Book Review: Audacity of Hope by Barak Obama

I’ve learned over the last several years that I’m more of an Independent than a Republican. I have almost always voted Republican based on moral issues, but in recent years I’ve watched the division of the American people become a drastic chasm with no apparent bridge in site. What has really frustrated me is that it seems like the issues really haven’t changed, but the voices which have expressed the “views of the people” have become more vitriolic and divisive.


Politicians have lost the vision of a United America. It’s all about winning for them. It’s almost become too much of a game where winner takes all and there is no crossing the isle if you want to win the game. Most of our politicians are on the extremes while most of America is in the center. The country is in serious need of a centrist to lead the country to refocus Washington on the true desires of the common people. It’s not about which party wins… it’s about helping America win.

With that in mind, I decided to read Barak Obama’s Audacity of Hope because he has appeared to be more of a centrist than many of the Democratic candidates in recent history.

My basic feeling about Obama hasn’t changed drastically after reading his book.  I do feel that this man is sincere about his service to and dedication to the country.  Although there are many issues he spoke about where I disagreed with his solutions, I’m confident that he will cross the isle when needed.

One of the issues I did have with the book is Obama didn’t hesitate to take stabs at the Republicans.  He spoke of his respect for the other side of the isle, but often highly criticized the right as well and not just the issues.  Even though I understand he’s very much a Democrat, I would like to see a candidate, for once, just stick to the issues.

The most enlightening part of the book was his discussion of the tactics of politics.  Once again, it’s not about the issues, it’s about winning.  It’s about political marketing.  Obama credits the recent Republican presidential wins to marketing.  He says that the Republicans have done a better job of marketing and market researching, etc.  And in a way, he has called out the Democrats to get better at it.

And if that doesn’t sicken you to politics, then I’m not sure what will.  It’s a revelation that todays politics is not about the people or the issues.  It’s about marketing.  It’s not about who is truly fighting for the people and what the people really want.  It’s about power.

I guess I should curb the rant.  Can you tell I’m frustrated with politics these days?

Book Grade: B

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2 Responses

  1. Dave W. says:

    I also read the book (review to come in the next couple of days). I felt that all the jabs he took at Republicans were well-deserved. And he also jabbed at Democrats; the book pulls the lid off the whole trash can, not just the right half.

    The reason I loved the book was that he acknowledged all the things that politicians won’t—the logrolling, the corporate jets, politics for the sake of the next election, and spending hours begging for money.

    Don’t shoot the messenger; the fact that he was willing to acknowledge it says a lot. It says that, if we elect him, we won’t get stuck with an administration putting lipstick on a sow, denying the war in Iraq is going badly after 3,000 U.S. military personnel have died and Iraq is on the verge of civil war. His candor about the corruption and mendaciousness of politics will lend credibility to the now in-credible intelligence community. If he calls a spade a spade, the executive will win back a LOT of the credibility that Bush has drained from it. He will be believed at home and abroad, and the U.S. can regain some of the moral authority it has tossed away under the current administration.

    Obama is reflective and forthright, two qualities that we have dearly missed for the last six years. But the greatest thing about the book is that he remains optimistic in the face of all the problems we have. He believes in America and its ability to overcome challenges and find solutions (sometimes difficult ones) to continue on in prosperity. Right man, right job, right time, right now.

  2. Zac says:

    I’m really glad to see Obama’s book is finally making it around in Bush Country. I read this book when it first came out and in a way, fell in love with Barack Obama. Since reading this book I’ve read all the articles I can get my hands on to find out who he is as a person and a politician.

    First, I think he is sincere. That is incredibly important. I really think he cares a lot about the people and the future of the U.S. Like Bush, he is a common-man’s man, except with an incredible intelligence. His optimistic pull is so inviting and a great change. If the presidency was based on the individual Obama would have my vote.

    However, his politics is a little scary. Not so much his issues and stances, but his inexperience–especially on the international stage. Domestically, I think he would thrive and take care of the things here, but with the world in chaos (mostly due to the action or neglect of the US) we need someone who is respected by all nations. But, I do see him as a leader who could easily reach across borders and unite, or at least charm, leaders world wide.

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