Friday, 16 January 2009

Review of 'Barack Obama: the movement for change'

Please see a review below that was sent to me of Barack Obama: the movement for change out of the blue by the very highly regarded Vietnam War novelist, Edward Wilson. It is particularly satisfying to have received this review as the book discusses the Vietnam War and its impact on American politics in the 1960s. Edward is an expert in the field so it is good that he concurred with the conclusions that the book comes to on this era!

Also, Amazon now has a 40% discount on the book! You can't argue with £4.19.....

5.0 out of 5 stars Obama: An Arc Bending Towards Justice, 14 Jan 2009
By Edward Wilson (Chediston, Suffolk) - See all my reviews
Anthony Painter's BARACK OBAMA: THE MOVEMENT FOR CHANGE ought to be required reading for anyone who votes. The most important thing about this book is the way Painter puts the rise of Obama into historical context. He begins his book with an exceptionally moving and articulate description of how the progressive forces of US politics and society were destroyed in the late 60s. As Lyndon Johnson's `Great Society' was derailed by Vietnam, the charismatic figures who may have rescued it - Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy - were gunned down. Painter suggests, quite rightly, that Robert Kennedy's assassination was a greater tragedy for America than that of his brother - Robert's lost presidency remains the most painful `if only' of recent US history.
Painter's description of the rise of the Neo Cons was of un-surpassing excellence - the reader almost wants to jump up and hiss! The Reaganites and the later Neo Cons made the fostering of false class conscience their most successful and diabolical tool:
'Much of America votes against its own self-interest
Cultural angeris marshalled to achieve economic ends...
When we add an anti-elitist hue to the mix, it becomes
easier to see how people end up, paradoxically,voting
Republican to show their displeasure with Wall Street...'
The chapters devoted to Obama's rise and political career are utterly fascinating. The snake pit of Chicago and Illinois politics is brilliantly conveyed - in a manner reminiscent of Jacobean drama.
This is an excellent book - and the author is, I hope, rightly optimistic. It was more than apt that Painter ended the book with Martin Luther King's eloquent description of the history of social progress in the USA as a `long arc that is bending towards justice.'

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