Barack Obama

Barack Obama

This Improbable Quest

Book - 2008
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Barack Obama is quickly becoming America's most popular politician, and his run for the presidency has brought huge crowds at home and an unprecedented wave of international attention as well. Much more than a biography, this book is a political tour of Obama's legislative experience as well as his ideas about race, religion, and politics. Political writer John K. Wilson, author of four previous books including a study of Newt Gingrich, explores the reaction Obama has received from the left, the right, and the media. As the first presidential candidate from Generation X, Obama has generated an exciting movement of young people to support his campaign as he defines a new kind of broadly popular progressive politics. As improbable as such a quest may be this fresh new candidate may be just the right one to bridge not only generations but ideologies that often divide. Amid all the hype surrounding Obama, this book provides the first in-depth look at what he believes, what he represents, and how he might transform American politics.
Publisher: Boulder, CO : Paradigm Publishers : 2008
ISBN: 9781594514760
Branch Call Number: 973.931 Ob1w
Characteristics: 210p illus


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Jun 18, 2011

This book was written before Obama was elected President but it’s still relevant now as Obama prepares to run for a 2nd term. This book reminds us of who the President is at his core. The author was a student of his and clearly admires him but still strives to present all sides of this complicated man.

The author cites one example of Obama’s genius as realizing that fighting against cynicism is the first step in political change. Obama said that “It’s America that suffers most from this can’t-do, won’t-do, won’t-even-try style of politics. “ The author quotes Michelle Obama as saying about her husband, “He’s not a politician first and foremost. He’s a community activist exploring the viability of politics to make change.” As another commentator said, Obama’s experience came from the grassroots, not from the treetops and that makes all the difference. Probably no president is as familiar with the problems of impoverished people as the man who chose community organizing as his first job out of college.

The author maintains that Republicans give lip service to conservative social and moral issues and then proceed to focus on corporate interests. Democrats, he says, give lip service to liberal social and moral issues and then proceed to focus on corporate interests. The thing that was improbable about Obama’s quest to be president, in the author’s opinion, wasn’t that he was black and relatively unknown when he began, but that he defied the political establishment. Obama opted out of the usual ugly way of doing things, the usual knee-jerk way of thinking about issues, the usual politically calculating way of deciding what policies to support, the usual way of running a campaign, the ordinary way of being President.. He is a unique man, a powerful thinker, an incredible motivator, a man capable of extraordinary empathy but one who has the strength to make unpopular decisions. I don’t always support everything he does but I whole-heartedly support him for his 2nd term.

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