Saturday, January 24, 2009

Who Really Authored Dreams from My Father?

Pretend for moment you are a writing teacher. One of your students routinely presents such pedestrian prose as this:

Moreover, such approaches can and have become thinly veiled excuses for cutting back on social programs, which are anathema to a conservative agenda.

Then in an essay he suddenly presents this type of prose:

Winter came and the city turned monochrome-black trees against gray sky above white earth. Night now fell in midafternoon, especially when the snowstorms rolled in, boundless prairie storms that set the sky close to the ground, the city lights reflected against the clouds.

What would be your first reaction? Does plagarism come to mind? Teachers can spot plagarism immediately.

The first example and the beautifully written example from Dreams from My Father, were supposedly both written by Barack Obama. Dreams from My Father was the book for which he received a $40,000 advance from Times Books, thus allowing him to drop out of the daily rat race to vacation in Bali, Indonesia with Michelle for 6 months to finish writing. The book that along with The Audacity of Hope are cited as proof of his genius.


Obama's Book-Writing Sabbatical in Bali, Indonesia

From time to time I've referred to Obama's advance for
Dreams From My Father, and stories indicating it was enough to allowed "him to set aside six months after he graduated to write."

The New York Times dug into this last month, and found a few more answers. The coverage prompted a call to him from Jane Dystel, a gravelly-voiced literary agent described by Peter Osnos, then the publisher of Times Books, as “a good journeyman with a hard edge.” The home page of her firm’s Web site currently features clients’ best sellers including “Lies at the Altar: The Truth About Great Marriages.” Ms. Dystel suggested Mr. Obama write a book proposal. Then she got him a contract with Poseidon Press, a now-defunct imprint of Simon & Schuster. When he missed his deadline, she got him another contract and a $40,000 advance from Times Books...

By the time Mr. Obama landed at Times Books, he had a partial manuscript. He required minimal editing, said Henry Ferris, his editor, who is now a vice president and executive editor at William Morrow. He simply needed guidance in paring and shaping the sections already written and keeping the rest from becoming too long. The writing, Mr. Ferris said,
“is very much his own.”

Click here:

End Quote:

But is it?

Jack Cashill makes a very good case that it is not. Here:

and here:

© Janet Crain

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1 comment:

SpeakDog said...

I would love it so much if it could be proven without a doubt that he didn't write that book.

I don't believe that he did.

He is a fraud in every sense of the word.