Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Obama, Barack (The Audacity of Hope)

Maybe I read this too late. I wonder how I'd feel about it if I'd read it (listened to it) before or during his presidential campaign. It just seems somewhat naive now.

I can't help but wonder if he still feels the same way about constituents, his fellow politicians, the state of the world, and his pie-in-the-sky ideas for changing the world. While it's certainly an engaging book, and especially if you're listening to him read it himself, it sounds very much like the musings of someone who hasn't done a lot of work yet. I know that the current challenges he's facing are harder to handle than those he's describing in this book. But are these Obama's rose-colored glasses or, as many would worry during his candidacy, simply a lack of experience? I wonder if he'd write the same book now.

I, and apparently the rest of the world, are extremely bummed that this is an abridged version. It wasn't until I took a look at the book's Table of Contents on Amazon after listening to it that I realized that. I mean, the whole chapter on foreign policy is gone! Why would they do that?? Unfortunately, I'm not sure if I will spend the time to read the book after having listened to most of it.

Regardless, his best chapters are "Politics" and "Family." At least in "Family" he discusses some weighty issues in a more light-hearted manner, and at times he even made me tear up. It's comforting to know that his life is not perfect, that Michelle and he had years of trouble after their kids were born, and that he struggles with being a decent dad. To be honest, at heart, that is what makes this book work.

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