‘Change We Can Believe In’ by Barack Obama: Book Review
Change We Can Believe In is the political manifesto of the 44th President of the United States of America, Barack Obama. The book was published in 2008. It contains the mandate for his Presidency and focuses on education, information, infrastructure, and economic reforms. It includes details of the President’s ideas and plans to make America a nation of the twenty-first century, a country defined by its excellence, without causing pain to its people. It talks about tax cuts, tax breaks, educational reforms, the ending of wars, the immigration situation, the maintenance of America’s infrastructure, the importance of the USA’s veteran soldiers, the importance of a college education for all, and so much else. It also contains seven key speeches from the 2008 campaign, an excellent sample of the promises the President made to the American people to be carried out to the best of his ability. I am from Mumbai, India, and was impressed with the organized system of a more stringent investigative plan President Barack Obama presented to his nation. I am frank enough to say that I am not aware if the Barack Obama Presidency fulfilled all these promises. I must research more on this topic to let you know my ideas on this subject. I am a reclusive teacher, writer, and independent publisher of Mumbai. I want to learn more about President Obama, who has inspired so many people of all ages and across borders.
I borrowed this book from the Victoria Secondhand Bookstore and Lending Library at Mahim. I was keen on reading it because I wanted to know what Obama’s plan for America was in 2008. In 2008, I was studying for my bachelor’s degree in Arts. I was in my second year of degree college, studying history and sociology as my major subjects. I was always stuck with my nose in a book, mostly banished to the college library in the sociology section, which was my favorite area in the vast college library. I was studying all the time, and I could not make time to pay attention to the Presidential elections, which were then taking place in America. By the time I started paying attention, it was January 2009, and President Obama had taken oath as the 44th President of the USA. I only took an interest in President Obama in the year 2016 when I was getting concerned about the situation in the world. That is when I started reading up on American politics. This winter season, I decided to celebrate the bookish content of America on my blog. And today, I will review this book that took me a while to read and which I maintain I am not well equipped to comment on as an authority, well, not just yet.
I hope to read more about the Obama Presidency in the coming winter, including Barack Obama’s latest autobiography, The Promised Land. Coming to the book Change We Can Believe In, it is incredibly detailed, well planned, and a motivational read for a person like me. It is not just a book about promises in the fields of education, finance, economics, military, politics, medicine, information, and more. But it is a book of core values integral to the American people. The values mentioned in this book like free speech, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, freedom of worship, entrepreneurship, and loyalty to your country, makes America a beacon of hope to everyone, especially a thirty-one-year-old reclusive writer like me living in India. I was taken up with the idea that America’s Free Press went through so much trouble to get the manifesto available in print for concerned citizens of the world like me. The book’s title Change We Can Believe In is the catchphrase in this book and the words ‘yes we can’ is a statement of fact, filled with a hope that yearns for a better tomorrow and the hard work required to get to that hope-filled tomorrow. This manifesto was a moving piece of book content that I cannot get over. I have been reading a lot about President Obama over the past few weeks during this American Winter Bookish Celebration Period. I have read books about his work as a president. The measures implemented by him encompass quite a bit of the promises he made to the American people when he stood for President so many years ago. The Obama government should have better tackled specific points where the evacuation of Iraq is concerned, the growth of ISIS, American relations with India, American relations with China, the Second Amendment concerning the possession of guns, the growth of the totalitarian right in the USA, certain idealistic economic policies related to people in the military, and certain other points. But this is just my humble opinion on the matter; I need to do more research into this. Otherwise, I think President Obama is an excellent example of a statesman who teaches other developing countries that even they can have:
- A better form of education if they pay teachers and educators better salaries rather than just verbal gratitude.
- That money spent on wars based on the old Cold War policies of the twentieth century is outdated.
- That jobs that are stationed out of the country should not get tax breaks, and the burden of taxes should not fall on the hardworking middle class. Instead, they should get those tax cuts in their pockets to make their lives easier.
- That money spent on useless wars could instead be spent on developing better roads, highways, and bridges for a country so that there should be no problems in transportation.
- That the next Google or Microsoft startup should happen in the USA. These startups should not be heavily taxed because these small startups employ many people, generate jobs, show the world a better way of doing things, and become assets to the country.
- That it is not just about what the government can give you, but what the citizens of a country can do for that same country, especially getting involved in voluntary service. I loved the idea of students getting their college tuition paid by the government if they enrolled to serve the country for a specific amount of time. This truly works, and I am a witness to that.
- That politics should not allow lobbyists to call the stakes but that we should get rid of these lobbyists by upholding the dignity of the office and putting the hardworking citizen at the forefront of one’s mind.
I have recently reviewed President Barack Obama’s memoir The Audacity of Hope. It narrates how President Obama was influenced by the community work he did for the South Side Chicago area. Most of what is contained in his manifesto forms the core of his memoir, so do check out The Audacity of Hope.
The book Change We Can Believe In was a heavy read, but it was certainly not dry. There is so much one can learn and take away from this book. The book is divided into two parts. The ‘plan’, which is President Obama’s best way of starting a job, is placed first in the book, which contains his promises to the American people. The second, much smaller part is the ‘Call’ section, which includes his seven speeches. I was especially taken up by the speech he made in Berlin. In that speech, he focused on the fact that the USA and Europe should never forget how they were once antagonists and sometimes allies in certain instances, how they got to the fall of the Berlin Wall, and keeping history in mind, not make the same mistakes they had made in the past. That speech moved me. As a history graduate and history teacher, it made sense that at least Barack Obama respected history and did not try to skew it for personal vendetta. He did not see the USA as the Blue States and the Red States but as ‘The United States of America’, and that is all. It was a pleasure to see this same statement echoed by President-Elect Joe Biden this year, 2020. I always thought this was his line, little knowing that President Obama had made the exact statement in 2008 during his run for President. The book shows how America being divided into Democrats, Republicans, and Independents hampers governments’ functioning even in developing countries. But that is what Change We Can Believe In is all about. It stresses what happens in America is watched by other nations, and they take a cue from that to implement the same in their own country. President Obama wanted to make sure that his Presidency would be a beacon of hope for American citizens and the citizens of the world, especially in war-torn areas like Palestine, Syria, and Iraq.
One line in this book that touched my heart to the core was when President Obama mentioned that to be a real man doesn’t mean to have the capability to produce a child but the courage to raise one. That line got me teary-eyed, as I am from a broken family and was abandoned by my father because I was a girl child. Today, I am a teacher, a multiple award-winning author, a niche publisher, and a person devoted to books. That is because of my Mama, who had trust in me and left her sexist husband and chose to raise me instead. Fathers are important to children, especially according to Barack Obama to little girls. Read this book and be inspired. And if you want to know more about my life, you can check out my memoir titled Scenes of a Reclusive Writer & Reader of Mumbai.
Do check out Change We Can Believe In. It is no longer a part of current affairs. But it is a part of American history that we should keep coming back to for inspiration and realize what can be done to make other countries like America. This book can be heavy for readers who do not like political manifestos. I understand that, but it is worth the effort. When you read this book, you get even deeper into the mind and heart of the person we know as President Barack Obama. If you respect his service, then read this book. Try reading it when you are free and not anxious. Another book about Barack Obama’s presidency that I reviewed recently was To Obama: With Love, Joy, Hate and Despair by Jeanne Marie Laskas. Do read Change We Can Believe In and be motivated. This book can be highly motivational, so do not be surprised if you come out a better person after reading it. I gave the book five stars on Goodreads. It was just beautiful!
I enjoyed reading and reviewing this book, which focused on American President Barack Obama’s manifesto. I hope to read more American fiction and non-fiction content in the coming weeks. The 2020 USA Presidential Elections have ended, and I wish to celebrate America’s rich literary heritage this winter by reviewing and analyzing American bookish content. I hope to read, review, and analyze more books by and about President Barack Obama soon.
If you are interested in book reviews, book analysis, short story analysis, poems, essays, essay analysis, and other bookish content, you can check out my blog insaneowl.com. If you are interested in purchasing my books, you can check out my blog’s products page or my author’s page on Amazon. There is a lot of good stuff to buy! Happy reading to you always!
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