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Barack Obama



  • The False Promise of Obama's 'Promised Land'

    by Daniel Steinmetz-Jenkins

    A critique of the first volume of Obama's presidential memoir argues that the 44th President was unwilling to acknowledge the limits of the centrist liberal politics of the 1990s and unable to consider more progressive alternatives. 



  • What Obama Gets Wrong on 'Defund the Police'

    by Austin McCoy

    "If political budgets are moral documents, then divesting heavily from institutions that have the capacity to perpetuate harms is the moral thing to do."



  • Governing in Prose: Realpolitik and Idealism in Obama’s First Term

    by Eric Foner

    Eric Foner's review of the first volume of Obama's memoir focuses on the conflict between pragmatism and idealism, and concludes that the 45th President erred in offering bailouts to bankers and expecting cooperation from Republicans, mistakes that crippled his presidency and set the stage for Trump. 



  • Trump Looms Large Now, but Maybe Not Forever

    by Steve Inskeep

    NPR's Steve Inskeep reflects on the prospect that historical distance will make Trump and Trumpism smaller (and not all-consuming) parts of a story about American society struggling with bigger questions of political, economic and social equality that became increasingly contentious during the Obama era. 



  • A Brief History of Presidential Memoirs

    Presidential historian Craig Fehrman says that presidents in the early republican period shunned writing memoirs as vain and self-promoting. The quality of many subsequent presidential books suggests they were on to something. How will the recent first volume of Obama's memoirs be received? 


  • The Case for Religious Progressivism

    by Walter G. Moss

    Those who argue, “We should keep religion out of politics,” are being simplistic. One can more properly cite individuals like Frederick Douglass, Dorothy Day, Martin Luther King Jr., Barack Obama, and Pope Francis who counter that the spiritual and moral values commonly advocated by major religions should inspire our politics.



  • The Obama Presidential Library That Isn’t

    President Obama unveiled the plans for the Obama Presidential Center in May 2017. He said he wanted a place that “looked forward, not backward, and would provide a place to train future leaders.”