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Showing posts from May, 2017

Living History: Reading David Garrow's Rising Star - The Making of Barack Obama

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I’m still reading through David J. Garrow’s new presidential biography, Rising Star: The Making of Barack Obama. Already, however, I can report that he cited a number – but not all – of my American Thinker articles. Garrow recommends reading them in chronological order. Meeting Young Obama
Even Republicans Rejected Info About Obama’s Past
My White Girlfriend Inspired Obama’s Big, Dark Regina in Dreams from My Father
White Like Me: Thoughts on Young Obama’s Prom Photos The worst that he can say about me is to suggest that by reports are perhaps similar to those of other potentially reliable ex-Communists. He indicates, correctly, that I was a Tea Party activist. All things considered, it looks like I got off light -- at least compared to Garrow's rather harsh treatment of Barack Obama. Garrow goes out of his way to indicate that Obama married Michelle, in large measure, because he needed a black wife in order to have a smooth political career in Chicago. It turns out that Obama was sle…

Unsafe at Any Speed: Should I Go to Williams College?

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I’m a former Williams College political science professor. I highly recommend avoiding it. It is, of course, highly rated by U.S. News & World Report.

This is why I was once proud to teach there and why I suppose so many are still interested in attending it. Its frequent number one ranking, however, conceals a number of problematic aspects of the college which should factor into your decision-making regarding whether or not you should go to Williams. First, it is ridiculously cold and isolated geographically. My stomach still turns into knots when I remember what it was like to drive from the airport in Albany, NY into Williamstown, MA. The only route was a thin, two-lane highway. In the winter it was covered with ice and snow. The roads to both the north, south and east were also windy, tiny and inadequate. While I was teaching there one of my students died in a winter car accident. The road to the east was so bad that it had what they called a Deadman’s Curve, and it was indeed…

Waiting for Garrow: New Obama Biography Due This Week

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Those of us who want to reduce President Obama’s future influence in American politics are looking forward to the release of David J. Garrow’s new 1,400 page opus, Rising Star: The Making of Barack Obama. Although Professor Garrow is a Bernie Sanders donor, he has a reputation as an honest, straightforward historian. This reputation is the result of his balanced and even somewhat damaging Pulitzer Prize winning book on Martin Luther King, Bearing the Cross (1986).

While some journalists have already received preliminary copies of Rising Star, most of us will have to wait a little longer since the book will be released on May 9, 2017. As for me, however, I have been waiting to read Garrow’s book since December 2011.

I was one of the 1,000 people who Garrow interviewed, a number he repeatedly refers to when he wants to present his book as the new, gold standard for Obama biographies. Garrow’s book is competing for this honor against David Remnick’s The Bridge (2010) and David Maraniss’…