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Review: Rising Star: The Making of Barack Obama

Review: Rising Star: The Making of Barack Obama

“…the vessel was hollow at its core.”

Before I begin the review of Rising Star: The Making of Barack Obama by David J. Garrow, I feel the need to make a confession in the interest of full disclosure.

Barack Obama has been very inspirational to me personally.

He inspired me to help co-found the SoCal Tax Revolt Coalition. He inspired be to become an independent conservative blogger. He inspired me to re-register as “No Party Preference” in my home state of California.

So, why did I order this 7-pound book on Obama?

Aspects of the 2008 presidential campaign that were very perplexing were the nearly complete media silence on his past relationships and lack of details on his personal history in college and law school.  Who, exactly, were the American people voting for? This quiescence is even more noticeable when comparing it to the media cacophony on the public and private life of the current President during the 2016 campaign season.

After reading the following snippet about Sheila Miyoshi Jager, now a professor at Oberlin College, I decided I had to take a look at Garrow’s work:

“In the winter of ‘86, when we visited my parents, he asked me to marry him,” she told Garrow. Her parents were opposed, less for any racial reasons (Obama came across to them like “a white, middle-class kid,” a close family friend said) than out of concern about Obama’s professional prospects, and because her mother thought Jager, two years Obama’s junior, was too young.
“Not yet,” Sheila told Barack. But they stayed together. In early 1987, when Obama was 25, she sensed a change. “He became. . . so very ambitious” quite suddenly, she told Garrow. “I remember very clearly when this transformation happened, and I remember very specifically that by 1987, about a year into our relationship, he already had his sights on becoming president.”

Obama met her during his stint of community organizing in Chicago. He proposed to her multiple times, including after his graduation from Harvard Law School. They were involved during the same period as Obama began courting the woman who would become his wife.

Sheila Miyoshi Jager was astonished to discover that she had become a “non-person” in Obama’s autobiography, The Dreams of My Father. He made a composite “girlfriend”, composed of Jager and 2 other former relationships. This video explains the main premise of Rising Star:

[Obama] had indeed “willed himself into being” — as an African American man, as a loving father, and as a successful politician — eight years in the White House had revealed all too clearly that is easy to forget who you once were if you have never really known who you are.”

However, most people have complex romantic relationship that include some regrets. And most Legal Insurrection readers will not be terribly surprised that Obama offered a complete set of “alternative facts” about every phase of his life.

The goal of this review is to assess whether I can recommended spending $20-$30 for a version of this book.

My answer: It depends.

Rising Star is about 1500 pages long, 500 of those being detailed notes. Garrow, the author, is a Professor of Law and History at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. His book, Bearing the Cross: Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, won a Pulitzer Prize in Biography.

Obama’s biography is extremely well written. Garrow has done extensive research, the kind that should have been done in 2008, and details example after example of Obama’s fabrications. However, it is a daunting read, especially if you don’t particularly care for the main subject.

So, if you a political history buff and want an extraordinary reference on Obama, this would be money well spent.

Otherwise, I would suggest purchasing Garrow’s book on Martin Luther King, Jr. and then enjoy President Trump’s “reset” of the American Presidency.

I will end with Garrow’s conclusion about Obama after 1078 pages of biographical analysis: …“while the crucible of self-creation had produced an ironclad will, the vessel was hollow at its core.”


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The vessel was (and is) corrupt at its core.

    notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to Observer. | May 28, 2017 at 3:23 pm

    You got it.

    Fake book about a fake person.

    Not buying it.

    Where were the 3 “girlfriend” beards for the last 10 years?

Post Turtle.

Barrcula was the first post-modern POTUS. There was no such thing as “truth”.

Truth was a plastic concept, readily molded by the Obami and their Mushroom Media interlocutors.

Barracula was never “incompetent”. He did what he intended to do. Mere incompetence would have resulted…by the law of averages…in some good things done by inadvertence. His record demonstrates that he accomplished virtually all that he intended.

His legacy is…overarchingly…that we can never afford another minority POTUS until the nation grows up such that a minority POTUS can be impeached.

    Close The Fed in reply to Ragspierre. | May 26, 2017 at 11:19 pm

    Re: Ragspierre:

    Exactly. We must be able to impeach whomever we elect. Obama had that faux black skin, so that impeaching him would have hurt the feelings of the black community, and forever entrenched them against whomever pursued impeachment.

…“while the crucible of self-creation had produced an ironclad will, the vessel was hollow at its core.”

So the book could have been one page long. More interesting, would have been a book detailing the scam upon America, in the forces that put this media organ-grinder monkey in the presidency.

1500 pages? When it’s on the bargain rack, pick it up for a couple of bucks, hollow it out, and use it to hide things in.

Pelosi Schmelosi | May 26, 2017 at 11:15 pm

The man was a complete fraud, so this 1500-page waste of trees is pure hooey. You couldn’t pay me to read this trash

Star: A giant ball of flaming hot gas.

Yep, he’s a star.

while the crucible of self-creation had produced an ironclad will

That’s the weird thing about Barry O. I still find it hard to believe that he’s self-created at all. Somebody developed him—spotted him early as a pliable tool, one with a mushy (albeit overinflated) ego which wouldn’t get in the way of the plan. Barry never, in eight years, struck me as all that smart. And he’s really not all that motivated or energetic; once he landed, what did he do? Frittered away eight years on golf, expensive vacations, extravagant White House entertainment, race-baiting (no great skills required for that), and Democratic fund-raisers. Kid stuff, not the sort of thing of which coups are made; a man with the energy of, say, Winston Churchill, or even Trump, would have been far more destructive.

On the other hand, if he was following the direction of a higher power (like, say, Soros or equivalent) then he’d have managed to do even more damage. His actual efforts were rather amateurish, and more annoying than crippling to the US; so maybe they were his own, after all.

The “ironclad will” part is probably right, though I’d phrase it differently—maybe doctrinaire, unimaginative, and pig-headed.

The really unusual thing about O. is that he had rather obvious “handlers”. I don’t think any other President has had anything like it. In O’s case, they were Jarrett, and, to a lesser extent, the wife. O’s relationship with Jarrett reminded me of nothing so much as that between military officers and political commissars in Trotsky’s Red Army. Other Presidents have had alter egos—Wilson and the mysterious (though none-too-capable) Colonel House, FDR and the aging Harry Hopkins, Nixon and Henry Kissinger, and what Billy Jeff apparently tried to do with Stephanopolis. But these men usually were the President’s long right arms, groomed as roving troubleshooters while the President kept things under control at home (though of course Hopkins’s health was even worse than FDR’s, so he didn’t get out much, and Wilson wasn’t going to let House have all the fun to himself in screwing up Europe after the Great War). This was definitely not the case with Obama and Jarrett. She kept him on a tight leash at all times, even during his extensive vacations. That way there was no danger that he’d go off and do something unscripted while unsupervised.

But sorry, I’d have to have the patience of a lump of geologic strata to slog through fourteen hundred plus pages about The Won, so I’ll just have to leave it all a mystery.

    It helps if you assume that being president was just a launching pad for his real purpose. We just went through 28 years where it didn’t matter who you voted for, the globalists had total control. Now along comes Trump and everything goes haywire.

    Sometimes the truth is more apparent when you step back from the details. When the narrative doesn’t resonate, may the “facts” are wrong or incomplete.

    IMHO, the reason we can’t vote the Bushes, Clintons and Obamas out of our lives is because they are needed for a bigger purpose by interests who see the US as a stepping stone to something bigger. Everything is in place for the NWO and global domination: economic chaos, technology, banking, geographical interdependence, amoral and confused population. Just wait until the central banks start merging.

    Nothing makes sense to us because we just can’t accept what is happening. “Conspiracy theorist” is such a terrible thing to be labeled with that we just shut down. But in my lifetime, the conspiracy theorists have been right on most everything (except space aliens and the JFK assassination).

      The “ironclad will” of Obama? Easy if you live in a delusional world, surrounded by a media monopoly that quickly wipes your bottom whenever you crap yourself – and gives you nobel prizes for nothing.

      Obama is a putz. Remember, he can’t speak without a teleprompter, nor write a book without it being written for him, nor write presidential orders unless someone provides forms with checkboxes for him.

      Michelle, his ‘fashion icon’ beard, can’t dress without someone telling her how to.

      Two of them were and continue to be disgusting frauds.

      Then, there is Hillary Clinton – who is going to be indicted.

Thanks for the review especially given the length. From this article which fits in what I’ve read elsewhere, it sounds to me like Obama is the kind of person where an hour talking to him would be at least 59 wasted minutes. He’s clearly intelligent and talented in some ways, but completely unoriginal, and his “insights” into a problem or issue are just a carbon copy of whatever the current intellectual fashion is at the time.

Just wondering, did Garrow review Obama’s relationship with Frank Marshall Davis? Seems to me that for a young man to suddenly become super ambitious at 25, there was more than romantic relationships involved. There should have been a burning purpose.

And then for the author to conclude that the man with the ironclad will was hollow at the core? That has the ring of a man who was seduced by the possibilities of being powerful rather than following his heart-felt convictions. A true Manchurian candidate fulfilling someone else’s ambitious objectives.

I believe that O was allowed to believe what he wants and he embraced “Dreams of my Father” as his cover story even though he knew it was a fraud. He this is still his cover for his true ambition. He spent much of his presidency failing forward as he prepared his ambition to compete to be a the, or at least an, important global leader in the NWO. He has since returned to an expanded version of community organizer on a global scale and is openly warring against not only Trump but the US establishment.

I don’t think he is empty at the core. I think people, even Garrow, are afraid to dig deep enough to find what is in there.

BTW Leslie, thanks for reading this and reporting. Since so much of book is footnotes, it might be a good reference source. But I’ll never read it. Barbara Tuchman wrote the epic “Guns of August” in far fewer pages. Historians should take writing lessons. There are so few Tuchmans and David McCulloughs who can condense so much knowledge and insight into brief sentences and paragraphs.

Leslie, re the time in your life it took to read the 1500 pages: I wouldn’t blame you for wanting it back.

healthguyfsu | May 27, 2017 at 8:06 pm

They made a movie out of this; it was Stanley Kubrick’s A.I.

At the end, the Barrackanator got to spend one last day with his artificially cloned mother, Valerie Jarrett (for research purposes).