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The Substance of Hope: Barack Obama and the Paradox of Progress Hardcover – Bargain Price, May 25, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
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Clear, concise writing, a conversational tone, and cogent arguments make this a compelling read, particularly for those with an interest in Obama's presidential campaign and election, but also for students of politics, history, and the Civil Rights Movement." --Library Journal
"Cobb is especially good on the contrast between Obama and Jesse Jackson, whose celebrated work had opened many doors for Obama, but who now failed to inspire most young African-Americans. Obama embodies the face--multiracial and cosmopolitan--of the next generation, and his 'ultimate significance may be less as a president than as a harbinger of what comes after his presidency.' A rich, provocative meditation on the importance of Obama's election." --Kirkus Reviews
"William Jelani Cobb has written a smart and observant reminder of the candidacy and election of President Barack Obama....This little book is packed with common sense observations that are given weight and meaning through Professor Cobb's academic and historical insight."--Melissa Harris-Lacewell, associate professor of politics and African-American studies at Princeton University
"Barack Obama's presidential campaign shone an incisive light on the nation's attitudes about race and on the roots of black political empowerment. William Jelani Cobb provides a wealth of historical background and an eloquent appraisal of the present, as he narrates how a grassroots movement and a cadre of young people (the Joshua generation) successfully fought the established political machine for the hearts and ballots of the black community. An insightful and thought-provoking book." --Benjamin Todd Jealous, President and CEO of the NAACP
"William Jelani Cobb's The Substance of Hope is a deft analysis of many vectors brought to bear on the unexpected rise of Barack Obama. With a specific eye towards the overlap between race and age, Cobb deconstructs the politics of the civil rights generation in the Obama age with nuance and honesty. A provocative book, from a provocative mind."--Ta-Nehisi Coates, author of The Beautiful Struggle
Top Customer Reviews
I highly recommend this book for several reasons.
- Cobb's is a great storyteller (even though this is non-fiction)
- It contextualizes many of the old and current debates raging about the first Black president in US History
- It challenges the reader to reexamine her/his position on many contemporary issues and come face to face with the realities of the 21st Century
In short, Substance of Hope is a key piece to approaching puzzling election of the 44th president of the United States of America.
Cobb deftly tackles the notion that the election of Barack Obama as the first African-American President signifies the end of racism and that we now live in a post-racial society. "He is a president, not an antidote." (p.174). Indeed, it is a paradox of progress.