Obama's Voices

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45 Responses to “Obama's Voices”

  1. TommyC says:

    Do you guys really believe he wrote it himself? He has no other literary trail: no thesis, no law school articles, nothing. And then he writes a an admittedly well written book, first thing out of the box. Even Mark Twain didn’t do that. C’mon. Don’t insult my intelligence. It is abundantly clear Obama had a ghostwriter.

  2. buddy66 says:

    TOMMYC,

    If I’m not insulting your intelligence too much, do you have even a hint of a shred of evidence for your “abundantly clear” libel?

  3. arkizzle says:

    TommyC, JK Rowling did though. Doesn’t prove a thing.

  4. Platypus says:

    Tommyc:

    I’m guessing you have been listening to Jack Cashill and his assertion that William Ayers wrote Obama’s book.

    Here’s a good takedown of that idea at http://edgeofthewest.wordpress.com/2008/10/12/who-really-wrote-obamas-dreams-from-my-father/

    This is a blog by a couple history profs.

    As for Obama’s literary trail, he was the Editor of the Harvard Law Review, which one would hope means he knows a thing or two about writing.

  5. BuildUupBuzzKill says:

    f bngbng ws ny n bms dck ny hrdr y wld b hs nt sck

  6. buddy66 says:

    Capote was widely published before “In Cold Blood.” That was the book that made him rich and famous. And killed his talent.

  7. maxsindell says:

    I’ve been a very long boingboing reader, but finally registered to comment. Shame on me!

    I wanted say that I also just finished listening to our President-Elect read the book he wrote about his life, and there’s no real way to wrap my head around it. Somehow we were able to elect a man like this, who is a real, compassionate, flawed, wise, self reflective, intelligent, humorous, and compassionate human being. Somehow, someone like that actually wanted to be President.

  8. Chris L says:

    Classy, #1. Real classy.

  9. Dale Dougherty says:

    #2 MAXSINDELL — Well said. I’m glad you registered to say it.

  10. Menlo Bob says:

    Composite characters, made up dialog, but it’s history. Gimme a break.

  11. Fungelstein says:

    I’ll have to agree with the first gutted post with how you voice this review, even if it’s crude.

    I mean, come on.

    He’s like every other previous president we had. He makes promises, gives opinions (even if he can’t make up his minds on them), and goes about with a smile on his face. The only difference is that he’s black, and color shouldn’t be a big determining factor in being a president.

    McCain did a lot of amazing stuff too, he also did a lot of things he is and shouldn’t be proud of. This is no different with Obama.

    Like how he became a senator. He got all the other people off the ballet by getting them discharged by slight technicalities. That says to me he felt he couldn’t take them head-on. And that not only is he a sheisty character but a man with no honor.

    And if story writing is considered a great way to determine a president, than Neil Gaiman should be our next president.

  12. TommyC says:

    Platypus:

    Editing isn’t writing. I could know a thing or two about nuclear physics from a course in college, but I can’t build a nuclear reactor.

    Writing is a creative exercise while editing is not. The ranks of editors who can’t write is legion.

  13. buddy66 says:

    And most of them spot “agreement” when writers don’t.

  14. mrsomuch says:

    As a limey, following these changes second hand, I really want to listen to this. As MAXSINDELL said; on all evidence so far, to go from Bush the clown prince to Obama, a literate and thoughtful man, is truly stunning. And a well read story is worth a good deal. Count me in.

  15. Takuan says:

    what is you talking about?

  16. buddy66 says:

    “The ranks … is legion” No. It’s “are legion.”

  17. buddy66 says:

    Woops, Tak, you broke a curve on me.

  18. Antinous says:

    Maybe it’s “have lesions.”

  19. Sonja says:

    I think what makes him different from “any other president” is that he knows more of the world – he has lived in different places, with people from different cultures, for once, and that’s what a lot of this book is about.

    This doesn’t necessarily mean that he’ll automatically be a better/different kind of president, of course.

  20. buddy66 says:

    Arkizzle says Rowling’s, um, saga began as a first-shot effort. I’ve heard that before, and it might even be true.

    Do any others come to mind?

    • Antinous says:

      Unless you count translations, The Hobbit was Tolkien’s first published work. Eternal gratitude to Rayner Unwin. Publishers should hire more ten year-olds.

  21. Gilgongo says:

    I hope that the election of somebody like Obama means that America will finally become the nation it always wanted to be. His election is, frankly, the perfect opposite of the Kennedy assassination. The inexplicable, dark tragedy of that event for the office of president has now been balanced by an equally inexplicable, but shining hope.

    And that’s what worries me. Still, at least I’m a little less worried than I was during the election about whether Sara Palin would get in. Now, that WAS stressful.

  22. bannana says:

    Just finished this book…Great story.

  23. starfish and coffee says:

    On another note, is anyone else a bit bothered by the possibility of his books selling in shedloads over the holiday season, thereby earning him millions he would not have made if he had not won the election?

    I feel the only decent thing to do at this point is for him to publicly declare that he will forfeit all earnings from his books from the point he won the election to when he leaves office.

  24. buddy66 says:

    Lewis Carroll? “Alice.” Hmm, another ten-year-old Muse.

  25. FoetusNail says:

    Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, was his first and only novel.

  26. FoetusNail says:

    oops, her first novel.

  27. Takuan says:

    her, ain’t it?

  28. buddy66 says:

    It’s not like Obama’s a felon convicted of a horrendous crime, and thus barred from turning a profit on his biography. He isn’t the President yet; give him some time.

  29. MortenBlaabjerg says:

    I agree it’s an amazing book. Listening to it these days to and from work. It is a book which gives one a deep understanding of the problems of race and identity in America, yet it is highly entertaining and carries a light, perceptive tone, excellently written. It is emotionally insightful and disturbing, and it gives one a great understanding of the background and motifs of the man who’s now going to possess the most powerful job in the world.

  30. thegiantsnail says:

    He’s been getting a lot of youtube crap over some of the very honest things he’s said about his experience in youth and young adulthood.

    People don’t seem to realize that you can’t talk about racial healing without examining the festering wound that race relations had become by the time he was born.

  31. Kieran O'Neill says:

    #9: Nope. Dale’s not said anything about Obama’s character besides his ability to write and narrate a story.

    If you’re really eager to demonstrate that McCain can write and speak the way Obama can, you should link an example of literary audio work that he has produced which is of equivalent quality. Any other comparison or criticism is irrelevant to the post.

    And to address your single on-topic criticism:

    “And if story writing is considered a great way to determine a president, than Neil Gaiman should be our next president.”

    You are saying that Dale is saying that story writing should be the only way of electing a president; Dale has suggested that it is a good skill for a president to possess. The two are not equivalent.

  32. ROSSINDETROIT says:

    “I have no too great expectations of Mr. Obama. Just that he will do better than George W. **** Jr. Now that can’t be too much to hope for.”

    If that bar was any lower it would be magma.

  33. mrsomuch says:

    @9 FUNGELSTEIN

    I don’t think anyone is losing sight of the fact that Obama is still a politician, and a lawyer to boot. I definitely have a healthy scepticism and will be watching with interest how he handles office and what policy change does come out of his administration. The difference here as other commentors have said, is that he appears to be a much more rounded individual.

    He has a story, one that echoes large numbers of the populace. The fact that he is educated and literate enough to write a book that has been reviewed so positively can only be a good thing. It shows that he can think, and more importantly that he has thought already.

    To know that you have a thinking man as a leader has got to be worth something, surely?

    Also, if Neal Gaiman ran for office, I would be the most voting man in the whole world evar!

  34. Kieran O'Neill says:

    And now that I’m done grumbling, I can say the following: One of the reasons that I’ve been very hopeful about Obama’s presidency has been that the man can talk, and write, and obviously possesses some level of intelligence.

    Maybe the decency and humility he displays is just for show, as for any other politician, but it is abundantly clear that he has the ability, far above and beyond that of the average politician, to speak. He will need to do a lot of that over the next few years, both to his own citizens as he tries to mend the country’s many ills as well as to foreign heads of state and dignitaries as he tries to mend the country’s reputation internationally.

  35. Takuan says:

    Doonesbury had it from the beginning: “The “*” presidency. “*jr” he shall be forever.

  36. Frank W says:

    I have no too great expectations of Mr. Obama. Just that he will do better than George W. **** Jr. Now that can’t be too much to hope for.

  37. Oshkosh John says:

    I would not want another President with whom I could share a beer or smoke a joint. I want a President who is a lot smarter than me, and now we have one!

    Barack Obama’s speech and prose are a positive change from the dissembling babble to which we’ve been exposed for the last eight years.

  38. FoetusNail says:

    I’m counting on his intelligence and sense of history, both past and future. I believe he understands and appreciates the fact that billions of people have invested in his presidency what for many may be their last bit of hope. I believe he understands what it means to so many people here in the U.S. and abroad, to be the first man of color to occupy the White House. If he wants to represent his father’s family, he cannot afford to be an old boy in young man’s clothing. He cannot afford a dishonest failure; meaning, if he fails, he must be able to explain to his ancestors and those living today, as well as those who will learn of him tomorrow, why he failed. He must be able to say, with all honesty, that he did his best in an impossible situation.

    The incredibly sad part, is there are millions of people in this country who have been fed a steady diet of fear. They do not trust him, some even believe him to be the anti-christ, and will do everything they can to make sure he fails. The very things that give us hope scare them. The fact that all around the world people were dancing in the streets when he was declared the President-elect only serves to confirm their fear. Instead of seeing a unique opportunity, they see a threat.

  39. Ernunnos says:

    I’m a lot less concerned with what the voices sound like than what they have to say on topics like peak oil and the crashing ponzi scam we call a monetary system. It could sound like Pazuzu for all I care.

  40. Ceronomus says:

    Of course, this is non-fiction so let’s not forget Truman Capote’s “In Cold Blood.”

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