From Obama's book: "I found a solace in nursing a pervasive sense of grievance and animosity against my mother's race."
Chain email on Monday, May 19th, 2008 in an e-mail message
Obama didn't write that
The e-mail was sent to us by 20 PolitiFact readers who said they wanted to know if the claims were true. (For more on the e-mail and a link to its full text, read our article on the e-mail and Obama's book .)
One quote stands out as totally false.
"I found a solace in nursing a pervasive sense of grievance and animosity against my mother's race."
We read the book, and thought this line sounded out of place. To be doubly sure, we purchased an electronic edition of the book via ebooks.com, and searched for the words solace, grievance or animosity. We were not able to find the sentence, or anything close to the sentence, in Obama's book.
The quote is actually lifted from an article in the American Conservative. Author Steve Sailer wrote a detailed analysis of Dreams from My Father, describing the narrator as "a humor-impaired Holden Caulfield whose preppie angst is fueled by racial regret" but also praising it as "an impressive book" with an "elegant, carefully wrought prose style."
The "grievance" quote comes from the following passage:
"In reality, Obama provides a disturbing test of the best-case scenario of whether America can indeed move beyond race. He inherited his father's penetrating intelligence; was raised mostly by his loving liberal white grandparents in multiracial, laid-back Hawaii, where America's normal race rules never applied; and received a superb private school education. And yet, at least through age 33 when he wrote Dreams from My Father , he found solace in nursing a pervasive sense of grievance and animosity against his mother's race."
But those are Sailer's words, not Obama's. It's an arguable point whether it's a fair characterization of the views expressed in Obama's book. The bottom line is an e-mailer somewhere took the sentence, rewrote it, and passed it off as Obama's words. For this reason, we rate this statement Pants on Fire!
Published: Tuesday, June 10th, 2008 at 12:00 a.m.
Subjects: Candidate Biography
Sources:Barack Obama, Dreams from My Father (electronic edition purchased via ebooks.com), 1995
The American Conservative, Obama's Identity Crisis , March 26, 2007
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