Read The Speech: Race and Barack Obama's "A More Perfect Union" by T. Denean Sharpley-Whiting Online


After Senator Barack Obama delivered his celebrated speech, "A More Perfect Union," on March 18, 2008, New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd noted that only Barack Obama "could alchemize a nuanced 40-minute speech on race into must-see YouTube viewing for 20-year-olds." Pundits established the speech's historical eminence with comparisons to Abraham Lincoln's "A House DiviAfter Senator Barack Obama delivered his celebrated speech, "A More Perfect Union," on March 18, 2008, New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd noted that only Barack Obama "could alchemize a nuanced 40-minute speech on race into must-see YouTube viewing for 20-year-olds." Pundits established the speech's historical eminence with comparisons to Abraham Lincoln's "A House Divided" and Martin Luther King Jr's "I Have a Dream." The future president had addressed one of the biggest issues facing his campaign—and our country—with an eloquence and honesty rarely before heard on a national stage.The Speech brings together a distinguished lineup of writers and thinkers—among them Adam Mansbach, Alice Randall, Connie Schultz, and William Julius Wilson —in a multifaceted exploration of Obama's address. Their original essays examine every aspect of the speech—literary, political, social, and cultural—and are punctuated by Boston Globe columnist Derrick Z. Jackson's reportage on the issue of race in the now historic 2008 campaign. The Speech memorializes and gives full due to a speech that propelled Obama toward the White House, and prompted a nation to evaluate our imperfect but hopeful union....

Title : The Speech: Race and Barack Obama's "A More Perfect Union"
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781596916678
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 272 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Speech: Race and Barack Obama's "A More Perfect Union" Reviews

  • Thomas Rush
    2019-05-23 10:01

    This book shows the power of the media to misrepresent and how, through manipulation, it can bring unnecessary misery to a person's life, in this case, Reverend Jeremiah Wright. Reverend Jeremiah Wright had been doing great Church work for many years, with a stellar reputation as a Pastor coming from all sides, a man known for being balanced and tempered. Then, the media got ahold of a sound bite, played it over and over out of its larger context, and did everything that it could to ruin him. President Obama, caught in the crossfire of what was going on, decided to make a speech. In that speech, President Obama balanced a number of very difficult things, remaining loyal to his Pastor, and at the same time, not giving into the character assassination he saw going on. He was honest, diplomatic and wise to a fault in dealing with the issue of race head-on. His speech was simply brilliant and will go down in History as such. This book is a collection of critiques of what happened surrounding that situation. It's fair. It's wise. It's balanced and for all of these things, it becomes a great book for reviewing what happened. For all of those who are Barack Obama fans, there is another book that can add to your store of information about him and complement this one. In Thomas D. Rush's “Reality's Pen: Reflections On Family, History & Culture,” you will find a 1989 account of two private conversations between Rush and Obama. In those conversations, Barack reflects on what he envisions in his romantic future, long before he met Michelle. The account is special, in part, because it contains substance that only Rush and Obama heard. It is also special because the comments were made before Obama became famous between he and another guy who were just normal, everyday guys. The interaction is detailed on page 95 of Rush's book in a piece called “You Never Know Who God Wants You To Meet.” The Obama story is just one of the many rich stories from the book.

  • Megan
    2019-05-30 05:45

    Wow! This collection of essays is wonderful. It covers a wide range of topics and perspectives, and it includes lots of what is now historical information about the long campaign season. The entire speech is also printed at the end of the book. This is a fascinating time capsule of attitudes and issues, many of which I encountered as an early Obama supporter in Kansas. I think this is a jewel of a souvenir from a unique period in American history, and hopefully it opens its readers' minds up to other people's experiences.

  • John Nolan
    2019-05-29 11:38

    the editor is really sharp--good context, historically, especially within the drama of the race

  • Kate
    2019-06-10 10:47

    A must-read for every American of every race. So much to be learned here, both from President Obama's brilliant speech and from the incisive commentary of the writers included in this collection. Just read it. And pass it along.

  • Justin
    2019-05-26 06:53

    This book collects a number of essays on Obama's "A More Perfect Union" speech (the race speech from late in the primaries). After a slow start (the first few essays are a bit redundant in context and praise), it gains steam. Bakari Kitwana's consideration of the term "post-racial" is especially useful and insightful, and I enjoyed the essays that were less flattering to Obama (even if I think at least one of them involves some noteworthy misreading). The writers come from a number of disciplines and, not surprisingly, take a variety of approaches. The highlight for me was possibly Geneva Smitherman's examination of the speech in the jeremiad tradition (and the African-American jeremiad in particular).I'm thinking people interested in contemporary politics would find this pretty insightful and enjoyable.

  • Hannah
    2019-05-16 13:57

    This collection of essays on Obama's speech, "A More Perfect Union" was well compiled and an intriguing read. The inclusion of Obama's speech in the book was important (though I was torn as to whether I should read the speech BEFORE or AFTER reading the essays) and the essayists provided enough variation in their view points to keep this book from feeling like a collection of essays celebrating everything about Obama and the speech. Personally, I found the essays towards the end of the book to be more captivating (though there were great ones at the beginning too) and the only essay I found 'out of place' was Dominic Thomas' regarding the effect of the speech on French culture/policy.

  • Amy
    2019-05-26 12:00

    I had not listened to the entire speech previous to reading the text of it in the book. I thought that putting the speech at the end of the book was poor organization, as it seems more logical that you should refresh your knowledge of the speech before reading evaluations of it.Most of the articles were positive, though one person thought it was a complete failure. A couple analyzed it as a rhetorical device and it's use of rhetorical devices. It will provided me with an interesting insight to different perspectives on Obama's campaign and the speech's influence on the outcome. I think it will offer a unique insight into the racial and political climate of 2008 to future generations.

  • Christos
    2019-06-15 13:36

    An interesting collection of essays on one of the most memorable speeches from the campaign. I enjoyed the variety of perspectives that each of the essayists brought, though some of them were a little uneven in their analysis. Though the speech was prompted by the Rev. Wright controversy, its clear on its face and from the essays, that it resonated far and wide beyond that momentary campaign distraction. I would give the collection of essays 3.5 stars, and the speech itself 5, so call it 4 even.

  • Heidi
    2019-05-17 09:00

    Though a couple of the essays near the end of the book did not catch my interest, overall this was an engaging read which examines the impact of "The Speech" from Obama's 2008 presidential campaign from the viewpoint of essayists representing diverse communities. I most enjoyed Joan Morgan's essay on "black" identity from her perspective as a Jamaican immigrant to this country.

  • Rachel
    2019-06-09 06:58

    Though some of the essays were certainly more interesting than others, overall, I thought this was an interesting read. Several of the essays were quite thought-provoking and really made me think about race relations in our country. I recommend it!

  • Liberty Abbott-Sylvester
    2019-06-07 14:02

    I really enjoyed being able to catch up on what I missed during the election. This was not a boring read and I enjoyed it.

  • Kim
    2019-05-30 05:37

    Well written, nicely paced.

  • Elizabeth
    2019-05-22 09:58

    stickers and stamps; loose binding inside front cover