Home Issues Leaders Recent Grid Archive Senate House VoteMatch_Quiz FAQs
 2016 Election:  Hillary's book Trump's book Bernie's book Ted Cruz's book  |   2016 Senate   Debates 

Books by and about 2020 presidential candidates
Crippled America,
by Donald J. Trump (2015)
by Cory Booker (2016)
The Truths We Hold,
by Kamala Harris (2019)
Smart on Crime,
by Kamala Harris (2010)
Guide to Political Revolution,
by Bernie Sanders (2017)
Where We Go From Here,
by Bernie Sanders (2018)
Promise Me, Dad ,
by Joe Biden (2017)
Conscience of a Conservative,
by Jeff Flake (2017)
Two Paths,
by Gov. John Kasich (2017)
Every Other Monday,
by Rep. John Kasich (2010)
Courage is Contagious,
by John Kasich (1998)
Shortest Way Home,
by Pete Buttigieg (2019)
The Book of Joe ,
by Jeff Wilser (2019; biography of Joe Biden)
by Michelle Obama (2018)
Our Revolution,
by Bernie Sanders (2016)
This Fight Is Our Fight,
by Elizabeth Warren (2017)
Higher Loyalty,
by James Comey (2018)
The Making of Donald Trump,
by David Cay Johnston (2017)
Books by and about the 2016 presidential election
What Happened ,
by Hillary Clinton (2017)
Higher Loyalty ,
by James Comey (2018)
Trump vs. Hillary On The Issues ,
by Jesse Gordon (2016)
Hard Choices,
by Hillary Clinton (2014)
Becoming ,
by Michelle Obama (2018)
Outsider in the White House,
by Bernie Sanders (2015)

Book Reviews

(from Amazon.com)

(click a book cover for a review or other books by or about the presidency from Amazon.com)

Barack Obama:
This Improbable Quest,
by John K. Wilson

(Click for Amazon book review)

Click here for 36 full quotes from Barack Obama in the book This Improbable Quest, by John Wilson.
OR click on an issue category below for a subset.

BOOK REVIEW by OnTheIssues.org:

This book is the first solid book about Obama's politics, from outside of his campaign. Obama has written several books himself, but those are necessarily biased by their autobiographical nature. We've been waiting all campaign season for a good book ABOUT Obama, rather than BY Obama, and it took until October 2007 for it to get published.* (One might compare that to the dozen books about Hillary!)

The author, John K. Wilson, was a student of Obama's, while Obama was teaching at the University of Chicago Law School. Wilson clearly admires Obama, but the book is not hagiography -- it addresses the serious issues that Obama faces about his personal past and his voting record. It's a solid analysis from a pro-Obama perspective -- useful for Obama fans who want to respond to legitimate criticisms. It's not so useful for those who are anti-Obama -- if Obama goes further, books for them will follow.

The content of the book addresses several key issues that have followed Obama's campaign: race, experience, religion, and the few scandals that have plagued Obama. The book also addresses the "Generation Obama" aspect of the campaign -- his appeal as the first Gen-X** candidate among young people and the blogosphere.

The title of the book comes from Obama's speech announcing his presidential candidacy, in which he invited supporters to join him on "this improbable quest." If Obama ever wins the presidency, that phrase could become his slogan.

* We cover two other books about Obama: Should Barack Obama Be President? and Hopes and Dreams, but both are just introductory -- quick-published books which introduce the candidate without the depth offered here.
** I'm the same age as Obama and I don't consider myself a Gen-Xer. I'm too young to be a Baby-Boomer (I define them by Vietnam and hippies) and too old for Gen-X (I define them as having grown up with computers), so I call myself "Gen-W," i.e., "before Gen-X." But that hasn't caught on....

-- Jesse Gordon, jesse@OnTheIssues.org, Oct. 2007

By the same author: The Most Dangerous Man in America: Rush Limbaugh's Assault on Reason, by John K. Wilson

 OnTheIssues.org excerpts:  (click on issues for details)
    Voted against banning partial birth abortion.
Budget & Economy
    Rejects free market vision of government.
Civil Rights
    Include class-based affirmative action with race-based.
    Decisions about marriage should be left to the states.
    Homosexuality no more immoral than heterosexuality.
    Pushed Illinois bill to videotape all capital interrogations.
    No extra penalty for gang association.
    Not first candidate to use drugs, but first honest about it.
    2001: questions harsh penalties for drug dealing.
    Organized inner-city recycling; fought environmental racism.
Foreign Policy
    No Obama Doctrine; just democracy, security, liberty.
    Wrote 2006 law stabilizing Congo with $52M.
Government Reform
    Public submits policy ideas on Obama’s “My Policy” website.
    Reduced cost TV ads for candidates; $85M presidential limit.
Gun Control
    2000: cosponsored bill to limit purchases to 1 gun per month.
Health Care
    Added 20,000 children to Illinois healthcare.
Homeland Security
    Judgment is as important as experience.
    If attacked, first help victims then prevent further attacks.
    2006: Obama-Lugar bill restricted conventional weapons.
Principles & Values
    First major politician of the post-Baby Boom generation.
    Community politics: merges Alinsky & political activism.
    Registered 150,000 young Chicago area black voters in 1992.
    Criticizes voter cynicism from decades of disappointment.
    On “inexperience”: he wrote policy books that media ignores.
    Real estate deal with felon was “boneheaded” but ethical.
    Veiled racism in dismissing Obama as “unqualified”.
    Bradley effect: black candidates poll above actual votes.
    Madrassa myth perpetuated by false email & fabricated story.
    Apply lessons from both Goldwater and McGovern.
    Uses prayer to take stock of his moral compass.
    Invites supporters to join him on “This Improbable Quest”.
    Resolve “most electable” vs.“most progressive” by being both.
Tax Reform
    Trillion dollar giveaway: the Paris Hilton Tax Break.
    Organizes campaign events via MySpace.com and FaceBook.com.
War & Peace
    2002: I don’t oppose all war; I do oppose dumb war.
Welfare & Poverty
    1980s: Director of the Developing Communities Project.

The above quotations are from Barack Obama:
This Improbable Quest,
by John K. Wilson.

All material copyright 1999-2022
by Jesse Gordon and OnTheIssues.org
Reprinting by permission only.

E-mail: submit@OnTheIssues.org
Send donations or submit quotations to:
1770 Massachusetts Ave. #630
Cambridge, MA 02140

Home Page
Most recent quotations Archive of books & debates Candidate Matching Quiz

Page last edited: Dec 22, 2018