Friday, June 29, 2007

Book Review: The Audacity of Hope

I just finished "The Audacity of Hope" by Barack Obama. Here's what I wrote immediately after I closed the pages:

Well-written and educational, yet also authentic, honest, personal, and moving. Obama presents core issues in a reasonable, balanced way - and he is not so arrogant to pretend to know the answers to all questions or the cures for all of society's failings. He shook my conscience and challenged my beliefs with his postmodern and progressive perspectives. And I actually think I might vote for this guy if he secures the democratic seat. I certainly don't agree with him on everything, but he seems fair-minded, family-oriented, and future-focused. I will watch with eager intent as Obama pursues the 2008 presidential seat.

Here are a few clarifying questions to those who might ask:

1. Isn't his book just popular because he is in a position of power?
Probably, but that makes his journey all the more intriguing to me. I am always fascinated by how successful people start out and what principles guide them as leaders.

2. Do you agree with all of Obama's stances?
Not all, but many. His discussions about foreign policy, faith and politics, and family especially resonated with me. I also enjoyed reading his ideas about reform in the areas of education and the workforce.

3. Aren't all democrats immoral schmucks?
Wow, that's harsh. Read this book. We need to be more focused on our commonalities as humans and less divisive when it comes to political party affiliations. Yes, we should debate and speak our minds (that is the beauty of democracy, after all...), but we should enter into our disagreements as listeners and not only persuaders.

4. Why would you consider voting for Obama?
I appreciate his honesty and authenticity (willing to admit that he doesn't always know the answers), his commitment to his family, and his love for our country. That said, I need to do A LOT more research before I cast my vote. After all, I read his book - so it is, of course, just a bit biased in his favor.

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