READERS INTERESTED IN PURSUING the issues discussed in this book will find suggestions in the pages that follow. Almost all the quotations in the text come from the writings and speeches of Barack Obama, which are readily accessible. My interpretations of American history in general, and of late twentiethcentury American culture in particular, derive from sources that I have arranged here according to the order in which specific questions are addressed in Reading Obama.
This study began with my reading of Obama’s own books, which remain the best point of entry for understanding his ideas. In addition to Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance, 2nd ed. (1995; New York: Three Rivers Press, 2004); The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream (New York: Random House, 2006); and Change We Can Believe In: Barack Obama’s Plan to Renew America’s Promise (New York: Three Rivers Press, 2008), readers interested in Obama’s ideas should consult The Speech: Race and Barack Obama’s “A More Perfect Union,” ed. T. Denean SharpleyWhiting (New York: Bloomsbury, 2009), which includes his March 18, 2008, Philadelphia speech on the Reverend Jeremiah Wright. The other major speeches by Obama