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The Audacity of Hope

Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream
Narrated by: Barack Obama
Length: 6 hrs and 10 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (519 ratings)

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Summary

Shortlisted for the British Book Awards, Author of the Year, 2009.
Winner of a Grammys Award for Best Spoken Word Album, 2008.

In July 2004, Barack Obama electrified the Democratic National Convention with an address that spoke to Americans across the political spectrum. Now, in The Audacity of Hope, he calls for a different brand of politics: a politics for those weary of bitter partisanship and alienated by the "endless clash of armies" we see in Congress and on the campaign trail; a politics rooted in the faith, inclusiveness, and nobility of spirit at the heart of "our improbable experiment in democracy". He also speaks, with surprising intimacy and self-deprecating humor, about settling in as a senator, seeking to balance the demands of public service and family life, and his own deepening religious commitment.

At the heart of this audiobook is Obama's vision of how we can move beyond our divisions to tackle concrete problems. Underlying his stories about family, friends, members of the Senate, and even the president is a vigorous search for connection: the foundation for a radically hopeful political consensus.

A president and a lawyer, a professor and a father, a Christian and a skeptic, and above all a student of history and human nature, Barak Obama has written a book of transforming power.

©2006 Barack Obama (P)2006 Random House, Inc. Random House Audio, a division of Random House, Inc.

Critic reviews

"Never has such a powerful figure told us so much so eloquently." ( The Times)

What members say

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

American politics made easy

This was a fantastic download - one that provided a lot of clarity around the politics and values of America's new president (before he was even campaigning for the role). For people like me who get tired of reading the opinions of the press, it was refreshing to hear from Obama himself, what he thinks he stands for and he provides interesting examples to back up his politics and opinions. This very personal and frank account of his beliefs has certainly given me confidence in his ability to bring real changes to America and the rest of the world. He comes across as a down-to-earth and likeable man who genuinely knows what he is talking about and what he has to do to make his country a better place. All I can say is, after listening to the Audacity of Hope, I wished Obama could run our country too!

14 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Much better than its title.

I suppose I was ready for anything when I start to read a book with a title like 'The Audacity of Hope' and I am happy to say that if there was a mention of the title in the book then it was pretty indirect. You might expect a sermon with a title like that. What there is - a pretty smart guy who communicates well on topics like: the media, political opposition, religion and state, work and family-life and so on. I wasn't sure if I liked him before I listened to this book - I knew little of him at all. I think this is the most intelligent and straight-up, optimistic (I guess the title is in there somewhere) and fair-dealing book by a politician that I have read.

21 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Great Man, Great Read

What an intelligent man. Even though I am not from USA I still think having listened to this that the right man in in charge.

4 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars

An interesting insight.

While the book has a slight democratic bias, the author does his best to deliver both a personal insight of his time working in the senate and his opinions into how the whole system of government can be improved in a educational, if slightly dry package.

The narration was delivered solidly and with the author's usual brand of charisma.

Overall, the audiobook is recommended for pleasant listening even if you aren't a big fan of politics like myself.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Cracking good stuff

This was a revelation. It illustrated elegantly the infighting and internecine wars between the reds and blues in American politics over the last 30 years. It was riveting to listen to, I regreted the end of a boring drive for once. I hope his presidency is as good as his writing!

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Politician's are scary....

It is unfortunate that our world is in the state that it's in because I genuinely fear for this lovely man as he braves the world stage.

I (like most people) knew little about him before buying this book and now after listening to it along with a few speeches I found on I-tunes; I'm a genuine fan. Politics is a dirty business and here is a decent, educated, likeable guy that will do his best to change that crappy deal that too many people worldwide are in. Like it or not; the USA lead the "free" world and what he says and does will affect almost everyone in one way or another.

After listening I have genuine hope that he can do as he'd like to do and is not singled out for martyrdom by the evil that lurks generally in our world and in America in particular.

I thrilled at his stories of the students he teaches and the voters he has learned from. I am warmly comforted by the fact that his rise has been rapid enough that he has not (yet) been tainted. This book is lovely and I look forward to hearing more about and from him.

Martin Luther King, Huey Newton, Johnnie Cochran, Malcolm X, Rosa Parks and many others would not believe what he has already done so swiftly. I sincerely hope that he continues to accomplish the "impossible."

God knows we could all use a few more miracles.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Cost of being a public man

Very good: loved hearing about the dayly life of a senator...and the cost of such a vocation for Michelle. (Admire her at least as much as him!) He read too fast for me.

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If only Barrack could be listened to by his own co

beautifully written and narrated. I am British but I respect Barrack Obama, the constitution and the millions of people in America who make that country great. If only all Americans however, and whatever their disposition in life, could work together as he dreams they would, the world would be a far better place.

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Lessons for future leaders

Loved it. Not a politics inclined person, but I acknowledged the messages in each chapter.

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Challenging

If you are at all interested in social change and the governments role this book has an important contribution. Also the author is inspirational.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 01-03-19

From a conservative

Wow! I was surprised at how little I disagreed with. I didn't vote for him either time, but I would now. It is sad that we make our opinions based on pundits and media rather than listening to the actual person. He's a very good and moral person who cares about our country and I think we downgraded substantially.

102 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Dallas D. Lobdell
  • 12-02-15

My Fellow Conservatives, Give This A Listen

If you could sum up The Audacity of Hope in three words, what would they be?

Shared American Values.

Any additional comments?

Yeah, i know, it's written by Obama so this book is taboo, right? Well, on a whim, i purchased this title and i am truly happy that i did. I don't agree with everything he says in the book but he does a good job admitting his biases in the intro which i found admirable. This book is more about finding commonality in shared American values than in agreement upon particular agendas. In that regard, i feel like i understand Obama's and the liberal point of view better now. We live in a country paralyzed politically. The way forward won't be through demonizing anyone or any party, red, blue, or green. I invite You, my fellow reds, to listen to this with a bit of patience and a willingness to hear his thoughts. I think we will all benefit from it.

438 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • David
  • 19-03-07

amazing

I consider myself a moderate republican, but I wanted to read this book to find out what Obama was about. In the book he presents a refreshingly honest account of how politics works and lays out a centrist vision for the relationship between government and its citizens. Far from demonstrating youthful inexperience, he shows that he has a firm grasp of both sides of the major issues facing the nation as well as a keen understanding of American history and government. While most of the book is about a domestic agenda with little emphasis on foreign policy, I found myself agreeing with the majority of his ideas. I have no doubt that if everybody read this book, Barack Obama would be the next president of the United States.

143 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Pat Furrie
  • 07-03-07

The only thing wrong with it...

... was it is abridged. I would have liked to have heard everything, after having enjoyed this abridged version so much.

79 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Clyde
  • 30-01-10

Very Insightful

This book is an excellent reference for understanding the inner workings of politics and also President Obama's character and his political vision.

13 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Somone
  • 29-11-10

Excellent

One of my favorite audiobooks- so uplifting and mature. Obama offers up a spirit of excellence, cooperation, and intelligence as he talks about his political journey, ambitions, and family. It's difficult not to like him especially when contrasted with Palin's audiobooks that are tinged with lost-election-bitterness and inappropriate combativeness. If purchasing, be ready to pay attention- if your attention wanders for a second, you can get lost.

23 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Ronald
  • 08-11-06

Barack Obama is an inspirng speaker

I found the book to be very inspiring. It is good to hear the audio book read by the author. I found some of the book a little too party line but it sounds good when Barack talks about the seperation of church and state. However, his religious beliefs are a foundation of what he is.

Even though I am republican I found it very good to hear from a possible future presidential or VP candidate. Depending on stances Barack takes on certain issues; I could vote for this man.

45 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • StephSchiff
  • 09-04-08

Incredible!

I wasn't sure I would enjoy this - I thought it would be a repeat of his speeches and what he's said on the news the past few years. I was wrong. I was engrossed and listened every chance I got until I had listened to it twice, and I rarely read or listen to something twice within a few years! This is one of those books made for an audio format - hearing his words, in his own voice, really helped me connect and become more engaged.

It gives me hope that our next President (assuming it's him) will understand how normal people live. After listening to this book, I began volunteering for his campaign - and I'm an EX-Republican! The more I learn about this man (and I've done my research), the more determined I am that he has to be our next POTUS.

20 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Donald
  • 14-06-09

An Excellant Read

This is packed full of information about what makes this man tick. I will refer to it often.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Michael
  • 27-12-06

What a wonderful read/listen

I find this book to be most helpful in explaining how the hope for America, or the American Dream, and the pugnacious nature of the current political landscape find each other at odds, even at the highest levels.

If we, American society in sum, are to begin to forge ahead in achieving new innovations in technology, communications and culture, then the foundations for such are not yet being built. The collegial discussions of Big Gov't vs. Smaller Gov't are still being thrust into political debate, so says the author, and ought not be the focus of future. Decisions need to be made, now. Decisions like, fostering a domestic entrepreneurial spirit and improving a foreign policy that is wrought with fear and ambiguity. These are things that America will need to strive to achieve in the next elections. In simpler terms, we need to progress or be left behind.

It is not so much to aspire to achieve, as to build the necessary infrasture that achievement becomes possible. The path forged by our ancestors need not be seen as something squandered, rather admired and built upon. Debates and elections must speak to the voice of the people and leaders are there to inspire the next generation of leaders.

Barack Obama mentions his early life to illustrate the point that we either become the fray, or rise above it. As it had been mentioned in previous reviews, his eloquence of thought and speech will captivate any audience. His mastery of saying what needs to be said, while making the reader/listner more intelligent and feel more intellectual are truly his gift. I recommend this book to any one that is looking for a deeper understanding of the dichotomy that exists within business and/or political landscapes and the progress/struggle we all face in making a difference. The struggle needs to be defined to know what we are up against and Barack Obama has certainly defined his.

12 people found this helpful