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The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream | [Barack Obama]

The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream

In July 2004, Barack Obama electrified the Democratic National Convention with an address that spoke to Americans across the political spectrum. Now, in The Audacity of Hope, Senator Obama calls for a different brand of politics: a politics for those weary of bitter partisanship and alienated by the "endless clash of armies" we see in Congress and on the campaign trail; a politics rooted in the faith, inclusiveness, and nobility of spirit at the heart of "our improbable experiment in democracy".
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Publisher's Summary

In July 2004, Barack Obama electrified the Democratic National Convention with an address that spoke to Americans across the political spectrum. Now, in The Audacity of Hope, Senator Obama calls for a different brand of politics: a politics for those weary of bitter partisanship and alienated by the "endless clash of armies" we see in Congress and on the campaign trail; a politics rooted in the faith, inclusiveness, and nobility of spirit at the heart of "our improbable experiment in democracy". He also speaks, with surprising intimacy and self-deprecating humor, about settling in as a senator, seeking to balance the demands of public service and family life, and his own deepening religious commitment.

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.

©2006 Barack Obama; (P)2006 Random House, Inc. Random House Audio, a division of Random House, Inc.

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  •  
    Ronald APO AE, 0, Germany 11-08-06
    Ronald APO AE, 0, Germany 11-08-06
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Barack Obama is an inspirng speaker"

    I found the book to be very inspiring. It is good to hear the audio book read by the author. I found some of the book a little too party line but it sounds good when Barack talks about the seperation of church and state. However, his religious beliefs are a foundation of what he is.

    Even though I am republican I found it very good to hear from a possible future presidential or VP candidate. Depending on stances Barack takes on certain issues; I could vote for this man.

    15 of 17 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carl Smith 03-16-08
    Carl Smith 03-16-08 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    171
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    38
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    3
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    Overall
    "Remarkable book"

    A blend of policy, politics, and personal story that I totally enjoyed. Funny and moving. Refreshed my hope that a leader might actually try to reason with us as an electorate, help us work things out rather than just keep either winning or losing.

    8 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eric V White Rock, British Columbia, Canada 03-05-09
    Eric V White Rock, British Columbia, Canada 03-05-09 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
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    "Engaging and Thoughtful"

    Not unlike his first book the author uses wit and humor woven skillfully with autobiography to engage the reader in challenges to think and to present his view of the world. A true success in a world where everything is often reduced to mass media 30 second sound bites. I can hardly wait for the next book but suppose he is a bit busy with other things right now.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Virginia Beach, VA 04-09-08
    Amazon Customer Virginia Beach, VA 04-09-08 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    40
    2
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    "Incredible!"

    I wasn't sure I would enjoy this - I thought it would be a repeat of his speeches and what he's said on the news the past few years. I was wrong. I was engrossed and listened every chance I got until I had listened to it twice, and I rarely read or listen to something twice within a few years! This is one of those books made for an audio format - hearing his words, in his own voice, really helped me connect and become more engaged.

    It gives me hope that our next President (assuming it's him) will understand how normal people live. After listening to this book, I began volunteering for his campaign - and I'm an EX-Republican! The more I learn about this man (and I've done my research), the more determined I am that he has to be our next POTUS.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carlos Columbia, IL, USA 02-11-08
    Carlos Columbia, IL, USA 02-11-08 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "his values"

    I find Mr. Obama very interesting. He seems open and understanding of the problems of this country. He expresses himself well. I have never voted for a democrate in a national election, but I would consider voting for him. He has my respect.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pat Furrie Deltona, FL 03-07-07
    Pat Furrie Deltona, FL 03-07-07 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The only thing wrong with it..."

    ... was it is abridged. I would have liked to have heard everything, after having enjoyed this abridged version so much.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Lima, OH, USA 12-27-06
    Michael Lima, OH, USA 12-27-06
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "What a wonderful read/listen"

    I find this book to be most helpful in explaining how the hope for America, or the American Dream, and the pugnacious nature of the current political landscape find each other at odds, even at the highest levels.

    If we, American society in sum, are to begin to forge ahead in achieving new innovations in technology, communications and culture, then the foundations for such are not yet being built. The collegial discussions of Big Gov't vs. Smaller Gov't are still being thrust into political debate, so says the author, and ought not be the focus of future. Decisions need to be made, now. Decisions like, fostering a domestic entrepreneurial spirit and improving a foreign policy that is wrought with fear and ambiguity. These are things that America will need to strive to achieve in the next elections. In simpler terms, we need to progress or be left behind.

    It is not so much to aspire to achieve, as to build the necessary infrasture that achievement becomes possible. The path forged by our ancestors need not be seen as something squandered, rather admired and built upon. Debates and elections must speak to the voice of the people and leaders are there to inspire the next generation of leaders.

    Barack Obama mentions his early life to illustrate the point that we either become the fray, or rise above it. As it had been mentioned in previous reviews, his eloquence of thought and speech will captivate any audience. His mastery of saying what needs to be said, while making the reader/listner more intelligent and feel more intellectual are truly his gift. I recommend this book to any one that is looking for a deeper understanding of the dichotomy that exists within business and/or political landscapes and the progress/struggle we all face in making a difference. The struggle needs to be defined to know what we are up against and Barack Obama has certainly defined his.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Fabric1 NY USA 07-01-08
    Fabric1 NY USA 07-01-08 Listener Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Insightful"

    I found the book to be a window into this man. Regardless of my politics or partialalities, it is an important read given the upcoming election.

    10 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    S. Anderson Salem, MO United States 11-18-08
    S. Anderson Salem, MO United States 11-18-08 Member Since 2005
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    "The book that won my vote"

    I was having a hard time choosing in the 2008 election, this book was the tipping point. Obama broke out a lot of his beliefs and topics that I was concerned about as well as proved to me he has the passion and intelligence to be a great leader if only he believed in half of what he says in this book. The fact that it was read by him as well so I could hear his voice and inflections in my earbuds also helped tremendously.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kayley Jamestown, ND, USA 12-11-08
    Kayley Jamestown, ND, USA 12-11-08
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    "yes we can!"

    admittedly, i'm a bit biased here, but none the less, i feel confident in recommending this book to nearly anyone. president obama has a voice that is all at once soothing and energizing, calming and rousing. his ideas and anecdotes are presented in a interesting mix of seriousness and humor. there's humorous scarcasm used in presenting some of the stranger happenings in the political process and the people involved in it. there's hope, sadness and laughter all put together to not only let you know more about the man himself, but also about his plans, for himself, the nation he loves and the world at large. never stuffy, i found that this audiobook is suitable for nearly any audience, whether well aquainted with the man already or not. thoroughly enjoyable, even for those listeners without much political interest in the author. i found myself at the end wanting hours more of this man, his voice and his story.

    9 of 11 people found this review helpful
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  • Duncan
    Kirkcaldy, Fife, United Kingdom
    4/10/08
    Overall
    "Much better than its title."

    I suppose I was ready for anything when I start to read a book with a title like 'The Audacity of Hope' and I am happy to say that if there was a mention of the title in the book then it was pretty indirect. You might expect a sermon with a title like that. What there is - a pretty smart guy who communicates well on topics like: the media, political opposition, religion and state, work and family-life and so on. I wasn't sure if I liked him before I listened to this book - I knew little of him at all. I think this is the most intelligent and straight-up, optimistic (I guess the title is in there somewhere) and fair-dealing book by a politician that I have read.

    17 of 17 people found this review helpful
  • Natasha
    SheffieldUnited Kingdom
    12/1/08
    Overall
    "American politics made easy"

    This was a fantastic download - one that provided a lot of clarity around the politics and values of America's new president (before he was even campaigning for the role). For people like me who get tired of reading the opinions of the press, it was refreshing to hear from Obama himself, what he thinks he stands for and he provides interesting examples to back up his politics and opinions. This very personal and frank account of his beliefs has certainly given me confidence in his ability to bring real changes to America and the rest of the world. He comes across as a down-to-earth and likeable man who genuinely knows what he is talking about and what he has to do to make his country a better place. All I can say is, after listening to the Audacity of Hope, I wished Obama could run our country too!

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Jacqueline
    Sleaford, Lincolnshire, United Kingdom
    11/27/08
    Overall
    "Great Man, Great Read"

    What an intelligent man. Even though I am not from USA I still think having listened to this that the right man in in charge.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Gareth
    Beaumaris, United Kingdom
    1/17/09
    Overall
    "Cracking good stuff"

    This was a revelation. It illustrated elegantly the infighting and internecine wars between the reds and blues in American politics over the last 30 years. It was riveting to listen to, I regreted the end of a boring drive for once. I hope his presidency is as good as his writing!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Jonathan
    Exeter, Devon, United Kingdom
    1/13/09
    Overall
    "Politician's are scary...."

    It is unfortunate that our world is in the state that it's in because I genuinely fear for this lovely man as he braves the world stage.

    I (like most people) knew little about him before buying this book and now after listening to it along with a few speeches I found on I-tunes; I'm a genuine fan. Politics is a dirty business and here is a decent, educated, likeable guy that will do his best to change that crappy deal that too many people worldwide are in. Like it or not; the USA lead the "free" world and what he says and does will affect almost everyone in one way or another.

    After listening I have genuine hope that he can do as he'd like to do and is not singled out for martyrdom by the evil that lurks generally in our world and in America in particular.

    I thrilled at his stories of the students he teaches and the voters he has learned from. I am warmly comforted by the fact that his rise has been rapid enough that he has not (yet) been tainted. This book is lovely and I look forward to hearing more about and from him.

    Martin Luther King, Huey Newton, Johnnie Cochran, Malcolm X, Rosa Parks and many others would not believe what he has already done so swiftly. I sincerely hope that he continues to accomplish the "impossible."

    God knows we could all use a few more miracles.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Christopher
    Cheltenham, United Kingdom
    3/15/12
    Overall
    "A Man of Great Thought"

    As you'd expect, this deals with many American issues, although many of those are actually our issues now too. It was fascinating to read of the American political system through his own eyes. A great story, and read, as you'd expect, in a manner that kept your attention.
    Will read again in the future.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Shirley
    Bristol, United Kingdom
    5/5/09
    Overall
    "The Audacity of Hope"

    found it boring

    0 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Anna
    nottingham, notts, United Kingdom
    12/10/08
    Overall
    "Well prepared"

    This is a highly ghostwritten and plastic melange of all the wisdom of others. President Obama lifts his philosophy from many others of which i am familiar. Nice guy and well meaning but for those of us who have studied the people who have changed our world for the better, i find this a little insipid and oversimplistic. I liked him before i heard this. Now i think hes just saying what you want to hear. It would be nice if he could come up with ideas of his own.

    0 of 11 people found this review helpful
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