Wednesday, July 30, 2008

A Book Worth Reading


The Audacity of Hope, by Barack Obama, is a concise summation of some of our country's greatest challenges, and possible solutions. The writing is both sophisticated and simple; it reviews matters with some in-depth precision, and tries honestly to look at all sides. In most cases, the two extremes of far left and far right will be set up, and then, the author will recommend a more centrist or moderate course, near the "middle," avoiding both dangerous extremes.

Altogether, the author thus comes across as a moderate rather than a "liberal," even though some of his ideas are definitely progressive. He is future-seeing, with an eye towards the possibility of maximizing new technologies in our search for solutions. He is thoroughly aware of the places of religion, racism, economics, and ideology in politics and in national affairs. He is aware also of the bumbling and incompetence of the bush administration, although not harshly or repeatedly so.

In sum, this thorough and well thought-out book was produced by a mind that has been educated, and that reflects also a deep and personal concern for the world in which his young daughters will have to grow up. The result is a work that is tender in places, highly selfrevlatory, compassionate, and passionate. The facts are in place, and the overview quite balanced. In this world, in which it might be argued that few books are worth reading, this one is an exception, for it is an exceptional book, written with lucidity, wisdom, and expanded awareness of the need for change.

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