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The Audacity of Hope (excerpt) Audible – Abridged

4 out of 5 stars 1,140 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audible Audio Edition
  • Listening Length: 4 minutes
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Abridged
  • Publisher: Random House Audio
  • Audible.com Release Date: January 16, 2009
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007XTEUU2

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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Format: Hardcover
Well written, but it feels like there is nothing new presented about politics. If you are from the left side of the spectrum, you will find yourself nodding in agreement with Senator Obama's views, and if you hail from the right side, you will likely be shaking your head throughout most of the book.

There is a lot of apparent chastisement of political parties in general, but the author specifically cites examples from the republican party. Though I hail from the left, I got frustrated that he would present an argument that would seem like common sense, talk about how we need to centralize our political system, and then rip the republican side apart... doing just the opposite of what he says we need to stop doing!

By the end of the book, it felt more like a political stunt to discredit republicans and get ready for the White House than a book about changing the country. Ironically, I felt more sympathy towards republicans than I felt at the beginning of the book. A nice subtitle to the book would have been "The Audacity of Hope: Why the Republican Party Is Supremely Evil and Powerhungry".

A little less ripping on the republicans and following his own advice to politicians would have netted 4 or 5 stars.
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Format: Hardcover
As the acknowledged rising star of the Democratic Party, Barack Obama has done an admirable job in maintaining the precarious balance between being a media lightning rod and a largely unproven senator out to establish his record. While it may speak to the current vacuity in the party's leadership, Hillary Clinton aside, Obama certainly cannot be underestimated for the political acumen he has displayed during key high-attention moments like his keynote speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention. He wrote an insightful personal memoir over a decade ago before entering politics, "Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance", which I read a couple of years back and thought was quite lucidly written if rather guarded in exploring his racial dichotomy.

What came across in his first book was a unique voice, and even though he sticks primarily to politics this time out, his voice remains consistent, at least on the written page, and that's what makes this such a magnetic read. He has a personable way of tackling topics as diverse as foreign policy, religious faith and the U.S. Constitution without the taint of pandering that media-hungry pundits and other politicians seem to enjoy. There is no denying that Obama is an instinctive consensus builder and that quality may have alienated those who label him a centrist. However, we understand the genesis of this commitment through his journey to reconcile his own racial identity. The irony is that in this book, the senator presents a series of policy statements that hold a clarity in purpose lacking among his Democratic brethren while concurrently replicating the successful Republican approach of linking political beliefs to values.
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Format: Hardcover
I wasn't expecting a whole lot from The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama. I thought it would be a lengthy stump speech, worth knowing but no revelations. What I found, however was a thoughtful plan, mapping out a direction for restoring common sense into the political process. Obama is a well-spoken, well-written, humble man who really knows how to articulate a message. He uses personal anecdote, history, Constitutional interpretation, and a healthy respect for the expertise of others in building a cohesive platform for success. Were it delivered consistently as well as he delivered his prose in this books, it would be the basis for repairing many of the rifts in the political landscape torn apart by extremism.

What really impressed me about his ideas was the respect he showed to the opposition. The book lacked the vitriol common to today's political discussion, more rightly called bucks in rut. He recognizes that most people don't live, eat, breath, and bleed politics. Most people have families and jobs and lives to live. Most people have dozens of important issues that are important to them and aren't nearly as extremist in their views as our dichotomous news media would have us believe. People want the opportunity for comfort, education, success, security, and happiness. Obama knows this and writes eloquently about it - it's not us vs. them, but it's us trying to succeed together.

His positions are clear - protect American jobs, regulate for safety with a mind toward capitalistic growth, health care for all, and a strong education system. He describes the process by which Republicans framed the debate, usurping issues and positions, claiming them as their own.
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