Is Barack Obama the savior of liberalismor the last liberal president? Charles R. Keslers spirited analysis of Obamas political thought shows that he represents either a new birth of liberalismor its demise.Who is Barack Obama? Though many of his own supporters wonder if he really believes in anything, Charles R. Kesler argues that these disappointed liberals dont appreciate the scope of the presidents ambition or the long-term stakes for which he is playing.Conservatives also misunderstand Obama, according to this leading conservative scholar, educator, and journalist. They dismiss him as a socialist, hopelessly out of touch with the American mainstream. The fringe Right dwells on Obamas foreign upbringing, his missing birth certificate, Bill Ayerss supposed authorship of his books. What mainstream and fringe have in common is a stubborn underestimation of the man and the political movement he embodies.Reflecting a sophisticated mix of philosophy, psychology, and history, and complemented by a scathing wit, I Am the Change tries to understand Obama as he understands himself, based largely on his own writings, speeches, and interviews. Kesler, the rare conservative who takes Obama seriously as a political thinker, views him as a gifted and highly intelligent progressive who is attempting to become the greatest president in the history of modern liberalism. Intent on reinvigorating the liberal faith, Obama nonetheless fails to understand its fatal contradictionsa shortsightedness that may prove to be liberalisms undoing.Will Obama save liberalism and become its fourth great incarnation, following Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Lyndon B. Johnson? Or will he be derailed by his very successes? These are the questions at the heart of Keslers thoughtful and illuminating book.
- Publication Date:
- 11 / 09 / 2012