The Plan is a book written by the president of the United States, Barack Obama. He was born in Honolulu in August 4, 1961. Obama is of mixed race with his father being an African from Kenya and the mother is an American citizen. His parents met while attending the University of Hawaii, where his father had enrolled as a foreign student. Barack’s parents eventually divorced, and after his mother remarried, he lived in Indonesia for a time before returning to Hawaii to live with his grandparents. He later moved to New York, where he graduated from Columbia University in 1983. With such a rich background, the author is perfectly suited to provide this informative book, which surpasses any boundaries and expectations of many as it covers a vast array of issues that have the potential to curve the path of the U.S., and indeed the world, to a more productive state.
In his early twenties, Obama found his vocation working among poor communities on the
South Side of Chicago. Later he went to law school at Harvard University, where he became the first black president of the Harvard Law Review. Obama has authored other books the most prominent being his memoir Dreams from My Father, which was initially published in 1995 and reissued in 2004 where it became a bestseller. After returning to Chicago, he was elected to the Illinois State Senate in 1996. Obama was brought to the limelight after he gave a remarkable keynote address at the 2004 Democratic National Convention which is largely attributed to his election to the US Senate in the same year. His election to the U.S. Senate in November 2004 was also significant as he won with the biggest margin ever in any election in the state of Chicago.
His second book, ‘The Audacity of Hope’, was published in 2006 and became an overnight bestseller. In November 2008, Senator Obama beat John McCain in the presidential elections which saw him assume office as the 44th President of the United States of America. Obama is a family man with two daughters with his wife Michelle. Obama has seven half-siblings from his Kenyan father’s family, six of them living, and a half-sister with whom he was raised with, Maya Soetoro-Ng. Obama is of the Christian religion. Even though his grandfather was a Muslim, his father an atheist and his mother an agnostic, Barack has been an actively practicing Christian for nearly 20 years, attending Chicago’s Trinity United Church of Christ.
This book explains in detail President Obama’s plan for America’s most pressing problems. The purpose of the book can be seen as that of role-modeling transparency and therefore giving hope in the current state of the country. It also seeks to put a distinction between the author’s administration of the country and the previous regimes indirectly by trying to create an atmosphere full of transparency between the citizens and the federal government. In the same light, the book seeks to enlighten the citizen and nationals so that they have a more active role in the reform agenda. It describes how Obama intends to re-position the United States as a leader and a shining example for the world. In the midst of one of the greatest challenges our country has faced, Obama lays out his vision and goals for putting America back on track. Among the key topics are reviving the economy, reducing the deficit, leaving Iraq, and universal healthcare. In addition, Stem Cell Research is discussed where the author plans to repeal the previous administrations policy that prevented federal tax dollars from being used to fund stem cell research. Also of note are Afghanistan, Iran and North Korea, energy independence, caring for our Veterans, improving education, Global Warming, Social Security, improving infrastructure, lowering taxes, and fighting terrorism (Obama, 2009).
The author seeks to re-establish himself away from what many of those who know him perceive him as – a great orator. The book is written with the aim of highlighting his administration as one of action and clarity. As a leader, he seeks to show himself as action-oriented and away from the crowd moving speeches to one who really has an action plan and a foreseeable intention to implement it. More than an inspirational figure, he establishes himself as ready to tackle the challenges faced by the country. The book is divided into four main sections. The reader has an elongated glimpse into what kind of change he wants in so many areas that were not covered in-depth in the televised run-up debates or in sound bites on the nightly news. He has very ambitious plans which if implemented would see America reclaim its position in the international scene.
These four sections outlined in the book begin with the first section named Restoring the economy and meeting our national obligations, the author tackles the issue of stimulating economic activities in order to revive the economy and this includes the proposed changes to the federal tax system with the resulting tax cuts and credits. Under this first section too, the author addresses the issues of the environment and energy where by he disclosed some initiatives like plug in electric cars to save on fuel usage also initiatives directed to encourage the general house hold to save energy in terms of home improvements (Obama, 2009).
The well thought policies of this book continue with the next three sections, with the second section is entitled Improving the lives of Americans. In this section, Obama addresses among other things the national health care with the main component being that of lowering costs and improving quality in the health care sector. Also included in the discussion are issues such as education, matters concerning the family unit, women and the social, security and Medicare especially with the low-income population in mind.
The third section comes under the name and aim of ‘Protecting the nation and restoring American values.’ It addresses the country’s movement out of Iraq where the author, President Obama, has moved to change the perception of United States war strategy by planning to decrease troop levels as was planned in the closing days of his predecessor’s administration. Also mentioned are the nuclear threats posed by Iran and North Korea and the concept of terrorism mentioning Afghanistan where the author has moved to change United States war strategy by increasing troop strength in the country so as to counter the re-insurgence and stabilize an otherwise deteriorating situation in the country. The section goes ahead to clarify issues on foreign policy such as the stand of the administration on middle-east issues, homeland security and defense (Obama, 2009).
In the final and fourth section, the author addresses other keynote issues pertaining to Taking care of the old veterans by giving initiatives in form the of taxes to businesses that hire these individuals. This section also deliberates the enactment’s proposals geared at improving the country’s civil rights. Other subsections addressed in the fourth section are poverty eradication, rural and urban planning mentioning issues to do with infrastructure, community service, disabilities and the immigration laws.
One can view this book as a perfect combination of the author’s oratory ability and his great practicality. This is especially shown by the way that he begins each chapter cover with a quote or an excerpt from one of his previous speeches. The reader is at this point made aware of the fact that the author is committed to put into action what he put in word earlier. For one who is aware of the campaign promises, which are puzzling and huge in magnitude, it is of much comfort to see the author already following up on them. As time unfolds and the reader is observing the authors progress as the president, they will be able to know the situations in which the president gets what he bargained from and where he loses out and has to make a compromise – all this being reflected in the bills passed, modified or rejected.
The topics that are covered in this book are directed to address the main political hot-points that saw the author be elected as the president of the nation. The in-depth topics include steps to reviving the economy, how to reduce the government budget deficit and the Iraq war – how the state plans to move out. In addition, the conflicts in the modern day Afghanistan, energy independence, the nuclear issues that pertain to the countries of Iran and North Korea, the care that is planned for the veterans, and basics of improving the nature of education in the country are discussed. Finally, the global warming phenomena, the all too important issue of homeland security and terrorism, lowering taxes, the specifics of stem cell research and even the universal health care issues are covered in depth (Obama, 2009). A critical issue that takes the author’s considerable attention is the re-positioning of the country economically especially at the epitome of a great economic crisis
The purpose of the book among other things is to show the source of the author’s political ideas. The political ideas are not sourced from a minority few but from the situation of the majority. Among many, there are ideas in the book that do originate from the life experiences of the author. An example would be the scenario where the author is noted to be working with a non-profit organization, which involved him getting to immerse himself deeply with the people he was working with for the benefit of some of the poorest and neediest areas of the American country. This helps in the reader obtaining an in-depth relationship with the author and this goes a long way in convincing the reader that the author can understand the plight of the majority of his countries citizen. This importantly contributes to one of the conspicuous aim of the author of bringing out hope.
It is clear that an average reader in terms of political expertise will have considerable opportunity to enjoy this book because they will understand it. The author brings out the details of his proposals for the country of United States. The manner in which he brings these proposals is one of the book’s outstanding features in the sense of its straightforward manner. There lacks the characteristic political talk and irrelevant examples, that would be an attribute of a book of such a nature. Specifics are presented with bullet points and with short paragraphs that are easy to read, understand and quickly glance through. The feat is remarkable since it is clear that the author had a purpose of transparency while writing this book in such a way as to make it easier for the readers to hold the government more accountable and committed to the proposals there in (Obama, 2009).
On a political tone, the book ‘The Plan’ is from the Obama’s administration point of view and is strictly focused on the issues to be addressed. It does not diverge into the unnecessary details of the previous regime of the author’s predecessor as the President of America. This is another remarkable feat, especially considering the political charge of the previous work with the previous regime. The author steers through these pages in the hope of eventually leaving the reader with a good road map of the destination to be reached by the Obama administration. The road map contains the vital objectives of improving the lives of Americans through effective administration policy geared into the national economic obligations, constant improvement of the community facilities and the security of the citizen. From this, the author can be perceived to be embracing a theme of a unite America whereby the political bi-poles are ignored and the focus shown to be the re-building of American values in addition to growth with development. This book is for the country’s sake, in the next four years of the author’s term in office, not for political mileage.
An important purpose that is perpetuated in this book is that of enlightenment. The author seems to target the reader in order to stimulate his/her understanding past that evoked by the media. The information that the reader would get from the media sources is usually filtered and consequently one runs a high risk of generating many unanswered questions. The reader is meant to benefit in form of answers and clarifications to any question pertaining the agenda outlined by the author in his campaign trail.
Evaluation and review
This book is highly recommended for the portion of the public that always takes deep and keen attention on the political mileage of the United States of America. This is so because it is a footprint in history as many would consider it when a president is bold and candid enough to risk reminding the citizens of the election promises made. This goes a mile a head in creating a political leadership characterized by a high level of transparency. The usual characteristic of most people who get the chance to be in the author’s office and position is a double face. A double face in the sense that they want the information on their policies out there with the people during the campaigns but after getting into office are reluctant to be as open as before. This book therefore sets a new mark of transparency for sitting presidents. Many hope that with the release of this book, it will finally help keep a politician honest.
For most, the book reinforces the hope they had in the author as they elected him president of America. This will come due to the extra details that were not covered during the author’s campaign trail becoming known in the lines of the book. This gives the reader better understanding of the consequences of their voting decision. In particular, it shows the author has understood the mandate accorded to him as the leader of the state. The details happen to come out clearly and directly, in a way the nonprofessional will have the ability to read and grasp the agenda contained in the book
As previously stated this book will revoke the mentality that can be held of a politician as more talk than substance. It will straighten out such a mentality for it discloses all of the plans and the agenda that the author, Obama, has in mind which will ensure the progress in the United States. Instead of what many would expect from the author, a book of speeches, this is a book full of well thought-out plans and policies. It is a quick and easy read given the outline of bullets and short paragraphs. The nationalities can now know of what to look positively forward from the president.
The readers most of whom will be citizens are interested in specification. These specifications become known whereby the qualitative and the quantitative are dealt with simultaneously. This means that the ‘how?’ questions and the ‘by when?’ questions that most of the readers want to know will be answered. If for example the reader is reading on the energy efficiency, the reader gets to know that a step is that of introducing one million plug-in electric vehicles by the year 2015. These vehicles are introduced because they are able to use one gallon of fuel to cover an incredible 150 miles. Other plans include providing up to seven thousand dollars tax credit for the purchase of a clean vehicle in terms of carbon emissions, converting the White House fleet to plug-ins, and by 2012, Obama proposes that half the cars purchased by the federal government will be electronic.
The details included in this book will surpass the expectations of many alike. This is because it breaches what any nation would think of when a president publishes an agenda. Many would have in mind quantities of rhetoric and speech –making. Instead, the book is full of specifications and details. The author can be deemed to have been successful in communicating his reform agenda regarding the country very successfully and comprehensively.
Obama, B. (2009), The plan : Barack Obama’s promise to America and his plan for the economy, Iraq, health care, and more, Studio City, CA : Pacific Publishing Studio