Audacity of Hope

by Barack Obama

The Audacity of Hope was written in 2006, a year after Barack Obama’s election as the United States Senator of Illinois and a year prior to him campaigning for president. The book illuminates Obama’s political ideologies and social principles while providing a compass to navigate his perceived truths and his solution to “reclaiming the American dream”.

Obama highlights the country’s two uniting factors: a belief in freedom and a belief in community. He establishes this by making reference to the constitution and declaration of independence. This effectively engages his prospective audience, all Americans, since they can all relate to the need for freedom and community. This provides him with a more politically diverse audience. By establishing the uniting factor among all Americans, he unlocks the door to allow his readers to follow him to achieve his vision, no matter their political stance. To supplement this, he unexpectedly, yet ingeniously develops nonpartisan viewpoints throughout his book, which implicitly illustrates his open-mindedness and visionary character, which are both paramount in achieving good leadership.

As I was reading, I noticed a pattern of these clever tactics employed throughout the book, which creates common ground between the American people and Obama, allowing the readers to see a reflection of their ethical values in Obama, initiating relatability and making him seem to be a voice for the people. This made me realise that by forming strong united bonds among people, a leader can easily guide people by gaining more support, allowing the leader to achieve their visions systematically and effectively without much opposition.

Despite this, Obama usually falls prey to one major political stereotype. Due to his many unbiased points throughout the book, a sceptical reader who is highly dependent on logical thinking rather than emotions might quickly conclude that Obama is a people pleaser and is therefore dishonest in his claims, especially since Obama relies heavily on personal anecdotes in his writing style. As a result, his supportive audience largely revolves around the everyday Americans who can easily empathise with Obama and view him as a humble leader due to his approachable character. This has shown me the limitations of attempting to unite people despite their differences. Nonetheless, Obama’s book has taught me that a rich moral compass can lead to successful leadership despite having diversity among the people.

To conclude, Obama’s book is advantageous to those who are politically curious or passionate about leadership and service. By employing clever tactics in his writing such as underlining the importance of unity despite political diversities and using that to build relatability between himself and the American people, Obama’s book emphasises the concept of servant leadership and vision. Short answer, yes I would recommend this book to a friend.


Bathya Nkunda

Rating: 4 Interesting 


The Audacity of Hope is a book that talks about Barack Obama’s life, from his early experiences as a mixed-race child, raised by a single mother to his political career Barack Obama’s goal seems to be to find commonality amongst all political movements and to find the base ground of issues such as abortion and healthcare services. He also highlights how Americans have more in common than differences. Barack Obama argues that freedom is only guaranteed if power is decentralized and if we all stand together, united, by upholding equal treatment regardless of race, gender or religion. Obama believes in three things: 1. All Americans are united by two main beliefs: freedom and community. 2. Politicians become a lot like the citizens’ sponsors, which makes it very hard for them to do the job that their meant to do. And 3. Today’s international battles are battles of ideas, which cannot be won by use of weapons.

Risper Okello

Rating: 3 Worth Reading