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By CJ on 02-06-18
Unbalanced, narrow and personal
I’m a general fan of M.E.D. however this book could have been entitled “I have an axe to grind against Obama and here’s why”. For all of M.E.D.’s theoretical splendor and verbal gymnastics, he fails to truly appreciate the practical, political and strategic approach 44 took after his election and re-election.
Although being President for all America, Dyson short changes what he accomplished for Black America - either directly or indirectly - during his term. If you pay attention to everything Sessions & 45 are trying to undo, you will start to appreciate everything 44 & Holder accomplished. Additionally there is way too much emphasis placed on Obama’s biracial genetics as a explanation for his motivations or positioning. Your title is “ The Black Presidency” not “The Bi-racial Presidency”. Although a factor, it was highlighted way too much.
Of course Obama, as a black man, is given license to speak more directly and candidly to and about his culture. To suggest since his mother was white, he should feel empowered to speak as candidly to white America is in a word, naive. Obama was astute enough to know his Presidency was a beta that would stretch beyond his time at 1600. His approach was not philosophical. His approach was not theoretical. It was strategic, practical and given his election and re-election, successful. He had what others in academia or the speaking circuit did not have had - responsibility and accountability. Basically he had to get “stuff” done, just not talk about it.
I did not find this to be a book about “The Black Presidency”. My opinion, it’s more of an opinion piece with some selective facts and quotes sprinkled in as opposed to a balanced and objective account, good and/or bad, of Obama’s 8 years. Honestly it came across more personal, again like an axe to grind. You were candid in your book, hopefully you can appreciate the same candor in this review.
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