The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama: Book Review
The Audacity of Hope is a romantic but highly prophetic book about former American President Barack Obama’s testament to the American Dream. This book was published in 2006, just three years before Obama became the 44th President of the United States of America. He wrote this book to create a steady income for his family while continuing with his political career in the US Senate. I gave this book four stars on Goodreads. I liked the book and found it prophetic about everything that has happened to the USA and the world since it was published in 2006. From prophesying about respiratory pandemics to tracing the rise of the conservative rights in America; from his take on immigration issues to the American debt in the time of the President George Bush administration; from Hurricane Katrina to the racism that plagues America even today – these and much more make the book a good read. Barack Obama has changed his opinions on specific issues since he penned this book for posterity. I learned a lot about the real American Dream through the eyes and values of the 44th President, and I recommend this book to everyone, especially every American, to read and reflect. Though the book’s data is subject to conjecture and are the viewpoints and analysis of Barack Obama, still most of his future predictions about America have proved to be correct. I am not in agreement with some of his opinions, especially marriage, and especially marriage of any couple from the LGBTQIA community. I feel everyone should have the right to marry whomever they choose. I do not believe totally in the sacredness of the institution of marriage. I am glad to see that Obama’s ideas have changed since the years of his Presidency.
I borrowed this book from the Victoria library at Mahim a couple of weeks ago. I finished reading it last night. It is a well-penned memoir of what it truly takes to overcome obstacles in American politics to achieve the American dream of a brighter, happier, and better tomorrow. The book is full of hope for the future. It focuses on the past political actions of various USA presidents like JFK, FDR, Ronald Reagan, Abraham Lincoln, George Bush, Nixon, Bill Clinton, etc. Obama analyzes their policies and how their take on certain matters went to shape the America of today. He navigates the reader through the definitions of ‘republic’ and ‘democracy’ and mentions how both are important to allow our future generations to lead better lives. Obama dissects and places before us the reasons why Republicans disagree with Democrats and vice versa. He was also prophetic, which took my breath away because he predicted in 2006 what is happening right now in America in 2020.
These are the points which he prophesized accurately:
- The rise of the conservative right-wing and the rise of a totalitarian leader who would be a rabble-rouser.
- The increase in pandemics which would affect the respiratory system. This would put the citizens of the world in great danger.
- The rise of dictators after the Bush presidency because of several actions of American Presidents in the past.
- The increase in violent acts of racism and xenophobia when a dictator would come to power in America.
- The rise in America’s debt over the next decade because of actions taken in the past, especially America’s interference in other countries’ policies.
- Instances of social media taking over America’s political stage and creating fear, rage, anger, and cynicism among the American people.
In my opinion, some of these prophetic statements would not have come true if President Barack Obama had not issued specific policies during his Presidency. His independent actions without the support of Congress have led to all these terrible prophesies coming true. He has not gone beyond the above prophesies. However, in the book, he was concerned about the future of America, especially its liberal citizens. Barack Obama mentions how scared he was for the future of his two little girls Malia and Sasha and how he hoped that in time they would have the freedom he wished for all of America. We know today that we have ruined the future for our children. We still have another chance of rectifying the situation, but if this chance goes then, Barack Obama feels that all will not go well for the American people.
Barack Obama talks about his father, whom he never knew. He mentions how his white mother profoundly influenced him and how he met his wife Michelle Obama, earlier Michelle Robinson, and other personal snippets of his life that allowed him to capture and treasure the American dream. You will be fed intellectual debates about various topics and critical issues that affect America, even today, topics like abortions, unwanted pregnancies, and birth control. I liked Barack Obama’s take on this aspect of the norms of society and religion. However, Obama mentions in the book that he did not believe an LGBTQIA couple could live in a married state because of his religious opinions. I found this very offensive, but he did show compassion towards them and said that maybe his mind could change in the future, which we know it did. Today, there is no more vigorous supporter of LGBTQIA rights in America than former President Barack Obama. He mentions that he was not for LGBTQIA marriages because of his religious and personal convictions.
Barack Obama mentions that he read the Bible at all times and had many favorite passages that enriched his life. He says that where the LGBTQIA community members were concerned, he felt that the Sermon on the Mount by the Lord Jesus was more critical in his analysis of the Christian religion than a one-liner in Saint Paul’s letter to the Romans. He asks the American people, especially American Roman Catholics, to prioritize their faith by focusing on the day’s relevant and meaningful, burning issues. He mentions his community work as a young man, his long wait till he decided what he wanted to do with his life, and his opinions on:
- Child rearing
- Politics in the new America of the twenty-first century
- Joint and nuclear families
- American Elections, etc.
He tackles each situation very well, but he could have framed his sentences better. In the beginning, I found it difficult to read not because it is boring, far from it, but because it is penned in the way President Barack Obama speaks. The editors have retained Obama’s voice, and when you read the book in his voice, you can settle down properly with the book and read it easily. Until then, the punctuation may be a put-off. This does not mean that the book is poorly written. It is an incredibly important book, and every American should read it. It provides us with excellent, intelligent points on the issues closest to our hearts. I felt Obama tackled extensively issues related to socialism that typically the Republicans in America are against. Obama gives examples of countries like the USSR, China, and even my country India. He talks about how socialism and a mixed economy has influenced our lives and how it can affect Americans. He analyzes Capitalism’s strengths and weaknesses and tries to make the reader think about the core beliefs that make them tick where economics is concerned. Obama has beautifully explained this aspect, which I think should be read by everyone. It could change the way Americans deal with money.
President Barack Obama writes that he is fond of reading letters, emails, and other messages written by the American people. He likes to study them, reply to them, and use these letters to construct the rudiments of his policies. I have recently read and reviewed a book on this same topic titled To Obama: With Love, Joy, Hate and Despair by Jeanne Marie Laskas. Another issue I liked is related to Obama’s analysis of the core elements of the American Constitution. He explains the central part of the Constitution, the history behind its points, and the duty of America’s people towards their country, as stated in the Constitution. He speaks about fundamental rights in the past, present, and hopeful future and how they are the bulwark on which America will retain its freedom of speech, expression, belief, and living. That part, every American should check out. To know more about how the Constitution of America was manipulated or attempted to be manipulated in the last four years, you can check out my book review of A Warning by Anonymous.
So, what are you waiting for? Go ahead and pick up your copy of The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama today from your nearest library or Amazon. Support the Democracy and Republic of America. Read it during the busy week; it is a stress buster. The portions about Michelle and the children are humorous pieces that should be read pronto. Do read this book and support former President Barack Obama in all his endeavors.
I enjoyed reading and reviewing this book by American President Barack Obama. I hope to read more books by and about the USA’s 44th President in the coming days. Till January 2021, I will be reading, reviewing, and analyzing American literature, non-fiction, poetry, essays, novels, and short stories. This is in keeping with the fact that a crucial election has taken place in America. I want to celebrate the books and literature of America. If you are looking out for more American bookish content, keep on watching this site. I hope to read more American themed books soon.
If you are looking for 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 the products page on my blog or the author’s page on Amazon. There is a lot of good stuff to buy! Happy reading to you always!
Copyright © 2020 Fiza Pathan