America still finds herself bowled over by the dazzling newness of Barack Obama — his youth, his unusual personal story, the way his ascent to the White House shatters racial barriers.
But the man elected to be the 44th President of the United States also radiates qualities as old as America itself. Obama’s two memoirs describe the same kind of personal and political search for meaning that led 17th century Puritans on a journey into the wilderness, trying to build a New Jerusalem pleasing in the eyes of God and a beacon to a troubled world.
“What went ye out into the wilderness to see?” is the divine riddle the Puritans pondered and burned into our political culture.
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