A couple of weeks ago I read Audacity of Hope. Reading it after Obama's election as president was somewhat strange. I viewed his promises and ideas more critically and as its evident now, he has not been able to live upto many of these. It felt like that all that idealism that drew people and promised hope for many was just that - unachievable ideals. It is so hard to implement many of those ideas and plans. Nevertheless, it was an enriching and insightful read because of his thorough understanding of various issues and mainly because of his authentic style. On TV, to appeal to a broad audience, he resorts to simple language. But here in the book he takes it up a notch and uses his best rhetoric. He has thought through many different issues and aspects of the American life and it clearly shows. From the various policy matters to matters of religion, race, family and values. I have new found appreciation for his intelligence, knowledge and self-awareness. The book, as intended, does an excellent job of covering all the essential elements to create a formidable platform for his presidential elections. What is remarkable is that he could craft a book while serving as a full time US senator! The timing of launch, the authenticity of thoughts and the fresh approach to politics clearly help set the tone for his successful election. He does a good job of drawing common ground among a people of diverse ethnicities, religion, nationality and political affiliation. He definitely views America's role very differently than most other American presidents. He treads a good balance between being an isolationist and unwanted involvement in matters of other nations. He takes a centrist approach much as he does on many other issues. In the end, words are only worth so much. Post election Obama has struggled to pass any significant bill with bi-partisan support. The democratic system in the US has become highly polarized and is coming in the way of progress that it badly needs to address the various domestic issues from jobs & healthcare to energy & education. Great read if you want to learn more about the man and his intellectual prowess. It also gives a great view of the state of politics and the various issues being faced by today's America.