Obama: The Early Years

If, like me, you’ve wondered what a “community organizer” is, and what Barack Obama was up to in the early years of his career, check out “Who ‘sent’ Obama?” and a follow-up dated June 19 titled “That ‘guy who lived in my neighborhood'” by law professor Steve Diamond.

Diamond is a liberal with an interest in the international labor movement. Although a man of the left, he is hostile toward the Maoism of people like Bill Ayers. He writes in much more detail than I’ve seen anywhere else about Obama’s role in Chicago school politics and his relationship with the Ayers family. There’s lots of fact, with a bit of speculation thrown in. It may be overstating the case to suggest, as Diamond does, that it was “the Ayers family, including Tom, John, Bill and Bernardine Dohrn,” who “sent” the young Barack Obama. But the connections are certainly more substantial, and more important, than Obama has admitted publicly.

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