I first posted on the subject of who wrote Dreams from my Father, the ‘autobiography’ attributed to its credited author, Barack Obama, in October 2008, using references that included work done by Dr. Jack Cashill published in American Thinker, which analysis underlies his assertion that it appears more likely Bill Ayers wrote Dreams.  I updated the post in May, to include a reference to Dr. Cashill’s latest de-construction.   On July 3, 2009 Dr. Cashill added another gem to his analysis of the authorship of Dreams.  http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/06/breakthrough_on_the_authorship_1.html

The more I learn about what is unknown about Barack Obama, the more likely it seems to me that his long time Svengali Bill Ayers wrote Dreams.  Because I believe, lacking both the foresight and intellect of Mr. Ayers, as well as the literary talent, BO would not have cleverly inserted in that text the reference to coming across his birth certificate when he was in high school, thus preemptively establishing in the minds of millions of readers, such document existed.  Sure enough, when BO’s political fortunes manifested as Mr. Ayers had planned, and questions arose as to whether he had established documentary proof of eligibility, BO’s supporters insisted, of course, he has a birth certificate; it says so, in Dreams.

Another big problem BA’s authorship of Dreams resolved for BO was the absence of race as a backdrop for his life.  How could he raise up his disciple into the pinnacle of political power without winning elections?  Lacking any substantive reason to support this substanceless political neophyte, votes of  white people  qua whites could only be extorted  in exchange for a personal relinquishing of guilt over either perceiving themselves as part of the racist ruling class or not doing enough to lift the bonds of oppression from the backs of the darker race as represented by this one man.  But in BO’s ‘real’ life, there was no evidence of such oppression.  So, BA made it up.

First, he entitled BO’s autobiography, “Dreams from My Father:  A Story of Race and Inheritance.”  The Chicago Tribune points out the fit between real issues of race and recalled issues of race often appears forced.

At the same time, several of his oft-recited stories may not have happened in the way he has recounted them. Some seem to make Obama look better in the retelling, others appear to exaggerate his outward struggles over issues of race, or simply skim over some of the most painful, private moments of his life.

The handful of black students who attended Punahou School in Hawaii, for instance, say they struggled mightily with issues of race and racism there. But absent from those discussions, they say, was another student then known as Barry Obama.

In his best-selling autobiography, “Dreams from My Father,” Obama describes having heated conversations about racism with another black student, “Ray.” The real Ray, Keith Kakugawa, is half black and half Japanese. In an interview with the Tribune on Saturday, Kakugawa said he always considered himself mixed race, like so many of his friends in Hawaii, and was not an angry young black man.

He said he does recall long, soulful talks with the young Obama and that his friend confided his longing and loneliness. But those talks, Kakugawa said, were not about race. “Not even close,” he said, adding that Obama was dealing with “some inner turmoil” in those days.

“But it wasn’t a race thing,” he said. “Barry’s biggest struggles then were missing his parents. His biggest struggles were his feelings of abandonment. The idea that his biggest struggle was race is [bull].”


Now, back to the earlier posts.

(From May 2009)

Well, thank goodness, Jack Cashill, Ph.D. (American Studies) has not abandoned his literary investigation as to who wrote Dreams from my Father,  Barack Obama or Bill Ayers.  In his latest article in American Thinker, he points to specific similarities between Dreams and, works published and attributed to Mr. Ayers, which likenesses, had Ayers not authored Dreams,  would otherwise be difficult to reconcile.

Here is just one example.

More intriguing still, Obama seems to borrow the one girlfriend in the oddly sexless Dreams from Ayers’ experience. “There was a woman in New York that I loved,” he tells his half-sister years after the fact.  “She was white. She had dark hair, and specks of green in her eyes.”

The woman of Obama’s memory evokes images of Diana Oughton.  As her FBI files attest, Oughton had brown hair and green eyes.  The two women shared similar family backgrounds as well.  In fact, they seemed to have grown up on the very same estate.
“The house was very old, her grandfather’s house,” Obama writes of his girlfriend’s country home.  “He had inherited it from his grandfather.” According to a Time Magazine article written soon after her death, Oughton “brought Bill Ayers and other radicals” to the family homestead in Dwight, Illinois. The main house on the Oughton estate, a 20-room Victorian mansion, was built by Oughton’s father’s grandfather.
The carriage house, in which Oughton lived as a child, now serves as a public library.  It may have already seemed like one when Ayers visited, an impression that finds its way into Obama’s memory of a library “filled with old books and pictures of the famous people [the grandfather] had known-presidents, diplomats, industrialists.”
“It was autumn, beautiful, with woods all around us,” Obama writes of his visit to his girlfriend’s country home, “and we paddled a canoe across this round, icy lake full of small gold leaves that collected along the shore.”  As can be seen from aerial photos even today, the Oughton estate also has a small lake and is surrounded by woods.


(Original Posting)

Did Bill Ayers write Barack Obama’s Dreams from my Father?

Here is what Barack Obama sounded like in 1988, when he wrote this essay entitled, “Why Organize? Problems and Promise in the Inner City,” for then Sangamon State University, now University of Illinois at Springfield.


That same year, he entered Harvard Law School, and in 1990 was elected President of the student-run Harvard Law Review. (There is no record he submitted a writing sample for consideration to the position.) According to his campaign, after being elected its President, BO never published anything in the Review.


(Politico unearthed an unsigned and previously unattributed 1990 “case comment” in which Obama affirms his support of abortion rights.)


(Here is a link to a good discussion of the difference between a case comment and an actual Review article.)


Here is what he sounded like during the primary campaign, without a teleprompter.


Here is a literary critique of Dreams from my Father, with a contrast/comparison to the writings of Ayers.



(Coincidentally, in the Acknowledgment to his book, Resurrecting Empire, published in 2004, Rashid Khalidi thanks “[f]irst, chronologically and in other ways… Bill Ayers”… who “persuaded me…that I should write this book, and he put me in touch with my editor…” He goes on to state that, “Bill was particularly generous in letting me use his family’s dining room table to do some writing for the project.”)


(For more information about the relationship between Obama and Rashidi, see this story from the LA Times.)



  1. Jo Chgo says:

    When you read that chapter you posted, it is very evident that there is no way Barry wrote that book.

    Jo Chgo: That’s exactly what I thought (although I was pretty much convinced even before, based on the lack of any paper – literary – trail, and the timing of his revved up relationship with ‘author’ Bill Ayers. (Are you new here? Please, read over the rest of the posts AND comments from your fellow readers. We are learning a lot about the inner workings of our Constitutional republic). ADMINISTRATOR

  2. Patriot Dreamer says:


    Dr. Cashill has an update on June 28:


    Patriot Dreamer: Thanks. Saw that, and forwarded it to an English teacher who had assigned “Dreams” to his class. ADMINISTRATOR

  3. Al says:

    Hmmm…an interesting/thought-provoking post. And what a major difference when speaking without the benefit of a telepromter screen–sitting here in stunned disbelief at what the provided video revealed in terms of a lack of command of transitional thought, while struggling with presenting his original thought further.

    Al: Welcome. But what did you mean by the words, “speaking without the benefit of a telepromter (sic) screen”? ADMINISTRATOR

  4. Al says:

    Thanks for the welcome. Good question. Simply meant that Obama seems to always speak best/with clarity when he follows a prepared script scrolling along a telepromter screen as oppose to speaking from the heart and on his own two feet like a normal human being, which seems to have him rambling about on many things instead of anything coherent with cohesion–just an observation and the video link you provided above seems to reninforces this.

    Al: Ah, yes, there seems to be a huge chasm between the BO who speaks using a prepared text written by someone else, which text he reads off of a teleprompter; and the BO who speaks off the cuff, using his innate talents. Of course, not everyone who writes well, speaks well. But given the lack of evidence BO writes well, well, he could have been one of those people who writes poorly but speaks well. Except, he is not that, either. ADMINISTRATOR

  5. Al says:

    Good point, Admin’, and that assessment questioning his genuine speaking and writing abilities, begs the question, What is it about him that he has been tapped/chosen to do the bidding of an unforseen entity(ies)? Sometimes it feels like he is a parrot or robot.

  6. Ed Darrell says:

    No, no more than your long-time Svengali/Rasputins Karl Rove and Lee Atwater put you up to this blog.

    Ed Darrell: I hear your conclusions but, on which of the facts as I have outlined them here do you base that conclusion? (I trust your speculation that Karl Rove and Lee Atwater have put me ‘up to this blog’ is hyperbolic, right? I mean, you know that Lee is dead, don’t you?) ADMINISTRATOR

  7. Ed Darrell says:

    There is no evidence Ayers and Obama were much more than passing acquaintances. Obama got the contract for his first book years before he met Ayers, and had most of it finished before he met Ayers. The second book sounds like the first one.

    Obama is a distinguished rhetor, both from a prepared text, where I think he’s better than Reagan, and off the cuff, where he’s nearly as good as John Kennedy.

    Is there anyone writing at American Thinker who is not a (deleted by ADMINISTRATOR), by the way? Anyone of any distinction as a writer, speaker, or citizen?

    Ed Darrell: First, let me remind you, I censor all name-calling. Please, next time, censor yourself in this regard. Most of your rhetoric expresses only your opinion and so, naturally, you omit cites. But even when you express what would otherwise appear to be a ‘fact,’ you still omit cites, rendering your ‘fact’ just another opinion. For example, referring to “Dreams from my Father,” on what basis do you claim BO “had most of it finished before he met Ayers”? ADMINISTRATOR

    • Ed Darrell says:

      Oh, that’s okay. A “deleted by administrator” makes it look more foul than what I wrote. If your nose offend your face, cut it off — isn’t that the Biblical quote? No?

  8. tj1040 says:

    While I have only just come upon this website, I am compelled in its suggestion: that Obama may not have written his autobiography. One reason for my interest, perhaps the main reason, is that I am researching this subject for a graduate seminar. There are scant works on Obama as yet, at least works treating the subject of his literature, and basically no articles, even in the established African American literary journals that would certainly have taken up this subject if it were in question. Therefore, I am curious to look into the citations/entries listed on this site which seem to argue against Obama’s authorial authenticity. Authorial authenticity, by the way, is of significance in African American literature. The first black works that began the African American literary traditions are the autobiographical slave narratives, which, by the way, also required white authenticating documents in order to establish the black author’s veracity. And the Ur-narrative of black women’s autobiographic slave narratives, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, was only rescued fairly recently from the supposed realm of fiction by historian, Jean Fagan Yellin. The point is, that we were still questioning this antebellum escaped slave’s remarkable story at the end of the twentieth century; it took a white historian to finally “authenticate” her narrative. The compelling part of this website and its claim of Obama’s inauthentic life story, then, is that it seems to parallel a long tradition in our country to deny authencity, truth, identity to black Americans. It is curious scholars have yet to find this lack of authentic proof of Obama’s work. It is usually a rather rapid process for scholars to take action and publish these sorts of supposed incongruities.

    tj1040: Welcome. Your comment points to the challenge in authenticating the written work of, say, slaves, in a context where, perhaps, the writing was done by whites. Thus, the story that rightfully belonged to the escaped slave took root by the hand of the white writer, whose own literary style might have infected the narrative. With BO, we have a different problem. He claims authorship of a work infected with the literary style of Bill Ayers, a man who has penned other literary works that serve as the basis for comparison. (And then there is the problem that these BA-penned BO books are the only sample of literary work attributed to BO.) ADMINISTRATOR

  9. Ed Darrell says:

    (opinions omitted)

    Stick to the facts.

    Ed Darrell: You wrote “[s]tick to the facts”; but you failed to include any facts to refute those facts I included in my post. ADMINISTRATOR

    (Note: I am so sorry. I answered this yesterday but forgot to post.)

  10. Ed Darrell says:

    As her FBI files attest, __________ had brown hair and green eyes. The two women shared similar family backgrounds as well. In fact, they seemed to have grown up on the very same estate.

    Oh, they must have stolen that from me. That would describe several women I dated in Utah, a couple in Arizona, and at least one in Washington.

    People who are bad at statistics never recognize when coincidence intervenes. Reminds me of a friend who commented on the fate that must be involved in both our other friends from Minnesota having married blond women of Scandanavian background. “It’s like fate!” he exclaimed. But no matter how much it resembles fate, it’s still just coincidence. Try to drive from Minneapolis to South Dakot without running into a thousand blond women of Scandanavian extraction.

    Oh, and many of them live in homes built by their grandfather or great grandfather, lined with old books no one threw out when the old man died.

    On this you base a claim that Ayers ghosted a book for Obama?

    You’ve never ghosted a book, have you. One of the first rules of ghosting is that you don’t substitute your old flames for the flames of the person you’re ghosting for. It’s too easy to track, and it’s embarrassing as hell if you’re ghosting for someone of the opposite gender.

    Have you guys moved on yet? This post popped up in search for something else; ah, the memories of days when people thought the worst that could happen in an Obama administration would be a turn towards socialism, instead of total capitalist economic disaster.

    Ed Darrell: Rejecting the premise that Ayers wrote Obama’s book(s) by dismissing the coincidences printed in this article, between Ayers’ life and Obama’s book, by saying, ‘no one who would print his work under another’s name would do such a thing, because the truth, which would be embarrassing, is too easily revealed’ presupposes Ayers – assuming he wrote Obama’s book – 1) never wanted to be found out; and 2) would be embarrassed by the revelation. ADMINISTRATOR

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