Join Free! | Login  

     Popular! Books, Stories, Articles, Poetry
Where Authors and Readers come together!


Featured Authors:  Alfred Garrotto, iRobin Ouzman Hislop, iValerie, iAlexandra* OneLight* Authors & Creations, iBob Mitchley, iIolanthe Woulff, iAlexander Goldstein, i

  Home > Literary Criticism > Articles Popular: Books, Stories, Articles, Poetry     

Leland Waldrip

· Become a Fan
· Contact me
· Success story
· Books
· Articles
· Poetry
· Stories
· Blog
· 399 Titles
· 4,260 Reviews
· Save to My Library
· Share with Friends!
Member Since: Aug, 2001

Leland Waldrip, click here to update your pages on AuthorsDen.

Featured Book
Live the James Bond Lifestyle - KINDLE
by Paul Kyriazi

Changing lives since 1998. Taught at The Learning Annex & SpyFest...  
BookAds by Silver
Gold and Platinum Members

Featured Book
Perfect Love
by Ann Herrick

A collection of 3 of my YA Romances for only $3.99...  
BookAds by Silver
Gold and Platinum Members

   Recent articles by
Leland Waldrip

Heaven In An Alder Swamp
Heaven in An Alder Swamp (Continued - 2)
Heaven In An Alder Swamp (Continued - 3)
Heaven In An Alder Swamp (Continued - 4 )
Heaven In An Alder Swamp (Continued - 5 )
Katy Walsvik's Obituary
Free Listing on New Book Promotion SIte
The Opari
Growth Mania
Optimism Rides A Strange Vehicle
The French Connection
           >> View all

Book Review - The Audacity of Hope, by Barack Obama
by Leland Waldrip   
Rated "G" by the Author.
Last edited: Monday, March 31, 2008
Posted: Monday, February 25, 2008

Share    Print   Save    Become a Fan

Crown Publishing Group, 375 pages, 5 x 8 paperback with index

Number one on the New York Times Best Seller List

This is a history book — at a high level, a history of the world braided with a history of Constitutional United States and an autobiography of Barack Obama. Barack, in exquisitely explicit, superbly readable prose, weaves these three threads of history into a unique tapestry that from any angle shimmers brightly of America’s hopes — and its promise.


The Audacity of Hope is not a quick read. It doesn’t have a lot of dialog — there is a volume of information packed on each page in this voyage upon which the reader is launched — and it is a voyage, with Barack Obama sitting upright in the Captain’s chair, eyes smartly ahead.


Many have been impressed with Barack’s writing abilities that this and his first book, “Dreams From My Father” exhibit. These books were both number one on the bestseller lists of most of the top newspapers in the country, including the New York Times. Their clarity and narrative arc definitely put them into a top category of literary achievement.


In this latest book, Obama explains “Barack the man” as a product of influence by early and strong guidance from his mother and grandparents. At a later period, mature reflection and analysis of the shortcomings and absence of some of the men that were, or should have been, in his early life were formative. The deep disappointment with some of those experiences resulted in an affinity to values that could be described as virtual antitheses to those observed shortcomings. One outstanding example of this is his ingrained determination to be a close presence in the lives of his daughters and a staunch advocate for responsible parenthood. There are many more salient examples of these influences as the reader is ferried along on this rolling narrative. 


Obama steers his cargo of passengers on a hazardous course through mine fields of deeply held opinions left and right, navigating with a bold confidence among most political obstacles in the pantheon of contested values on the American scene. Most often, but not always, his path skirts gently along left of center of each issue — this after a compelling analysis of both sides of the argument. Indeed, one of the most salient attributes of Barack Obama is his consistency in exploring all sides of an issue. One gets the impression that he reaches his own conclusions yet rarely holds animus for those who array themselves on the opposite side. All decent human beings get a hearing from Barack Obama, no matter their political positions.


A strong love of the U.S. Constitution is a value reflected in the character of Obama that, among many other attributes, defines him as the polar opposite of our current president. Teaching Constitutional law at the University of Chicago for years prior to running for the U.S. Senate gave him an intimate view of our relationship with the founding document. He says the following quote is not original with him, but he likes it as opposed to the “strict constructionist” view of the role the Constitution should play in our lives. The quote is: “The Constitution sees our democracy not as a house to be built, but as a conversation to be had.”


Obama says in his opinion, the purpose of the Constitution is to “build shifting alliances of consent,” for “ both our individual and collective judgments are at once legitimate and highly fallible.” He acknowledges that “rejection of absolutism implicit in our constitutional structure may sometimes make our politics seem unprincipled. But for most of our history it has encouraged the very process of information gathering, analysis and argument that allows us to make better, if not perfect, choices, not only about the means to our ends, but also about the ends themselves.”       


A recurring source of argument of recent years is the unrelenting attack on the constitutional principle of separation of church and state. Obama reminds us of the history of the separation concept — it did not come from secular champions, but rather was shepherded into the founding documents by deist stalwarts Jefferson and Madison during the latter half of the 1780’s. They used the Virginia model as proposed by a sectarian Baptist minister. Reverend John Leland’s wisdom: “It is error alone that stands in need of government to support it; truth can and will do better without it.”    


Obama makes the case that our recent history is such that it’s little wonder we’re “on the wrong track,” as many Americans now believe. The cause of this malaise has everything to do with the mind-set of the current set of leaders steeped in the “art” of 51% governance. What he means by this is that ruling by cobbling together particular interest groups behind opaque screens of obfuscation to make up a bare majority is a tactic that prevents progress from being made for the people. He advocates more conciliatory tones and transparency to garner larger majorities and meet the broader needs of the public — a practice of the art of the possible.            


These are some of the points of the book that stand out in my reading. Obama expounds on just about any issue that most any person would be concerned about, so what I’ve discussed above barely scratches the surface. One issue that he failed to address though, just as most other leaders and would-be leaders refuse to address, is the financial hole we are in that will make it difficult to significantly advance any progressive agenda. Mounting debt and the prospects of its continued exponential growth will haunt any efforts to do so.


The other 800 pound gorilla in the room that Obama won’t address at all, won’t even flick a passing glance — and the real third rail of politics — is the population explosion we are experiencing in the face of rapidly declining resources such as fresh water, energy, farm output and desirable living space.


None of the presidential candidates have any inclination to commit political suicide by addressing this hulking issue. In my opinion, we will have to wait for reality to bite us so hard that it dawns on virtually everyone at once that current trends — and attitudes — are untenable. In the meantime, Barack Obama, in my opinion, offers the best of the choices in the presidential field.


Take a look at this book as well as the daily TV news accounts of campaign machinations. Because of his thoughtful, analytical and philosophical outlook, the possibility of having more transparency in government under his leadership, his command of the nuances of history, and his obvious management talent (as evidenced by — as of this writing — the most effective presidential campaign in recent U.S. history) you also may conclude that he is far and away the best choice. He just may be the Tiger Woods of politics and leadership.


Whether you make that conclusion or not, the book will strengthen your grasp of history by entertaining you with a compelling narrative and his fascinating expression of the English language. As I’ve already indicated, I recommend “The Audacity of Hope.” In fact, I give it five stars. Connect with history — read this book.



© 2008 R. Leland


Web Site: Rappahannock Books

Reader Reviews for "Book Review - The Audacity of Hope, by Barack Obama"

Want to review or comment on this article?
Click here to login!

Need a FREE Reader Membership?
Click here for your Membership!

Reviewed by EK Annang 3/27/2008
It seem to me, no the most probable choice after rearning a few things I never knew before, from his books I agree and affirm that Sanator Obama is THE REASONABLE CHOICE OF OUR COMMUNITY AND THE DECISON OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE. Thanks for great review always!
Reviewed by Elizabeth Taylor (Reader) 2/29/2008
It is an excellent book. I am still "reading at it."
Good review, too.

Reviewed by Ronald Hull 2/28/2008
I've gone so far as to say that, out of Illinois, Barrack Obama is the Abraham Lincoln of the 21st Century. Given the trials ahead, he will have to be like Lincoln to succeed.

I had no idea of his authorship. The puts me in mind of Kennedy. Thanks for your review--sterling--as always.

Reviewed by Karen Vanderlaan 2/25/2008
a wonderfully written review-really nice-i had no idea-shame on me-anyway-very nice--your book will be mailed tomorrow, by the way--thanks

Books by
Leland Waldrip

Vigilante Virus

Buy Options
Signed copy!
Amazon, Barnes & Noble, more..

Satin Verses

Buy Options
Signed copy!
Amazon, Barnes & Noble, more..

100 Sensible Reflections

Buy Options
Signed copy!
Amazon, Barnes & Noble, more..

The Last Grizzly

Buy Options
Signed copy!
Amazon, Barnes & Noble, more..

GRIZ Nightmare

Buy Options
Signed copy!
Amazon, Barnes & Noble, more..

Anasazi Harvest

Buy Options
Signed copy!
Amazon, Barnes & Noble, more..

Russells In The Leaves

Buy Options
Signed copy!

Crystal in a shock wave / the works of Albert Russo by Albert Russo

The works of Albert Russo of the past 40 years, in both English and French, reviewed and commented in these two languages, with essays and photos by the author...  
Featured BookAds by Silver
Gold and Platinum Members

A Story is a Promise & The Spirit of Storytelling by Bill Johnson

A Story is a Promise & The Spirit of Storytelling offers exciting new insights into the craft of writing...  
Featured BookAds by Silver
Gold and Platinum Members

Authors alphabetically: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Featured Authors | New to AuthorsDen? | Add AuthorsDen to your Site
Share AD with your friends | Need Help? | About us

Problem with this page?   Report it to AuthorsDen
AuthorsDen, Inc. All rights reserved.