Anytime a politician writes a book and they haven't run for president yet, you know they will be. Well that's just what happened with Senator Barack Obama. This book was published in 2006 and can serve as a great tool to get to know the 2008 Presidential candidate.
The book talks about his run for Senator in Illinois and the people he met and the beliefs he stands for. In other words this book Is a good insight into what platform this candidate will stand on once elected. In the book he talks about “sensitive” topics like religion, racism, U.S. foreign policy and family.
I found it a great get to know the candidate book, in fact, so much so that I think all candidates should write such a book before running. That way when elected we can say, "well right here in black and white you said you stood for this...do you plan on making yourself a liar or can we believe you?"
The book is written in first person narrative. At times it feels as though you are sitting down and reading a letter from a friend with some very humble statments, such as while he's helping to propose Iran get rid of nuclear weapon capabilities he calls his wife to discuss the positive steps and his wife tells him to bring home ant traps, she's found ants coming into the kitchen and bathroom. While other times the passages feel as though you are reading a campaign speech. The good part about it is, that the moments of "speech" are heartfelt and do not use "political rhetoric" but in terms any American can grasp and, whether on the same side of the issue or not, can empathize with the Senator.
Empathy, that's a major issue in this book. Senator Obama mentions that many of todays youth and even many adults lack that same skill when it comes to everyday life. He mentions this throughout the book and in retrospect I can see his empathic skills are much needed in America's leadership, and has been lacking for about, oh, say maybe 8 years or so.
Okay personal jokes/jabs aside. I will say this today's culture has a serious Empathy Deficit Disorder. Really look around you, the rudeness in today's society can be directly attributed to lack of Empathy. For example, that guy/gal walking down the street or sitting next to you in the restaurant or theater yelling into his cell phone, do you think he/she cares that it is rude to others around? If he/she could empathize with others, they would probably be less rude. And that is just a minor example. Well I think the Senator from Illinois has hit this nail on the head.
Can our country use a little leadership with Empathy?
With topics like Faith, Race, Family, and of course Politics discussed in this book, I think that any person, Republican or Democrat would benefit in reading this book. If nothing else at least knowing what a certain candidate stands for.
A side note here; I don't care what email you received but nowhere in this book does Senator Obama claim to be a Muslim, so please stop sending that d**n spam email telling me that he is.