The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream Audible Audiobook – Abridged
At the heart of this audiobook is Senator Obama's vision of how we can move beyond our divisions to tackle concrete problems. Underlying his stories about family, friends, members of the Senate, and even the president is a vigorous search for connection: the foundation for a radically hopeful political consensus.
A senator and a lawyer, a professor and a father, a Christian and a skeptic, and above all a student of history and human nature, Senator Obama has written a book of transforming power.
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|Listening Length||6 hours and 10 minutes|
|Audible.com.au Release Date||25 September 2006|
|Publisher||Random House Audio|
|Best Sellers Rank|| 11,917 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
1 in U.S. Legislative Branch
9 in African American Demographic Studies
22 in African American Studies
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Top reviews from Australia
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The fact that he can and has put his thoughts down in black and white means he has thought things through - how can any leader successfully lead without also doing so? Being ABLE to do so!
Remarkable - I don't think the most brilliant novelist could come up with a better hero for a yarn about a decent bloke making it to the top!
Top reviews from other countries
There's an interesting chapter on Politics, Obama writes about the town hall meetings he attends and the ordinary concerns that people often raise. He addresses the challenges that the media present and how important name recognition becomes when running for office. Funding is a well known problem in US politics, Obama sees nothing wrong with accepting donations from interest groups but not wealthy hedge fund mangers. He also talks about the cliff, the gulf that a Politian has to fall when they fail, most of us can hide our misfortunes but politicians have to live it all out in the open, no wonder they become cautious and hesitant Obama thinks.
The next part of the book is about Opportunity, Obama visits Google and is surprised to find nearly all it's interims are Asian or Jewish, where are the blacks and Latinos Americans Obama wonders, the rep from Google says that in order to stay competitive they can only take the very best graduates. The book suggests improvements to policy to help narrow inequality, better schools, more investment in science, research and development. Obama decries the tax breaks given to the rich under Bush and sets out a vision for a more equal society.
Faith is the next topic in the discussion, Obama believes in pluralism and the separation of Church and State. He also believes that abortion should be legal under any circumstance and he is weary of Christian fundamentalism and Intelligent Design. Despite this Obama does say he believes in God, but that the Bible is not a blueprint for State politics. He notes that democrats in the past have been to cautious about embracing religious movements though and feels that the black church has served as an instrument for social justice over the years. He also appeals for calm and respect to be shown on both sides on the debate and that each side recognise the others are not as bigoted as they often suppose.
Race is next covered. Obama vows to finish the work of the civil rights movement and end discrimation. He believes sincerely though that the country is not as divided as many suppose and that there is much good will among people. Obama warns against a rising tide of xenophobia directed towards immigrants in the US and calls for fairer pay to make sure US workers are not being undercut. Many pages are spent addressing parts of Chicago which have been effectively 'lost.' The area has a high % of African Americas, the drop out rate from school is worryingly high, as is the crime rate, drug use and teenage pregnancy, joblessness is a major concern. Obama tells us that he is cautious about simply throwing money at the problem, he tells us that the majority of honest hardworking black families are just as fed up with the situation as the rest of the US, more so in fact, because they often have to live in these crime ridden communities. Still Obama thinks there are a few steps which ought to be taken by the government, such as ensuring that teenagers finish high school and also expanding programmes which have a proven record of reducing teen pregnancies.
The part on world affairs is a little rambling, I didn't think Obama was at his best here. It was more a description of what has happened rather than what he will do.
Firstly it's well written and essentially tells the story of Barack Obama, he talks about his family both (close and distant), his views on things and politics in general. It was enjoyable to read and by the end you do understand the man more intellectually and how he thinks about things... Many people wishing to understand now President Obama should read this and it gives a good background to his life. There is one downside of the book in my view, Obama frequently talks about the problems America faces and has faced and indeed the world but never mentions any proper solutions to them so he kind of keeps you thinking "what would you do?"
PROS: It's well written and full of info you probably didn't know
CONS: leaves the door open on too many issues for my liking!
VERDICT: I'm a keen follower of politics, so buying this was a must, it's a good read and full of info, much that probably wasn't known or at least pushed by the international media at the time of his election to the presidency.