“This is what I’ve been waiting for—a profound and hard-hitting critique of the Obama administration from the left! The Mendacity of Hope should help wake up all those Obama voters who’ve been napping while the wars escalate, the recession deepens, and the environment goes straight to hell.”
“Ready to wake up from the Obama dream yet? If so, this thrillingly scathing and relentlessly truthful cri de coeur is your strong cup of coffee. Hodge skewers the sloppy intellectual culture that willed this political chimera into being, while expertly unmasking the corporate machine that is the real Brand Obama. Drink up.”
“An eloquently sober indictment of the corruption which impels the self aggrandizement of our executive branch, much to the bane of our Constitution. A frightening book whose conclusions ought to haunt every American.”
“Roger Hodge has written a desperately needed exposé of how Barack Obama is not the messiah of liberalism but its designated gravedigger—he is one of the all too few voices on the progressive side who dares to tell the truth about the corporate masters this administration actually serves, and the dire effect of that allegiance upon what is left of our Republic. This is a blazing indictment of corporate collusion and a bracing injection of hard truths.”
“Hodge skillfully draws the veil from Obama’s allegedly ‘reformist agenda’ to expose the reality of the programs ‘to ensure that no major stakeholder in his coalition of corporate backers will suffer significant losses,’ and will even enjoy spectacular gains—the ‘perfection of the long right turn’ of the Democratic Party since the 1970s, as financialization of the economy led to shedding New Deal commitments so as ‘to compete with the Republicans for corporate patronage.’ He calls for a revitalization of the founding tradition of civil virtue and republican values of liberty, a message that should be taken to heart if we are to reverse the drift toward an ugly future.”
Despite its acerbic title, The Mendacity of Hope isn’t so much an attack on the man: Hodge grants that Obama is “significantly more intellectual than the politicians we have grown accustomed to in recent years,” “well-spoken, brilliant and beautiful,” with a “great persuasive gift,” and he doesn’t deign to speculate on his internal motivations. His point is that any honest look at Obama’s actions in office shows that, rather than practicing a “different kind of politics,” he’s beholden to the same powerful interests that circumscribe the actions of every other politician, no matter how fervently his supporters might have hoped for a change.
—Marc Maximov, The Independent Weekly
The Mendacity of Hope is a sloppily organized, badly argued and deeply reactionary book unlikely to have any influence at all on the way Americans think about their president.
—Alan Wolfe, The Washington Post
Roger D. Hodge’s book is called THE MENDACITY OF HOPE: Barack Obama and the Betrayal of American Liberalism (Harper/HarperCollins, $25.99), as if Obama’s corporate fund-raising and failure to live up to the unrealistic expectations of purist liberals made him and his team puppets and liars. Hodge says the fact that Obama is “in most respects better” than George W. Bush or Sarah Palin is “completely beside the point.” Really? Since when did the tenets of liberalism demand that politics no longer be viewed as the art of the possible?
Jonathan Alter, The New York Times Book Review