What David Maraniss Left Out of The Story

In his book, Barack Obama: The Story, David Maraniss is remarkably detailed about things that have nothing to do with The Story (Betty Davis' opinion of a film, how a letter was handled in Kenya, what President Johnson said to Bill Moyers) but is inexplicably incurious about many things that are very important to The Story. Maraniss, in an interview on the June 18 Today Show, stated that Barack Obama's book, Dreams from My Father, was "literature," adding, "There's a big difference between memoir and biography."  So big a difference that Ben Smith of Buzzfeed counted "38 instances in which the biographer [Maraniss] convincingly disputes significant elements of Obama's own story of his life and his family history." Yet Maraniss continues to rely on Dreams for much of his narrative.  A case in point is the story of how Obama Sr. (going forward, "Obama") and Ann Dunham met in a Russian class.  Maraniss goes into elaborate detail as to why Obama would take a Russian class...(Read Full Article)

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