Deeper into Jeopardy! II: Obama-Rama – $800

Jeopardy! category: OBAMA-RAMA (21-01-2014)

$800 clue: “Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream” is the subtitle of this bestseller, Obama’s second book

Correct response (highlight to see): THE AUDACITY OF HOPE

The gist: Obama released The Audacity of Hope, his second book after Dreams from My Father, in October 2006, about three months before announcing his presidential candidacy in February 2007. The title (not the subtitle) is taken from a speech made by the pastor of Obama and his family’s Chicago church, Reverend Jeremiah Wright, whose sermons came under ludicrously intense scrutiny during Obama’s campaign. The phrase in Wright’s sermon in turn derives from G. F. Watts’ 1886 painting “Hope,” which depicts a hunched and blindfolded female figure, the personification of the titular Hope, holding a nearly-destroyed lyre, yet, in Wright’s interpretation, still having “the audacity to hope.” Obama also used the phrase, then already changed to “the audacity of hope,” in a speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention (apologies for the audio-video issues in that video; take it up with C-SPAN). “Hope,” of course, would be a central theme in his campaign, and would get picked up by the Right later on, along with “change,” as his “hopey-changey stuff.”

The book itself is a personal exploration of Obama’s beliefs, political, religious, and otherwise, and his thoughts on American culture. It would remain on the New York Times bestseller list for 30 weeks, and the audiobook won a Grammy for Best Spoken Word Album in 2008.

The front cover of Obama’s second book, with his first book mentioned at the bottom

The clue: A straightforward clue about a very well-known book, the only tricky part here is to not get it confused with Dreams from My Father, which had its own subtitle, A Story of Race and Inheritance. Shouldn’t be too hard to keep them apart, though; Obama’s first book was an examination of his own upbringing by his white mother and Indonesian stepfather in the shadow of his African father, so the subtitle certainly fits.

In Jeopardy!: The Audacity of Hope appears in four clues in the J!Archive… and two category titles: THE AUDACITY OF BOB HOPE and THE AUDACITY OF HOPE… which was also about Bob Hope. Maybe the writers ought to be checking the Archive a bit more often? Anyway, if the book hasn’t shown up in too many clues it’s likely only because it’s relatively new – expect it to show up more, especially as Obama’s second term comes to a close.

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