The Obama Syndrome

Tariq Ali, Verso (Norton, dist.), $16.95 trade paper (168p) ISBN 9781844674497
In this slim but provocative volume, leftist writer and filmmaker Ali takes President Barack Obama to task for his first 18 months in office, arguing that despite the president's rhetoric of change, little distinguishes his administration from the Bush-Cheney White House. Ali's condemnation of Obama is sweeping, extending from foreign policy and the war on terror to financial, health care, and education reform on the domestic front. In prose that is crisp and inflammatory, and at times laden with sarcasm, Ali effectively makes the case that Obama has thus far fallen short of many of his campaign promises. Where the author treads on thinner ice is his assertion that Obama's intent has never been to implement reform. Far from being a progressive, Ali alleges, Obama is a "skillful and gifted machine politician" who uses "sonorous banality" and "armor-plated hypocrisy" to achieve his "imperial" aims. Ali's incendiary language may be off-putting to some readers, and Obama supporters may find the book vexing, if not outright deflating, but there is no doubting Ali's gifts as a polemicist, or the book's potential to rouse controversy in the run-up to the midterm elections. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/18/2010
Release date: 10/01/2010
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 208 pages - 978-1-84467-757-3
Open Ebook - 116 pages - 978-1-84467-828-0
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