In the biography titled “Rising Star: The Creation of Barack Obama,” David Garrow, the author, delves into the early life and relationships of former President Barack Obama. Garrow’s book challenges certain aspects of Obama’s own work, “Dreams From My Father.”
Garrow asserts that Obama expressed a desire for the private preservation of letters penned to his former girlfriend, Sheila Miyoshi Jager. These letters provide insight into their relationship during Obama’s time at Harvard Law School.
In an interview with Fox News, Garrow shared, “Barack made it clear to me that he hoped I would never read them, I can phrase it that way. I believe that if the letters to Sheila were to become public, it would be a significant event.” He added that these letters would reveal the profound and intense nature of their relationship, which persisted on and off throughout Obama’s Harvard Law School years.
During a conversation with Tablet magazine, Garrow unveiled a revelation that contradicts Obama’s claim in his novel regarding the reason for his breakup with Jager. Contrary to Obama’s assertion that the breakup was linked to his embrace of black racial awareness, Jager disclosed that the argument leading to their separation did not revolve around Obama’s self-identification as a black man.
The dispute did not transpire after attending a play centered on the African American experience, as Obama had indicated. Instead, the argument occurred following a visit to an exhibit about the 1961 trial of Adolf Eichmann at Chicago’s Spertus Institute. This visit took place amidst controversy stirred by Steve Cokely, a black Chicago mayoral aide who accused Jewish doctors in the city of deliberately infecting black infants with AIDS as part of an alleged genocidal scheme against African Americans. These accusations emerged just prior to Obama and Jager’s visit to the institute.
According to Garrow’s account of Jager’s statements, their relationship ended after a heated disagreement over Obama’s refusal to condemn black racism, rather than due to his affirmation of a black identity. Jager acknowledged that Obama’s alignment with a black identity did contribute to tensions between them, but she emphasized that her frustration on that particular day stemmed from Obama’s failure to denounce Cokely’s remarks. She reportedly conveyed to Garrow that her concern was not about Obama’s racial identity, but his reluctance to denounce antisemitism.
Garrow critiqued Obama’s “Dreams From My Father,” describing much of it as a work of fiction. Furthermore, he characterized the 44th president as lacking the diligence required for a successful tenure as a Supreme Court justice.
In his assessment, Garrow concluded that Obama’s presidency would ultimately be judged as unsuccessful due to its foreign policy inadequacies.