Review: Hopes & Dreams
I liked â€œHopes and Dreams: The Story of Barack Obamaâ€?, but I wish it had been a little more neutral and a little less gushing.
According to a Gallup survey taken last month, 94% of Americans queried
said theyâ€™d be willing to vote for an African American candidate for
president next year, which leads politicians from both sides to wonder:
Will 2008 be the Year of Obama?Â
No matter how you answer that question, you owe it to yourself to learn
about all the candidates first, before you head to the polls.Â In
the new biography â€œHopes and Dreams: The Story of Barack Obamaâ€? by
Steve Dougherty, youâ€™ll read about the charismatic Senator who might
just make history.
When Barack Obama, â€œan utterly obscure Illinois state senatorâ€?, was
tapped to give the keynote address at the 2004 Democratic convention,
many people were surprised.Â One of them was Obama himself.Â
Afterward, politicians from both parties hailed it as one of the
greatest keynote speeches in memory, and Americans sat up and took
Barack Obama was born in Hawaii in 1961, the son of a Kenyan
diplomat-student father and a white Kansas-born mother.Â When
Obama (whose first name means â€œblessedâ€? in Swahili) was two years old,
his father moved to New York to pursue further studies.Â Obamaâ€™s
mother planned to join her husband at a later time but because of
distance, their relationship deteriorated and they divorced.Â It
wasnâ€™t until nine years later that young Barack again met the man whose
name he bore, yet
Dougherty claims that Obama never really â€œknewâ€? the man who was his father until after the elder Obamaâ€™s death.
Because of his maternal grandfatherâ€™s connections, Barack Obama was
educated at a private Hawaii school and went to college in California,
then to Columbia University.Â After graduation from Columbia, he
worked at a series of jobs that made money but didnâ€™t satisfy
him.Â Eventually, he began working with a grassroots community
organizer on Chicagoâ€™s South Side, a job that offered $10,000 a year
with a $2,000 car allowance and that instilled in him ideals and
viewpoints that now make him Oprahâ€™s close friend, a Grammy Award
winner, a wildly successful author, a paparazzi darling, and â€“
according to hopefuls â€“ possibly the next President of the United
I liked â€œHopes and Dreams: The Story of Barack Obamaâ€?, but I wish it
had been a little more neutral and a little less gushing.Â While
author and People magazine writer Steve Doughertyâ€™s version of Obamaâ€™s
life story is extremely fascinating reading â€“ and the dozens of
pictures are great to see - this book felt more to me like a campaign
piece than a biography.Â
Thatâ€™s not to say that you shouldnâ€™t read it, but that you should read
between the lines if you intend to learn more about the candidate
himself, and not about what others think of him.
Still, because this is the first biography of Obama not written by
Obama, you really should educate yourself by reading this and every
biography on Presidential candidates for â€™08.Â For just under $10,
â€œHopes and Dreams: The Story of Barack Obamaâ€? gets my vote as a good
place to start.
Book Details: â€œHopes and Dreams: The Story of Barack Obamaâ€? by Steve Dougherty
c.2007, Black Dog & Leventhal. $9.95 / $12.95 Canada 128 pages
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Ann GarrisonNovember 30,2013 @ 12:14 PM
It was sexy to be against the war back then. He was probably in it to get laid.
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