The Obama Revolution, my second book and the first book published about Barack Obama’s presidential campaign by a former campaign organizer, provides an in-the-trenches look at how a generation of people sparked a movement for change that continues to have lasting implications for politics in America. I wrote The Obama Revolution because I wanted to share with my fellow Americans the voices of millions of Americans who left their homes, their jobs and their schools, in order to register voters, make telephone calls and knock on doors in record numbers.
After eight years of George W. Bush’s tortuous defenses of the ill-conceived War in Iraq, funding cuts for education, health care, environmental protection, and executive approval of black sites, water boarding, and repression of dissenting voices, it is time for the voices of hope and change to be heard once again. It is time for us to overcome the apathy that has held us back from achieving our full potential. It is time for us to listen to the men in Mathews who leave their homes before dawn to work in the shipyards and the women in Harrisburg who work overtime to feed their children.
The Obama Revolution begins to tell the stories of the men and women who finally had enough of failed policies and decided to organize their neighbors, many for the first time. When I thought about writing a book about Obama’s inclusive presidential campaign, I knew that I wanted to put down on paper more than my version of history. With the office visits, late night phone calls, and mid-day canvasses of 2008 behind us, I began to think about what the campaign meant to me. The Obama Revolution is a call to arms to a generation that seized the opportunity to spread a radical message of change.
Writing The Obama Revolution, I found myself making connections between policy prescriptions, Obama’s rhetoric, and the nation’s future, connections that I did not have time to make while walking the streets of Allison Hill and driving across rural Virginia. Only in hindsight can we appreciate just how important those precious months of campaigning really were to the history and future of this great nation. As President Obama completes his first 100 days, we must rededicate ourselves to the dreams for which so many campaigned for so long. That is why I wrote The Obama Revolution.
Alan Kennedy-Shaffer served as a regional field director for Barack Obama and the Democratic Party in Virginia. Educated at Yale University and William & Mary Law School, Kennedy-Shaffer is the author of Denial and Deception: A Study of the Bush Administration’s Rhetorical Case for Invading Iraq. Kennedy-Shaffer’s writings have also appeared in The New York Times, the International Herald Tribune, the Washington Post, the Patriot-News, the Daily Press, and the Virginia Gazette. Alan lives in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania.
You can visit Alan on the web at www.alankennedy-shaffer.com.