Opinion on the impact of the various selections is both deeply divided and very strong. Obama supporters assert over and over again that the raw language and detailed accounts of his high school and college days add to the senator’s appeal. Others are shocked at the profanity, the descriptions of his drug use in high school and radical politics at Occidental. Though Obama skipped many sections in his abridged reading, there is plenty for people to hear and react to.
The publication info on the CD is this:
Publisher: Random House Audio
Publication Date: May 2005
Format: CD, Abridged
I suspect that Senator Obama recorded it in early 2005, but almost certainly his decision to sit down in front of a microphone and voice the audio had to come after his speech to the Democratic Convention that propelled him to national prominence. If any of his advisors told him it was a good idea to record the 1995 book in his own voice, I can’t help but hope they are still giving him advice as the campaign heads to November.