Obama’s terrorist political patron was also probably his ghostwriter

Last July Jack Cashill writing at WorldNetDaily presented evidence that the poetic and literary passages of Barack Obama’s 1995 memoir Dreams from my Father were written by someone other than Obama. Cashill’s article was referenced here at VFR and argued against here. Now, writing at American Thinker, Cashill has gone much further. In a first-rate piece of literary detective work, he finds striking similarities of style and sensibility between William Ayers’s 2001 memoir Fugitive Days and Obama’s Dreams and makes a persuasive case that Ayers was Obama’s ghostwriter.

He also shows how Ayers’s possible literary association with Obama corresponded chronologically with his political association with him:

Obama’s memoir was published in June 1995. Earlier that year, Ayers helped Obama, then a junior lawyer at a minor law firm, get appointed chairman of the multi-million dollar Chicago Annenberg Challenge grant. In the fall of that same year, 1995, Ayers and his wife, Weatherwoman Bernadine Dohrn, helped blaze Obama’s path to political power with a fundraiser in their Chicago home.

In short, Ayers had the means, the motive, the time, the place and the literary ability to jumpstart Obama’s career. And, as Ayers had to know, a lovely memoir under Obama’s belt made for a much better resume than an unfulfilled [book] contract over his head.

But what about Steve Sailer’s argument, discussed here, that the overlong, boring quality of Dreams strongly suggests that the book was not the work of a professional ghostwriter but of the amateur Obama?

An answer is that Ayer’s involvement would not necessarily contradict the flawed aspects of the book. It could have happened like this.

First, as Cashill points out, Obama, as an obscure young lawyer and law teacher in Chicago in the early 1990s, was in no position professionally or financially to hire a professional ghostwriter. William Ayers had the literary ability to improve the manuscript, but was not a professional writer or ghostwriter. He did the work for free, wanting to help his political friend get his career started.

Second, Ayers wrote parts of the book, giving it a literary flair and a deeper sensibility that it had lacked, but did not write and re-shape the entire book. Thus the book could have been written in part by Ayers while as a whole remaining overlong and boring.

* * *

Unfortunately, Cashill’s article was damaged by a couple of minor but galling errors. I wrote this e-mail to him:

Dear Mr. Cashill,

I’ve read with interest your article arguing that William Ayers was the ghostwriter of Obama’s Dreams from my Father. You make a persuasive case. Congratulations for a first rate job of literary detective work.

However, your article is damaged by a couple of gratuitous errors.

First, you refer to Obama’s election as president of the Harvard Law Review as “Obama’s election as Harvard’s first black president.”

Next, you write:

For simplicity sake, I will refer to the author of Dreams as “Obama.”

You meant, for course, “for simplicity’s sake.”

In an article that is all about authorship, and about your ability to tell the difference between amateur writing and first rate writing, these sloppy errors, which stood out like a sore thumb, somewhat lessened your credibility as a literary expert.

Perhaps you can correct the errors in the published piece at American Thinker.

There were a couple of other rough spots in the article as well, which I can’t put my finger on at the moment.

I add that this is not a huge deal, but the presence of those easily avoided errors in your article bothered me.

Thanks again for your important contribution in getting at the truth about Obama.


Lawrence Auster

(Mr. Cashill has informed me that he would fix the errors.)

Posted by Lawrence Auster at October 10, 2008 08:00 AM | Send

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