Media Discover the Obvious in Obama's 'Dreams'
Although I have not yet gotten a copy of David Maraniss's new Obama biography, Barack Obama: The Story, the advance reviews of it suggest that the media, at least the respectable conservative media, are awakening to the obvious about Barack Obama's 1995 memoir, Dreams from My Father.
Writes the estimable Andrew Ferguson in The Weekly Standard,
"What's dispiriting is that throughout Dreams, the moments that Obama has invented are precisely the occasions of his epiphanies - precisely those periodic aha! moments that carry the book and bring its author closer to self-discovery. Without them not much is left."
The epiphanies to which Ferguson alludes are almost all moments of racial awareness. As it happens I had written an article a month ago on precisely this theme.
"With the help of his muse and co-author, Bill Ayers," I wrote, "Obama wove a series of racial grievances into the narrative to toughen up Obama's life story. These stories aren't "compressed" as Obama claims. They are contrived."
"Obama lived a life of relative ease," confirms Ferguson. "So Obama moved the drama inside himself, and said he'd found there an experience both singular and universal, and he brought nonexistent friends like Regina and Ray to goose the story along."
I did not need Maraniss' help to come to this conclusion. I had making this case for nearly four years. A little more than a year ago, David Sessions of the Daily Beast interviewed me after the release of my own book, Deconstructing Obama. His is a relatively civil take on the response I got from establishment media, left and right:
His new book . . . is a good example of why few people believe him. Written like an adventure story, with Cashill as the main character, it intensifies a crusade he launched on the eve of the 2008 election: To prove that former radical Weather Underground activist Bill Ayers actually wrote Obama's celebrated memoir, Dreams from My Father. Along the way, Cashill throws in that Obama possibly invented a college girlfriend and has repeatedly told false stories about his childhood.
Ferguson still concedes Obama the authorship of Dreams, "an extremely good book," and Audacity of Hope, "an extremely not-very-good book." He is too good a writer not to sense that each of these books had different authors, but he is too much a creature of the establishment to give credence to outliers like myself. That will come.