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BARACK OBAMA BOOKS available from - in association with


As well as making history as America's first black president, Barack Obama is the most charismatic American President since JFK. In a world of uninspiring political figures, Obama sticks out like the proverbial sore thumb.

Born in Honolulu, Hawaii, on August 4th, 1961, Barack Hussein Obama had a black African father, also called Barack, and a white American mother, Ann. Barack Junior's parents split before their son was three, and both parents had died before Obama was out of his early 30s. But they had given him the tools which were to make him. His parents intelligence was passed on down the genes, and Barack Obama's view of the world was coloured by living in Indonesia when a small boy, and witnessing the poverty there, before returning to Hawaii and experiencing the twisted logic of racism - albeit not at the vile intensity of more volatile areas of the US.

The world began to sit up and take notice of Barack Obama in 2004. His inspirational speech in Boston, Massachusetts, when pretty much unknown on the political stage, was really the start of something...

- Paul Rance/

Barack Obama - A Man for All Expectations?
By Paul Rance (originally published on Associated Content during Barack Obama's early days as US President)

As the first African-American President of the United States, the weight of expectation on Barack Obama's slim shoulders was already huge. With the world in economic meltdown, worries about environmental catastrophe, and ongoing concerns about Afghanistan and Iraq, it would be easy to fall into the trap of thinking of the charismatic Barack Hussein Obama as a Messiah. But, he is a man for all that.

With the popularity of George W. Bush falling like a stone in the latter days of his presidency, it's fair to suggest that any new President could be excused for buckling under the weight of the expectancy a change would bring, even in normal circumstances. But these are not just normal circumstances.

Barack Obama has already proved he is no pussycat, with moving to close Guantanamo Bay, making his feelings plain on greedy bankers, and giving a message to maverick Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that the President may have changed, but that the United States is still not a soft touch.

It can, of course, not be underestimated just how seismic the election of Barack Obama really is. The civil rights struggle seems like recent history for those old enough to have lived through it. The tears of Jesse Jackson at Obama's victory were tears of joy, but many civil rights veterans are also probably bruised - bruised from pinching themselves in sheer disbelief.

But, honeymoons do not last long, though many Republicans are prepared to give Barack Obama a chance before sharpening their claws. How long, in this turbulent time of modern history, before the critics raise their heads above the parapet will really be determined by things which President Obama cannot change all by himself, and one of those things, the economy, will normally determine how a President is judged.

Barack Obama is the most exciting political figure in the United States since John F. Kennedy, and Obama's rise has been extraordinarly swift. It will be interesting to see if his stumble on Inauguration Day was just that, or was an omen for a man whose time has come too soon. Whatever, Barack Obama is not Superman. If we have too high expectations, he will inevitably fail in our eyes. If we see him as a man who is genuinely doing his best to make America and the world a better place, then if he really does fail we should not be too hard on him. Whatever the future holds, it's going to be an interesting journey for the Democratic senator - and for us all.

Copyright © Paul Rance.

Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance
Barack Obama - 'The Audacity Of Hope'
The Audacity of Hope ~ Barack Obama
Change We Can Believe in: Barack Obama's Plan to Renew America's Promise ~ Obama for America

BARACK OBAMA BOOKS available from - in association with

The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream (Vintage)
~ Barack Obama
Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance
~ Barack Obama
The American Journey of Barack Obama
~ The Editors of Life Magazine







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