Posted 170 days ago
I was very, very disappointed with this review. This is one of the most important books of this decade (not necessarily because of Obama as a person but what he represented, the economic crisis he inherited, and what came after his presidency), and Bessner boils it down to a couple terrible points that Obama is a centrist and perpetuated military intervention around the world.
We all know these things and to ignore the rest of the book is simply a terrible review. I'm a big fan of Jacobin but every once in awhile they just publish something that is near unreadable.
If you don't want to read the book to understand how ridiculous Bessner's review is, you can read an excerpt that Obama published about the Affordable Care Act in The New Yorker:
What bothered me most about this review is not the opposition Bessner had to the book; that is perfectly fine. It's that he should have written a critical review that is insightful and interesting. To boil down Obama's memoir to this is saddening, no matter how much you disagree with his politics.