Date of this Version
Journal of Women in Educational Leadership, Vol. 5. No. 3 · July 2007 ISSN: 1541-6224
Review of Barack Obama. (2006). The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream. New York, NY: Crown Publishers. 362 pages.
Political figure, Barrack Obama, shares his beliefs and political foundation in Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream. Obama was cast into the national spotlight when a~ked to deliver a keynote speech at the 2004 Democratic Presidential Convention. Before the convention he was not well known outside of the fllinois political circle. This book consists of a litany of his fundamental beliefs that have contributed to his personal and political values. Reviews about Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream are easy to locate. Many tend to be from pundits who think critically of aspiring political figures. So what does Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream provide for those interested in women's leadership? Perhaps the answer lies in a statement shared in the Epilogue: The audacity of hope. That was the best of the American spirit, I thought, having the audacity to believe despite all the evidence to the contrary that we could restore a sense of community to a nation torn by contlict: ... [W]e have control and therefore responsibility over our own fate. (Italics added) p. 356. There are lessons to be learned from the book's basic premises. lt is the "audacity of hope" that leads us to believe that we can do better. It is the "audacity of hope" that allows us to take charge of our own fate. It is the "audacity of hope" that instills in us the desire for strong leadership. No more evident is this "audacity of hope" than in the leadership of women committed to creating a better place. The fundamental beliefs Obama shares reflect those noted in women leadership literature. The beliefs include (a) staying true to core values, (b) selecting role models and mentors. (c) establishing a support system, (d) learning to compete in an unfamiliar environment, (e) overcoming stereotypes, and (f) maintaining political rightness.