Barack Obama

  • Obama's Lost Manuscript is Also a Lost Path to a Left Populism

    by Timothy Shenk

    Substantive politics? Broad-based material benefits for the mass of Americans? Rejecting the rule of credentialed technocrats? Mobilizing voters and legislating instead of relying on the courts to protect basic rights? An unpublished 1990s manuscript co-authored by Barack Obama may leave readers wondering what happened to those ideas. 

  • Runaway American Dreams

    by Dennis M. Hogan

    What does it say about American liberalism that it's cultural tribune, Bruce Springsteen, is doing a corporate-sponsored podcast with the former President of the United States? 

  • When Did America Stop Being Great?

    by Nick Bryant

    Nick Bryant began observing America as a 16 year old at the patriotic spectacle of the 1984 Olympics. His book traces the path from "Morning in America" to "American Carnage," fixing some blame but also seeking a way through. 

  • The Forces That Stopped Obama’s Recovery Will Not Stop Biden’s

    by Jonathan Chait

    Has the bipartisan Washington elite preoccupation with budget deficits faded since the Obama Administration's troubled efforts to promote economic recovery in 2009? Will austerity wreck Biden's goals too? Jon Chait says that moment has passed. 

  • 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?