In his 2006 book The Audacity of Hope, Barack Obama explores themes he initially raised in his keynote address at the 2004 Democratic National Convention. He also shares his personal views on family, faith and values, and his vision for a future that "repairs a political process that is broken." He also writes, with surprising candor, about adjusting to life as a senator, trying to balance the demands of public service with family life, and his own deepening commitment to religion.
The book's title, taken from the keynote address he delivered at the Democratic National Convention in July 2004, was inspired by the phrase, "audacity of hope," which Obama first heard in a sermon by his pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright of Chicago's Trinity United Church of Christ.
Excerpts from The Audacity of Hope:
On his vision of government:
A government that truly represents these Americans-that truly serves these Americans-will require a different kind of politics. That politics will need to reflect our lives as they are actually lived. It won't be pre-packaged, ready to pull off the shelf. It will have to be constructed from the best of our traditions and will have to account for the darker aspects of our past. We will need to understand just how we got to this place, this land of warring factions and tribal hatreds. And we'll need to remind ourselves, despite all our differences, just how much we share: common hopes, common dreams, a bond that will not break.
On his guiding principle:
I find myself returning again and again to my mother's simple principle -- 'How would that make you feel?' -- as a guidepost for my politics. It's not a question we ask ourselves enough, I think; as a country, we seem to be suffering from an empathy deficit.
Reviews on The Audacity of Hope:
"The self-portrait is appealing. It presents a man of relative youth yet maturity, a wise observer of the human condition, a figure who possesses perseverance and writing skills that have flashes of grandeur."
- New York Times Book Review
"Obama writes convincingly about race as well as the lofty place the Constitution holds in American life, not always an easy pairing for African Americans."
- Los Angeles Times
"Drawing on his experiences as a senator and lawyer, a professor and father, a Christian and a skeptic, Obama...highlights the boldness of America's original ideas and reminds readers of the importance of keeping them at the forefront of their daily lives."
- Ebony magazine