In honor of Barrack Obama’s inauguration I decided to read his second book, The Audacity of Hope (great title). It was well written and interesting in several parts, but a bit of a disappointment after the brilliant Dreams From My Father, which was a more personal and explorative book. So in a sense that book sold me on Obama with his carefully thought out impression of people and events in his life. It showed the mark of a deep thinking and intelligent man who wanted to be of service to the public and he had a host of experiences that would make him an ideal politician in my mind. These impressions are backed up by his actual thoughts on many aspects of the political process and society in general in his latest book.
The book is organized into 9 chapters: 1) Republicans and Democrats, 2) Values, 3) Our Constitution 4) Politics, 5) Opportunity, 6) Faith, 7) Race, 8) The World Beyond Out Borders, 9) Family and epilogue in which he talk about how his life had changed after giving the famous speech at the national Democratic convention in 2004, that essentially launched him into a presidential contender. Much of this book sounds like a policy piece, but he does talk frankly about race, religion, and his family in away that I find it difficult for other politicians to do. In addition, I found his use of Indonesia as a metaphor for American foreign policy in chapter 8: The World Beyond Our Borders interesting, informative and effective. This is in essence further evidence that we have made the right choice.