Tuesday, February 1, 2011

My First Political Book Review

So I don't usually read political books, I like to read blogs and articles about politics, but I mainly like to stick to fiction in my book undertakings. I do like biographies, and this was in part a biography. That alone probably wouldn't have been enough for me to commit to reading it, but... I was stranded in the car one day with no book...gasp! Jake (aka my little political genius brother) got this book for Christmas, and he had brought it along (as well as some others). He graciously allowed me to borrow it. I was intending to merely read a chapter or two to pass the time in the car, but once I started this book, I very soon realized I wouldn't be able to stop until I had finished it!

It was interesting learning about Obama's growing up years, and his adult life before he was so much in the public eye. I don't think I could stomach a book on Obama written by the type who would usually choose to do a bio on him (a member of the "Obama Choir" as D'Souza likes to call them). So it was nice being able to read about him from a non-biased source that I feel I can trust. I actually ended up feeling sorry for Obama on a personal level. Neither of his parents were really present for his childhood (physically or emotionally present), and I know that had to have affected him. Obama's politics and ideals are different than I had assumed before reading this book. He's basically living through the 1950's political ideals of his unstable father. Here are a few quotes I wrote down because to me, they did a good job of explaining Obama's goals and outlooks as an Anti-Colonialist.

"If Obama has his way, America would look a lot like Obama's father wanted Kenya to look: government run peasant cooperatives rationing land and natural resources in order to enjoy a modest self sufficiency."

Call me a greedy capitalist, but I don't like the idea of this being the future of America.

This next quote is referring to Obama's preoccupation with his father's stories of his life in Kenya. Obama was quite enamored with his father, even though Obama Sr. barely acknowledged his son's existence, as well as lied to and abandoned Obama Jr. and his mother (he was already married, but he didn't mention this fact to Obama's mother).

"Obama inhabits a world of memories that harken back to continents far away and wars long ago. It was a world of marauding colonial armies and guerillas hiding in the Aberdare mountains. It was a world of pageantry and broken dreams. ... compared to all this, today's world of global summits and credit card bailouts and ribbon-cutting seems dull and thin. In terms of sheer human drama, nothing today seems to rise to the level of the way things used to be."

Overall, I enjoyed this book and I'm glad I happened to read it. I enjoyed D'Souza's writing style and fresh take on Obama. I also liked learning more about D'Souza's life, he's a fascinating person in his own right. I may read more of his books one day...that is if I ever catch up on all the fiction books I have planned to read! =)