Monday, July 13, 2009

Who Wrote Dreams and Why It Matters

By Jack Cashill

My involvement in this occasionally harrowing literary adventure began in July 2008, entirely innocently.  A friend sent me some short excerpts from Dreams and asked if they were as radical as they sounded.   I bought the book, located the excerpts, and reported back that, in context, the excerpts were not particularly troubling.

But I did notice something else. The book was much too well written. I had seen enough of Obama's interviews to know that he did not speak with anywhere near the verbal sophistication on display in Dreams.

About six weeks later, for entirely unrelated reasons, I picked up a copy of Bill Ayers 2001 memoir, Fugitive Days. Ayers, I discovered, writes very well and very much like "Obama."

In mid-September, after considerable digging, I wrote a few speculative articles for American Thinker and other online journals and discovered that I was not alone in my suspicions.

Looking for some scientific verification, I consulted Patrick Juola of Duquesne, a leading authority in the field of literary forensics.  Juola, however, advised me against relying on computer analysis on a subject this sensitive. "The accuracy just isn't there," he told me. He encouraged me instead "to do what you're already doing . . . good old-fashioned literary detective work."  I took his advice.

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