50 Book Challenge #10: The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama (Crown Publishers, 2006) 362 pp.
This book demonstrates eloquence, understanding, and an intense passion for this country and what it should stand for. Obama writes beautifully, with focus, but with the intensity of someone who is anticipating the arguments before they've been made. And that isn't such a bad thing, particularly for someone who is running for President. He does, however, need a better editor. Obama relies too heavily on anecdotes and sometimes gets a tad formulaic in his presentation of each chapter. The points are made, but then at times, run into the ground by an overabundance of examples.
That aside, the book is very well-structured. He wisely ends with "Family" to leave the reader with the best impression of a man who isn't afraid to extol his wife's domestic and professional abilities, but without the sense of hero worship. He's not afraid to express his love in real terms or to admit the struggles in their marriage. It is in this final chapter than the anecdotes ring most true.
However, for those that believe Obama is too "green" to be President, I'd hold off until you read this book. He has a better understanding of history, law, politics and social justice than most people on Capitol Hill. He's managed to move forward (up?) in his career, but has always had one foot firmly planted in the neighborhoods of his constituents.
It is a shame that those who do not support Obama are unlikely to read this book, as it is a revealing portrait...not set on changing political views, but opening up an honest dialogue...a dialogue very much absent from current American politics.