By September 21, 2010 0 Comments Read More →

New Books Offer a Midterm Look at Obama and Biden

The Mendacity of HopeThe recession may be over (did you notice?), but the man in the White House is still taking it on the chin–and not just from FOX News, either. Some of the latest criticism comes from liberals. In The Mendacity of Hope: Barack Obama and the Betrayal of American Liberalism, Roger Hodge compares Obama’s lofty rhetoric with the harsh reality of governance and finds the president wanting. Writes our reviewer, Vanessa Bush:

Instead, Hodge cites example after example of how corporate interests have seen their investment in Obama’s campaign pay off while the aspirations of middle-class voters have been neglected.

And, in The Obama Syndrome: Surrender at Home, War Abroad, Tariq Ali shares his visceral disappointment that Obama, scorned by right-wingers as a socialist, hasn’t moved the national agenda nearly far enough to the left. Again, from Ms. Bush:

Ali portrays Obama as “simultaneously wily and timorous” as he has tried to appease both Republicans and Democrats in the name of consensus building, sparking severe criticism on the Right and alienation on the Left. Ali sees Obama most consistent in his support of corporate interests.

You know who doesn’t come off quite so badly? The vice president. In Joe Biden: A Life of Trial and Redemption, Jules Witcover offers a more sympathetic treatment of the man who is a heartbeat away from the presidency. Furthermore, in this month’s Atlantic, there’s an article (“The Salesman,” by Mark Bowden) that claims Biden’s stock is rising. (Even if you haven’t noticed your stocks rising yet.)



About the Author:

Keir Graff is Executive Editor of Booklist Publications and the author of five books. His most recent is the middle-grade novel, The Other Felix (2011). Follow him on Twitter at @Booklist_Keir.

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