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Obama Studied Under Edward Said
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April 11, 2008, 04:32 PM
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Edward Said, the late Episcopalian Palestinian intellectual, whose 1978 book Orientalism launched "post-colonial studies" and did so much damage to scholarship by teaching a generation of students that studying non-Western cultures was racist and that the only acceptable activity was to interrogate what earlier Western scholars had said about non-Western cultures for proof of their racism, taught Barack Obama at Columbia in the early 1980s, according to the LA Times.[Allies of Palestinians see a friend in Barack Obama, By Peter Wallsten,April 10, 2008]

There`s nothing about Edward Said in Obama`s memoirs because of Obama`s relentless refusal to include anecdotes about famous people he had met just because readers might find them—horrors—interesting.

I mean, in the unlikely event that I ever write my life story, I`d include the time I was interrogated by a Maryland chief of police on suspicion of attempting to assassinate former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher with a letter bomb.

Their robot bomb disposal unit was ready to hurl into the Chesapeake Bay the small dense package I had mailed to myself at a hotel where both Mrs. Thatcher and I would be staying for a conference when I finally convinced the police the package just contained some new business cards I had had printed up.

Granted, this story doesn`t reveal anything about my inner soul, but it`s more entertaining than any single anecdote in Obama`s boring book.

Obama left out random stories about famous people he had met because they don`t have anything to do with his own personal all-absorbing "story of race and inheritance." And, besides, who knew whether potential Jewish donors in some future campaign would be pleased to hear about the impact Said had on Obama? Why leave a paper trail?