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.
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.)