We Are the Change We Seek: The Speeches of Barack Obama

We Are the Change We Seek: The Speeches of Barack Obama

by E. J. Dionne Jr., Joy-Ann Reid


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A collection of Barack Obama's greatest speeches, now including his farewell address, selected and introduced by columnist E.J. Dionne and MSNBC host Joy-Ann Reid.

"It is a political partisan's dream to see them [Obama's words] so finely gathered here." - Washington Post

We Are the Change We Seek
is a collection of Barack Obama's 27 greatest addresses: beginning with his 2002 speech opposing the Iraq War and closing with his emotional farewell address in Chicago in January 2017. As president, Obama's words had the power to move the country, and often the world, as few presidents before him. Whether acting as Commander in Chief or Consoler in Chief, Obama adopted a unique rhetorical style that could simultaneously speak to the national mood and change the course of public events. Obama's eloquence, both written and spoken, propelled him to national prominence and ultimately made it possible for the son of a Kenyan man and a white woman from Kansas to become the first black president of the United States.

These speeches span Obama's career—from his time in state government through to the end of his tenure as president—and the issues most important to our time: war, inequality, race relations, gun violence and human rights. The book opens with an essay placing Obama's oratorical contributions within the flow of American history by E.J. Dionne Jr., columnist and author of Why The Right Went Wrong, and Joy Reid, the host of AM Joy on MSNBC and author of Fracture.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781635570915
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Publication date: 01/31/2017
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 305,174
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author

E.J. Dionne, Jr. writes about politics in a twice-weekly column and on the PostPartisan blog. He is also a government professor at Georgetown University, a visiting professor at Harvard University, a senior fellow in governance studies at the Brookings Institution and a frequent commentator on politics for National Public Radio and MSNBC. He is the author of seven books including One Nation After Trump: A Guide for the Perplexed, The Disillusioned, The Desperate, and The Not-Yet Deported (co-authored with Norman J. Ornstein and Thomas E. Mann) and Why the Right Went Wrong: Conservatism – From Goldwater to the Tea Party and Beyond. He lives in Bethesda, Md., with his wife, Mary Boyle. They have three children, James, Julia and Margot.

Joy-Ann Reid is a political analyst, the host of "AM Joy”, the author of the book Fracture: Barack Obama, the Clintons and the Racial Divide, and a columnist at The Daily Beast. Joy writes a weekly column for The Daily Beast and her columns and articles have appeared in The New York Times, The New Republic, and The Guardian. She and her husband, editor Jason Reid, own a documentary film company called Image Lab Media Group. She currently resides in Brooklyn with her husband and family. Follow her on Twitter, Snapchat and Instragram at @JoyAnnReid and "like" her on Facebook at Joy Reid Official

Table of Contents

Introduction: "Let Us March" xi

"What I Am Opposed to is a Dumb War": Speech against the Iraq War Chicago, IL, Octobers, 2002 1

"The Audacity of Hope": Keynote Address at the 2004 Democratic National Convention Baton, MA, July 27, 2004 5

"How Far We've Come": Remarks at John Lewis's Sixty-fifth Birthday Gala Atlanta, GA, February 21, 2005 14

"We Cannot Abandon the Field of Religious Discourse": Keynote Address at the Call to Renewal Conference Washington, D.C., June 28, 2006 21

"What's Next for America?": Speech at the Jefferson-Jackson Dinner Des Moines, IA, November 10, 2007 38

"Yes, We Can": New Hampshire Primary Concession Speech Nashua, N.H., January 8, 2008 46

"A More Perfect Union": Speech at the National Constitution Center Philadelphia, PA, March 18, 2008 51

"Change Happens": Acceptance Speech at the 2008 Democratic National Convention Denver, CO, August 28, 2008 70

"This is Your Victory": Election Night Victory Speech Chicago, IL, November 4, 2008 88

"A New Era of Responsibility": First Inaugural Address Washington, D.C., January 20, 2009 96

"Open Hearts. Open Minds. Fair-minded Words.": Remarks at Notre Dame Commencement South Bend, IN, May 17, 2009 106

"A New Beginning": Remarks at Cairo University Cairo, Egypt, June 4, 2009 120

"The Happy Warrior": Eulogy for Senator Edward M. "Ted" Kennedy Boston, MA, August 29, 2009 142

"A Just and Lasting Peace": Nobel Peace Prize Lecture Oslo, Norway, December 10, 2009 150

"Justice Has Been Done": Remarks on Osama bin Laden Washington, D.C., May 2, 2011 166

"I Am Here to Say They Are Wrong": Remarks on the Economy Osawatomie, KS, December 6, 2011 172

"Newtown, You Are Not Alone": Remarks at Sandy Hook Interfaith Prayer Vigil Newtown, CT, December 16, 2012 194

"We, the People…": Second Inaugural Address Washington, D.C., January 21, 2013 201

"Now We Need to Finish the Job" 2013 State of the Union Address Washington, D.C., February 12, 2013 209

"Trayvon Martin… Could Have Been My Son" Remarks on Trayvon Martin Washington, D.C., July 19, 2013 234

"Put on Love": Remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast Washington, D.C., February 5, 2015 242

"For We Were Born of Change": Remarks on the Fiftieth Anniversary of "Bloody Sunday" Selma, AL, March 7, 2015 253

"Amazing Grace": Eulogy for the Honorable Reverend Clements Pinckney Charleston, S.C., June 26, 2015 267

"A World That is Worthy of Our Children": Remarks at the First Session of COP21 Paris, France, November 30, 2015 278

"You See, Change Requires More Than Righteous Anger": Remarks at Howard University Commencement Washington, D.C., May 7, 2016 285

"We Must Go Forward": Remarks at the United Nations General Assembly New York City, NY, September 20, 2016 303

"What Our Democracy Demands": Farewell Address Chicago, IL, January 10, 2017 323

Acknowledgments 341

Index 343

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