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September 28, 2016 / 25 Elul, 5776
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The Truth About Obama’s Political Roots: An Interview with Historian Paul Kengor


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Paul Kengor

Paul Kengor



In the book, you actually argue that Davis’s influence extended beyond Obama to two of Obama’s closest and most powerful friends: David Axelrod and Valerie Jarret.

It’s incredible, but you can’t make this stuff up. In Chicago, Davis worked with the mentors of David Axelrod as well as with Valerie Jarret’s father-in-law and grandfather. These folks all knew each other in Chicago Communist Party circles.

In light of all your research, what do you make of Obama’s infamous “If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that” speech last month? To many people, these remarks seemed anti-capitalist and, as social scientist Charles Murray has written, rather “un-American.” Were we perhaps hearing traces of Frank Marshall Davis?

I actually find it kind of paradoxical and ironic because Davis was a total self-made man. Obama’s mentor got to where he did with help from nobody. He faced real discrimination, worked 100-hour weeks, and fought off a literal attempt by a couple of people to lynch him when he was five years old.

We’re in August; the elections are in November. How would you respond to people who might dismiss your book as just another partisan attack designed to help Romney win the election?

Actually, the best thing for this book would be if Obama were re-elected. That would give it a lifespan of four more years, not merely three more months.

The book came out when it did because that’s when I got it finished. But regardless of when the book was released, the facts are the facts, and why I wrote it should be irrelevant.

Elliot Resnick

About the Author: Elliot Resnick is a Jewish Press editor and writer, as well as the author of “Movers and Shakers: Sixty Prominent Personalities Speak Their Mind on Tape" and editor of "Perfection: The Torah Ideal."


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