I do not usually review bestsellers, but here I am doing it two days in a row. On Inauguration Day, it seems appropriate to review The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream by our new president, Barack Obama.
To be a little different, I listened to the book on my iPod, checked out from my library's audiobook book collection. What most surprised me was that the author read the book himself. I thought that he would be too busy to go through recording sessions. He must have deemed it important enough to make the time. He is a good story teller. If he can maintain the affable tone of his audiobook through his presidency, many people will be reassured.
Throughout the text, the new president tells the reader that he is a pragmatist, leery of ideology. Describing the political conflicts that he has witnessed in his career, he often presents both sides of the arguments, expressing some affinities with both parties. In light of his political affiliation, I was especially surprised how he admires Ronald Reagan. As a frequent reader of history, I was impressed with his knowledge of the past. One must remember that he is a law school professor.
Here's hoping for his sake and ours that he can be a president who learns from history, not one doomed to repeat it.
If you have not overdosed on the election and inauguration, consider reading the new president's statement of his philosophy.
Obama, Barak. The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream. Crown Publishers, 2006. ISBN 0307237699