I was watching TV the other day when one of the talking heads mentioned how she had talked to Barack Obama while he was writing The Audacity of Hope - or maybe it was simply about the process of writing it, I can't remember - and she had remarked how she could tell that unlike some politicians who may have had writing help, Obama had actually done the writing himself, and had really gone through the thinking process of what he was trying to say, and fleshing out his thoughts and the philosophy behind his political ideas. And I thought to myself, "That's very cool... Why haven't you read that book yet, you lazy bastard?"
So I immediately hit up Scribd.com to see if there was a scanned copy available, and of course there is, so I grabbed the PDF and started in. (Scribd, in case you don't know, is to the written word what Napster was to music in the late 90s). At first since I was reading it on my computer I was lightly skimming like I do with web articles, but to my surprise I actually started getting into it and soon had a copy of it on my N800 to read with FBReader on the couch. (No, I don't feel bad about snagging his book off the Internet, the Senate pays pretty well - as will the Presidency ;-) - and I'm sure I'll be buying a copy or two soon enough to be sending to people I know, regardless.)
I'm only about 1/3rd of the way through, but I have to say it's very well written, moves quickly, and incredibly interesting - especially now that he's officially the Democratic Nominee. There's not a lot in it so far that you might not have heard listening to Obama's speeches, debates or interviews, but in written form, it's all that more clear and compelling. His case for changing divisive politics by focusing on common ground issues is quite interesting, as is his perspective about Democrats getting out from being constantly on the defensive against Republican attacks by promoting our core values. I've also discovered that Obama's quite a bit more moderate and forgiving than I am personally, but that's okay - he still rocks.
If you haven't gotten a chance to read it, definitely check it out - it's a glimpse into the mind of the person who will be the next President of the United States, written well before that was considered a real possibility. Honestly, reading it gives me a palpable sense of relief that there will be someone running this country who actually has a brain and a real benevolent moral compass.
If you haven't checked it out, definitely do it now. (You lazy bastard. :-))