Title: The Audacity of Hope
Author: Barack Obama
Page Count/Review Word Count: 376
It took me longer to get properly into The Audacity of Hope than it did for Dreams From My Father, and I almost considered abandoning my attempt to read it. I’m glad that I didn’t, though – sure, it can seem a little scary at first, particularly if you don’t know too much about America, its history and its government, but Obama has a way with words that helps him to explain even complex concepts simply – that said, I still have no idea what filibustering is.
You have to hand it to the guy – it’s clear by now that he has a gift for public speaking, but he’s a truly talented writer, too. From a non-fiction writer, all that you ask is that they make their subject as easy to understand as possible, and Obama does that with all of the flair of a storyteller. In fact, the success of the book as a whole is largely down to the fact that it’s treated almost like an extended series of anecdotes, and it certainly makes it easier to remember the points that the president was attempting to convey.
It also lays clear, once and for all, what Obama’s views are on a number of controversial subjects including the Iraq war, abortion and, of course, equal rights for minorities. None of it is especially groundbreaking, especially now after he’s been in office for so long, but it’s still a great way to get a glimpse inside the mind of the most powerful man on earth.
Distilled into a short paragraph, Obama’s views are essentially that we should all treat each other with the respect that we all deserve, that we should aim to compromise if necessary to develop a better future, and that at the end of the day, the audacity of hope and the power of individual people coming together under a common cause will be enough to make the world a better place. Let’s hope he’s right – I certainly agree with him, and it’s fascinating to see how he maintained his position as best as he could on the subjects that he mentions.