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Friday, April 17, 2009


In his early twenties…yet enriched with multitude of experience. Half American and half Kenyan, early childhood in Hawaii, parents getting divorced, moving to Indonesia to stay with Indonesian step-father, staying with grandparents in Hawaii….this is indeed a childhood that possesses the sensitivity to carve out a successful story for others to read. As if the family aspect were not enough, this childhood was exposed to racism in the developed world and poverty in the developing world. The first book by US President Barack Obama “Dreams from my Father” is a narration of experiences, about society and life…in US, Indonesia and Kenya. It’s about youthful confusions about identity and race. Last but not the least, it’s a biographical account of the first twenty odd years of a phenomenon called Obama. Who knew then, that this guy will beat all the odds…against origin….against experience…against life…to become the most powerful person in the globe.

More than a decade after his first experience as an author, Obama wrote his second book. This book is about the answers. Though it’s more of a political address, resembling a political ideology, but something within it seem to provide an answer to the questions that were raised in the first book….about race, religion, family and work and about it should be. This book titled “Audacity of Hope” stresses the importance of reality vis-à-vis blind optimism, a pragmatic approach towards politics…and the way it should serve people…creating value based opportunities, unstained by racism and religion. Politics is not sensation…its something moderate.

“What’s there in a name?” – They say. But here is a name for a political address of twenty minutes which made a presidential candidate out of a relatively junior senator and a name of an international best seller……The audacity of hope!!!...

“In the end, that's what this election is about. Do we participate in a politics of cynicism or a politics of hope? John Kerry calls on us to hope. John Edwards calls on us to hope. I'm not talking about blind optimism here -- the almost willful ignorance that thinks unemployment will go away if we just don't talk about it, or the health care crisis will solve itself if we just ignore it. No, I'm talking about something more substantial. It's the hope of slaves sitting around a fire singing freedom songs; the hope of immigrants setting out for distant shores; the hope of a young naval lieutenant bravely patrolling the Mekong Delta; the hope of a millworker's son who dares to defy the odds; the hope of a skinny kid with a funny name who believes that America has a place for him, too. Hope in the face of difficulty. Hope in the face of uncertainty. The audacity of hope!!!”