Historians Still Ruining Obama's Mythical Memoir

Brent Bozell
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Posted: May 10, 2017 12:01 AM
Historians Still Ruining Obama's Mythical Memoir

Like Pavlov's dogs, the liberal media salivated over the arrival of former President Barack Obama to receive the Profile in Courage Award from the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation. The mythic figure returned to accept the honor in the middle of a two-hour live special on MSNBC, loaded with the usual Chris Matthews slobbering over his "American eloquence."

The words "mythic figure" truly apply, as another liberal historian has now underscored just how much "fake news" Obama manufactured on his way to the highest office in the land and the lucrative beyond.

In his 2012 book "Barack Obama: The Story," Washington Post associate editor David Maraniss exposed Obama's memoir, "Dreams of My Father," as stuffed with false anecdotes. The author later recalled that when Obama objected, saying, "David, you called my book fiction," he replied: "No, Mr. President, I actually complimented you. I called it literature."

This time, the Pulitzer Prize-winning historian David Garrow -- best known for thick volumes on the life of Martin Luther King Jr. -- is the author insisting that Obama's memoir is a work of historical fiction in which the "most important composite character was the narrator."

In his book "Rising Star" -- a real doorstop of a book at 1,460 pages -- Garrow concluded that Obama's ambition devoured his progressive idealism. "While the crucible of self-creation had produced an ironclad will, the vessel was hollow at its core," he says.

Washington Post nonfiction book critic Carlos Lozada drew attention to a new character in the real life of Barack Obama: a woman who Garrow reports Obama asked to marry him. Sheila Miyoshi Jager is of Dutch and Japanese ancestry and now teaches at Oberlin College. In Obama's memoir, she ended up blurred into the composite white women he dated. You can't find her name in other Obama biographies either. How on Earth is it 2017 and no one in the media uncovered this simple yet significant fact?

There's a simple answer: Obama didn't want them to, and no one in the "objective" press displayed much interest in correcting his self-serving legend.

Garrow suggests that Jager originally said no in 1986 because her parents thought she was too young, but she says Obama grew ambitious and began to talk to her about being president one day. Her race would complicate that journey. Garrow cites Illinois Sen. Richard Newhouse, an African-American who was married to a white woman and dogged by whispers that he "talks black but sleeps white." One-term African-American Sen. Carol Moseley Braun, whose ex-husband was white, admitted that "an interracial marriage really restricts your political options."

So Obama went to Harvard Law School. One former classmate of his told Garrow, "the only thing I would have voted for Obama to do would have been to shut up." He reported that classmates created an "Obamanometer" to measure "how pretentious someone's remarks are in class." But in fact, Obama was elected as the first black president of the Harvard Law Review, which drew a gushing New York Times piece in 1990 -- the first of many.

Not everyone in the liberal media was receptive to Garrow's revelations. New York Times chief book critic Michiko Kakutani ripped it for having a "highly intemperate epilogue ... which almost reads like a Republican attack ad." The book "devolves into a condescending diatribe unworthy of a serious historian," she says. Horrors.

The book was "way more exhausting than exhaustive." The epilogue was painted as "filled with bald assertions and coy half-truths." As for Obama's outright lies and evasions, Kakutani offered the conclusion you might expect from a political party commissar: For reliable history, "Go back to Obama's own eloquent memoir," she says. In other words, "the myth shall set you free."