What I’m Reading: The Fiction That is Barack Obama


David Samuels is a longtime journalist who has written for all the “premier” publications: The New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic, and Harper’s. He now writes for Tablet Magazine, and did a detailed article about former President Barack Obama. “The Obama Factor,” ends with a Q&A with author David Garrow, a noted historian and biographer, who wrote Bearing The Cross: Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Council, and he was one of the editors on The Eyes on the Prize Civil Rights Reader: Documents, Speeches, and Firsthand Accounts from the Black Freedom Struggle. Garrow wrote a 2017 biography on Obama called Rising Star: The Making of Barack Obama, which has been widely ignored. Even in searching Garrow’s works on Amazon, it does not show up at the top of the search. I had to do an individual search on the title in order to bring it up.


One of the potential reasons that many in the literary and political set did not herald the book is because it exposes the fiction and inconsistencies surrounding the myth of Barack Obama, and reveals details about his rise and his presidency that do not fit the Great Black Hope narrative that is the media created image of the 44th president of the United States.

From the time Obama started to rise in the national political scene, I have done my own personal research on the then-candidate and now the president. As a born and raised Chicagoan, there is so much politically and personally that was scrubbed from his record. People loved the fiction and wanted to not only ride the wave, but fiercely protect it. Even now, with much evidence to the contrary, people are still virulent if you point out that their hero has feet of clay. Like me, Samuels has always been bothered about the created fiction and manufactured image of Obama.

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Written by CONK!


This month’s awards go to Jack Smith and Gary Nolan


Arriving in America, August 6, 1949