, it is business as usual in the Oval Office, the Pentagon, and Wall Street. If you're still clinging to the foolish belief that the neoliberal, war-mongering Democratic Party is in any way better than the neoliberal, war-mongering Republican Party, I urge you to read this book immediately. Written by some of the best political thinkers on the radical left, this important anthology proves yet again that the Democrats and Republicans represent two sides of the same coin. It is the classic law enforcement strategy of playing good cop/bad cop. As such, instead of wasting our resources on the Democratic Party, I believe that we should invest our time, energy, and money instead on building grassroots, nonhierarchical, participatory movements from below. So, after you read this incredible book, I encourage you to join the anti-war movement or the Occupy Wall Street movement, because as Emma Goldman once said, "If voting changed anything, they'd make it illegal."
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132 of 147 people found the following review helpful By J. Alan Bock on May 8, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book consists of 55 essays from the best writers of the American Left (some writers made more than one contribution and many essays contain more than one subject so that there are considerably more than 55 topics covered.) The result is a scathing indictment of the Obama presidency and its betrayal of liberal principles.

There are no chapter headings in this book and its essays are not arranged in any particular order (that I could see) so that you can pretty much pick and choose where you want to begin. It's not a book that needs to be read from beginning to end.

In what is probably the most "psychological" essay in the book (Obama the Deregulationist) Andrew Levine tells us the reason for the betrayal of liberal principles: Obama is not a liberal and never has been; he is a libertarian. (Others have noted this, e.g. Paul Krugman -"More and more it's becoming clear that progressives who had their hearts set on Obama were engaged in a huge act of self-delusion. Once you got past the soaring rhetoric you noticed, if you actually paid attention to what he said, that he largely accepted the conservative storyline, a view of the world, including a mythological history, that bears little resemblance to the facts.) Realizing that Obama is a libertarian explains a great deal, why, for instance, in the debate over "Obamacare", the "public option" was dispensable window dressing, while the "private option" was never in question. It explains Obama's readiness to let Wall Street call the shots, and his attack on business regulations.
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46 of 53 people found the following review helpful By Michael Donnelly on August 6, 2012
Format: Paperback
I, like so many, bought the rhetoric and bought the novelty of Obama 2008 --- tepidly, not enthusiastically...but nonetheless, naively. Others did not buy in. Hopeless is a compilation of dire warnings and assessments of results from such skeptically correct folks and is a must read for all who now know they were snookered AND for those who still haven't a clue and cling to what Bill Clinton called the Obama "fairy tale."

Here's a succinct batch of essays by a cast of great writers from the non-partisan left that show how we came to have a war-mongering, Wall Street-toadying, mixed-race, flim-flam man in the White House carrying out the Imperial agenda - an ideology carried out uninterrupted, if not enhanced, by someone we knew very little about back in 2008, yet "hoped" would be so much different.

Hopeless takes on pretty much every depredation that has occurred under the Obama regime - they were either predicted or are after-the-Inauguration-fact outed and analyzed...from turning over the Treasury to the crooks at Goldman Sachs; to a Foreign Policy of wars, coups, occupations, drone attacks...; to failure to carry out liberal-capturing hollow promises on torture, closing Gitmo, Universal Health Care and reining in the banksters; to increased pandering to the fossil fuel, nuclear and every Earth-raping resource-extraction industries; to the incarceration and torture of hero Bradley Manning...it's all here and more.

This compilation shows just how shamelessly the plutocrats will manipulate the Liberal Democrats - just as equal-opportunity shamelessly and just as successfully as they hoodwink the Tea Partiers. Hopeless should be required reading in Political Science classes nationwide...not to mention, every 2012 Democratic Party coffee klatch.
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85 of 104 people found the following review helpful By David Swanson on May 15, 2012
Format: Paperback
You'd never know it from watching television, but there are many thousands of people in the United States who take peace, justice, environmental protection, and government of the people so seriously that they don't censor themselves whenever the president is a Democrat.

While many others are still debating whether it would be appropriate to criticize or protest President Obama after a mere three and a half years of disaster, the people I have in mind have been openly and honestly resisting the latest Wall Street war monger since before he was elected.

Jeffrey St. Clair and Joshua Frank have collected 56 essays from prior to, from early on in, and from quite recently during the Obama presidency. The collection, just published as Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion, has a consistent approach to its topic. The authors, including Kevin Alexander Gray, Jeremy Scahill, Chris Floyd, Sibel Edmonds, Franklin Spinney, Kathy Kelly, Marjorie Cohn, Chase Madar, Michael Hudson, Medea Benjamin, Charles Davis, Ray McGovern, Dave Lindorff, Bill Quigley, Tariq Ali, Andy Worthington, Linn Washington, Jr., and many more, don't agree on everything. A few try to urge serious progressive plans on Obama that they would never have proposed that Bush champion, not even rhetorically, not even for laughs. The book is not organized by topic; it's a random, if chronological, ride through a catalog of catastrophes. But it's united by the theme of horrendously bad government in the age of Obama. It ignores the mythology and treats Obama based on his actual performance.
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