The Communist by Paul Kengor

By Paul Kengor

“I recognize Russia for wiping out an economic climate which approved a handful of wealthy to take advantage of and beat gold from the hundreds of thousands of simple people… As person who believes in freedom and democracy for all, I honor the crimson nation.” —FRANK MARSHALL DAVIS, 1947

In his memoir, Barack Obama omits the whole identify of his mentor, easily calling him “Frank.” Now, in reality out: by no means has a determine as deeply troubling and arguable as Frank Marshall Davis had such an effect at the improvement of an American president.

Although different radical affects on Obama, from Jeremiah Wright to invoice Ayers, were scrutinized, the general public is aware little approximately Davis, a card-carrying member of the Communist social gathering united states, brought up via the linked Press as an “important influence” on Obama, one whom he “looked to” now not simply for “advice on living” yet as a “father” figure.

Aided through entry to explosive declassified FBI documents, Soviet information, and Davis’s unique newspaper columns, Paul Kengor explores how Obama sought out Davis and the way Davis present in Obama an impressionable younger guy, one vulnerable to Davis’s worldview that adversarial American coverage and conventional values whereas praising communist regimes. Kengor sees remnants of this worldview in Obama’s formative years or even, eventually, his presidency.

Is Obama operating to satisfy the desires of Frank Marshall Davis? that query has been most unlikely to respond to, on the grounds that Davis’s writings and dating with Obama have both been intentionally obscured or disregarded as beside the point. With Paul Kengor’s The Communist, americans can ultimately weigh the proof and judge for themselves.

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3 Peter Milward, Shakespeare’s Religious Background (London: Sidgwick and Jackson, 1973). 4 Eric Sams, The Real Shakespeare: Retrieving the Early Years, 1564–1594 (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1995), p. 11. 5 Katherine Duncan-Jones, Ungentle Shakespeare: Scenes from his Life (London: Arden Shakespeare, 2001), p. 197. 6 Edward Dowden, Shakspere: A Critical Study of His Mind and Art (London: Kegan Paul, 1875). 7 Park Honan, Shakespeare: A Life (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 1999), pp.

Shakespeare’s stature in his own time may have been less exalted than it has been since the eighteenth century, but the tributes of Francis Meres and Ben Jonson reveal a contemporary awareness of his greatness. Yet we have no sign of any contemporary interest in his character. Was there something either intangible or unknowable, or something deterrent, about it? Or did he perhaps come alive only when entering, in his writing or his acting, the personalities of others? That too, alas, is speculation.

18 In modern times we have had a monarchist Shakespeare and a republican Shakespeare, an aristocratic Shakespeare and a bourgeois Shakespeare, Terry Eagleton’s Marxist Shakespeare and Michael Portillo’s 30 Shakespeare, Marlowe, Jonson Tory Shakespeare. We have also had a Catholic Shakespeare, an Anglican Shakespeare, a Presbyterian Shakespeare, an agnostic Shakespeare, an atheist Shakespeare. 19 There is a final difference between Shakespeare and other dramatists of his time. One reason we know something about the personalities and views of a number of his contemporaries is that they got into trouble with the authorities, and that their clashes with them left a documentary legacy.

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