The Empire's New Clothes: Barack Obama in the Real World of Power

Book Info

  • Length: 288 pages
  • Trim size: 6" x 9"

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  • ISBN: 978-1-59451-845-4
  • Publish date: August 2010
  • List Price: $32.95
  • Your Price: $28.01


  • ISBN: 978-1-59451-844-7
  • Publish date: September 2010
  • List Price: $135.00
  • Your Price: $114.75


A sequel to Street’s Barack Obama and the Future of American Politics, this new book documents and assesses Obama’s newly emergent record on domestic and foreign politics against his original agenda for change. Although mainstream journalists have noted discrepancies between Obama’s original vision and reality, Paul Street uniquely measures Obama’s record against the expectations of the truly progressive agenda many of his supporters expected him to follow. Taken together, the list of Obama’s weakened policies is startling: his business-friendly measures with the economy, the lack of support for the growing mass of unemployed and poor, the dilution of his health reform agenda, the passage of a record-setting Pentagon budget, and the escalation of U.S. military violence in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia. Street’s account reveals these and many other indications of how deeply beholden Obama is to existing dominant domestic and global hierarchies and doctrines. His new book yields a perspective on Obama and current politics that is scarcely found in mainstream media. No progressive reader will want to miss it!

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Author Info

Paul Street is an independent journalist, policy adviser, and historian. Formerly he was Vice President for Research and Planning at the Chicago Urban League. Among his recent books are Barack Obama and the Future of American Politics (Paradigm, 2008), Racial Oppression in the Global Metropolis: A Living Black Chicago History (Rowman & Littlefield, 2007), and Segregated Schools: Educational Apartheid in Post-Civil Rights America (Routledge, 2005). His many articles have appeared in the Chicago Tribune; In These Times; Dissent; Z Magazine; Black Commentator; Monthly Review, Journal of American Ethnic History; Journal of Social History, and other publications.


“The Empire’s New Clothes is a hard-hitting, clear-eyed look at the reality of the Democrats in power and the Barack Obama presidency. Anyone who hoped for genuine change, and is disappointed that it has not come since 2008, should read this book and discuss how to rebuild a genuine social movement that can end the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as the tyranny of capital over our lives and the planet.”
Anthony Arnove, author of Iraq: The Logic of Withdrawal and coauthor, with Howard Zinn, of Voices of a People’s History of the United States

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