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Sabtu, 02 Mei 2009

Barack Obama: Son of Promise, Child of Hope (Hardcover)


Before I get into this review, let me say that books of this kind are nothing unusual. In the 1800s, schoolchildren read texts that glorified George Washington and Abraham Lincoln (the cherry tree, walking miles to return a book, etc.) as a means of inspiring patriotism and as examples of positive initiative for them to follow. In my own childhood in the late 1960s and early 1970s, I read similar texts on Martin Luther King and John F. Kennedy, as well as many others. In that respect, this book is no different. I'm sure that at the time, British loyalists, Confederate sympathizers, and those who disliked King and Kennedy had the same complaints about those books in their day.

Overall, taking this book as it is, it's clear intention is to use Obama's story written on a children's level to inspire them in the same fashion as the above mentioned books. We have the well known tales of Obama's confusion of his identity, the absence of his father, and the example his mother and grandparents set for him, and most everyone by now knows the rest. The presentation of young Obama's goal of uniting the various sectors of American society comes off as more admirable than worshipful to me.

Granted, those who are not inclined toward Obama's politics will not want this for their children (just as today's Democratic parents would be disinclined toward the current children's book on John McCain). But consider this book with an open mind and take it for what it is-a child's biography of Barack Obama-not a brainwashing guide for the future Obama nation.

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