The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama (abridged audio, read by the author)

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There is no doubt about it: Barack Obama is an incredibly likeable man. His down-to-earth attitude, his (apparent) honesty, and his hope for the potential in all of us make me proud that he’s the face of America today. I loved to listen to The Audacity of Hope, which he wrote five years ago as junior Illinois Senator. I was delighted every time I remembered that he’s now the President, and able to see some of his hopes come to light.

I only wished, as I listened, that there was more of it. Only when I was nearly finished listening did I realize it was an abridgement of a longer book. (I hate it when that happens.) Still, there was something doubly wonderful about listening to President Obama narrating himself his hopes for the future of America. I’m not sure I would have loved it as much if I’d read it.

I consider myself neither a Democrat nor a Republican, neither a liberal nor a conservative. Although some of my political thoughts do lean one way or the other, I like to think of myself as a middle of the road citizen of the United States. Many of Barack Obama’s “thoughts on reclaiming the American dream,” resonated with my middle-of-the-road stance.

Listening to Barack Obama’s thoughts on his family and the future was purely delightful. I can’t really think of any other way to say it. While occasionally I’d think to myself “I really am not concerned about the issue he’s talking about” or “I don’t really agree,” for the most part, I enjoyed hearing his thoughts.

I’ve found that audiobooks are rather hard for me to write about, especially when, at less than 7 hours long, I finish it in a week and a half of driving around town. Not many solid details remain with me, but I did enjoy the time I spent listening. I think my favorite parts were the personal stories he shared of visiting with people across Illinois, meeting his wife and what it was like balancing his busy career, her career and their newborn daughters. Since I enjoyed his personal stories so much, I’m tempted to now go listen to his other book, his memoir of growing up.

If I’d been on the ball, I’d have written about this audiobook for Audiobook week as hosted by Devourer of Books. Or, I’d have had it posted this last weekend in time to suggest it’s a U.S. Independence Day post! As it is, I enjoyed it and would recommend it, albeit with the knowledge that the audiobook is unfortunately abridged.

What audiobook have you listened to lately?

Reviewed on July 6, 2010

About the author 

Rebecca Reid

Rebecca Reid is a homeschooling, stay-at-home mother seeking to make the journey of life-long learning fun by reading lots of good books. Rebecca Reads provides reviews of children's literature she has enjoyed with her children; nonfiction that enhances understanding of educational philosophies, history and more; and classical literature that Rebecca enjoys reading.

    • Amanda, it has happened to me a few too many times with audiobooks. It’s kind of why I’ve been avoiding audiobooks lately. I did look for the note before I began it. It was in small print in the back corner and I didn’t see it until too late 🙁

  • I hope it included the anecdote with Obama shook Bush’s hand only to find out he was a bit OCD with the hand sanitizer? I busted out laughing with that one.

  • Oddly enough, I’m currently listening to Dreams From My Father, also narrated by the author, and also (sadly) abridged. I feel the same way about enjoying hearing it in his own voice – I don’t think that I’d be as taken with the book if it weren’t for the fact that it comes straight from his lips!

    • Carina, ah too bad that is also abridged in audio. It makes sense: I guess Obama is a bit too important a person to spend so long recording a book — but it makes me sad because like you say I probably wouldn’t read the thing; I’d prefer to listen to it from his own lips.

    • Melissa Mc, I think the good thing about this particular audiobook is that it’s okay if your mind wanders — he’ll start another anecdote in a few minutes anyway. I really enjoyed it!

  • I listened to this one too this past year. I remember finding it interesting, but I actually didn’t like so much when he got personal, but I don’t remember why.
    I am also very moderate. I sometimes feel like I am surrounded by Obama-haters, so I feel like I have to balance that out with something! This was a great way to do that. I was disappointed by the abridgment also, but it was at least 7 more hours of stuff that I knew about him than before I listened.

    • Shelley, that’s interesting because it was the personal stuff that I loved so much!

      I purposely don’t talk politics with most of my acquaintances. But I think half are Obama-haters and the other half Obama-lovers. Maybe it’s just the more in-betweeners are the ones like me who try not to mention things for fear of arguments…

  • “Dreams From My Father” is great, definitely pick it up! I’m just sad that both of these are abridged. I’ve had a print copy of “The Audacity of Hope” forever and haven’t read it, so was hoping to listen to it after you were telling me about it. Now I’m not sure….

    • Jen, I was so sad to discover! But it’s still great and if it’s the length of the book that makes you not want to read it, I say go for the audio because it’s great to hear his narration 🙂

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