Apparently, Barack Obama has been seen reading this book. Rather than jumping on the hero-worship bandwagon as so many others are doing (Dreams From My Father
is at the top of all the bestseller lists now), I'm going to read this.
I just heard an interview on CBC radio with the author, editor of Newsweek International, in which he described his view of the U.S.'s position within the international community--a topic that, as a Canadian, is of particular interest to me. Zakaria talked about the need for a new kind of leadership and vision, given that the U.S.'s superpower dominance is waning, its moral authority has been eroded and other countries, both friendly and not, are emerging in a completely different power dynamic vis-a-vis the U.S.
The author's view sounds to me both optimistic and realistic, and in the CBC interview he reflected on what Barack Obama's challenges are in leading the U.S. at this time and -- even more importantly -- what his capacity is as a visionary, consensus-building leader. In short, Zakaria contends that of every candidate for both parties at the start of the campaign two years ago, only Obama has the personal qualities and vision to lead the U.S. in this new world order.
As an observer from above the 49th parallel, I rejoiced in the election of Obama for this very reason. I am looking forward and will be watching to see how this extraordinary man performs, and feel heartened to know that a thinker like this is on his reading list.