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The Audacity Of Hope - Thoughts On Reclaiming The American Dream Paperback – 2006

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 276 pages
  • Publisher: Three Rivers Press; Trade Paperback Edition edition (2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307237702
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307237705
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.2 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,029 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #122,457 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

This book gives excellent insight into Barack Obama's political world.
E. Johnson
I regularly think the only person who can really do a book justice is the person who wrote it and knows just what they want each sentence to sound like.
KKS <3
It is increasingly likely that Senator Obama will be the next president of the United States.
George W. Colombo

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2,148 of 2,544 people found the following review helpful By ProperGander News (Dr. Emil Shuffhausen) on October 17, 2006
Format: Hardcover
All too often here on Amazon, we review only those books and authors with which we totally agree...or totally disagree...and give little regard to the quality of the actual contents of the book. And then, our fellow Amazon viewers come along and rate our reviews strictly on the basis of their own partisan biases. This is not very helpful.

I set out to read and review Senator Barack Obama's latest book, not because I agree with everything he has to say, but because in some ways, I had respected him because he seemed to be a thoughtful and eloquent American with a compelling story. I give the book 4 stars for style and significance in our culture, but much less for substance.

The Senator has a generally warm and inviting style of communicating that portrays himself as an agent of change in American politics. In terms of writing style, THE AUDACITY OF HOPE is a good, though sometimes "preachy" read; at times, it seems a bit too earnest or striving for political correctness. Obama deserves credit for being able to discuss his values and faith in a manner that is more comfortable than many of his political contemporaries. And, in the book, he does a reasonable job of articulating why and how his faith and values cause him to think and act in the way that he does.

At times, the reader may wonder if he is too ambitious - or even naive. One can respect his energy and commitment to change, even as one firmly disagrees with his policies and plans.

And, I certainly do take issue with some of the Senator's actual policies and worldview that he discusses. His health care plans may sound noble, but they would likely lead to significantly decreased quality and choice for most Americans and soaring taxes and budget deficits...big government at its worst.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Hugo on February 14, 2007
Format: Hardcover
In the prologue to THE AUDACITY OF HOPE, Barack Obama sets out his primary goal for this book: "how we might being the process of changing our politics and our civil life." What he means is that political discourse has become like a game, more interested in scoring points off the other side than in working together to sincerely tackle pressing problems. He means that we need "a new kind of politics" that tries to bring the country together, to recreate the shared assumptions that bind us all together as one people.

This is an important idea, and one that Obama makes the case for eloquently. Indeed it is one that has rocketed Barack Obama from an obscure seat in the Illinois state senate into a legitimate candidate for President of the United States. But it is an idea, in the end, for a speech or for an essay--not a book.

THE AUDACITY OF HOPE is very well written, and its readers cannot help but get the sense that Obama is an honest, thoughtful, and highly impressive person. He lays out his thoughts on politics, family, race, faith, opportunity, and "the world beyond our borders." As campaign literature, it is entirely successful. Yet also a word of caution for fans of his previous book: be wary of setting your expectations too high. DREAMS FROM MY FATHER is a genuine achievement, a lasting contribution to American letters. Don't expect that here. There are a fair amount of revealing anecdotes and brilliant turns of phrase in AUDACITY. But for the most part, the book is too unfocused to have the expressive power of DREAMS. Simultaneously, it ranges too broadly to really include a deep or complete treatment of specific issues (Obama leaves no political stone unturned).
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30 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Bex on March 8, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I usually get through a book in a day or two; this book took over a month. I find Senator Obama's style of talking appealing; but he writes exactly as he talks - - - parenthetically. He has a soaring vision of emotional patriotism, freedom, and equality; but when it comes to practical solutions, not so much.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Rebecca M on July 5, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This book demonstrates eloquence, understanding, and an intense passion for this country and what it should stand for. Obama writes beautifully, with focus, but with the intensity of someone who is anticipating the arguments before they've been made. And that isn't such a bad thing, particularly for someone who is running for President. He does, however, need a better editor. Obama relies too heavily on anecdotes and sometimes gets a tad formulaic in his presentation of each chapter. The points are made, but then at times, run into the ground by an overabundance of examples.

That aside, the book is very well-structured. He wisely ends with "Family" to leave the reader with the best impression of a man who isn't afraid to extol his wife's domestic and professional abilities, but without the sense of hero worship. He's not afraid to express his love in real terms or to admit the struggles in their marriage. It is in this final chapter than the anecdotes ring most true.

However, for those that believe Obama is too "green" to be President, I'd hold off until you read this book. He has a better understanding of history, law, politics and social justice than most people on Capitol Hill. He's managed to move forward (up?) in his career, but has always had one foot firmly planted in the neighborhoods of his constituents.

It is a shame that those who do not support Obama are unlikely to read this book, as it is a revealing portrait...not set on changing political views, but opening up an honest dialogue...a dialogue very much absent from current American politics.
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