Audacity of Hope

This study guide will help you analyze Barack Obama’s “Audacity of Hope” (2004) speech. In addition to help with your analysis, you can find a summary of the text and ideas for putting it into perspective.

Barack Obama (b. 1961) is an American politician who served as the 44th president of the United States from 2009 to 2017. Obama delivered his “Audacity of Hope” speech at the 2004 Democratic Convention, while he was a Senate candidate. Obama’s speech gained him popularity inside the Democratic Party and led to speculations regarding his future presidential candidacy. The speech also inspired Obama to write his second book, The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream, which was published in 2006. 


Here, you can read an extract from our study guide:

Allusions and direct references

Barack Obama makes several allusions in his “Audacity of Hope” speech. First, he alludes to the basic freedoms mentioned in the Declaration of Independence and to the efforts of the Founding Fathers

Our pride is based on a very simple premise, summed up in a declaration made over two hundred years ago, ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal. That they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights. That among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.’

In this example, Obama alludes to the goals of America’s Founding Fathers and implies that voting for John Kerry would help America achieve them. 

Obama also makes a Biblical reference when he uses the phrase...

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Audacity of Hope

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