By some counts, The Story presents more than three-dozen instances of material discrepancy where Dreams fails to align with the facts as Maraniss reports them. Case in point: Maraniss confirmed that Mr. Obama’s mother, Ann Dunham, left his father, Barack Obama, Sr., a volatile bigamist, and not the other way around, as related in Dreams.
Dreams also related the tale of Obama’s paternal grandfather, Hussein Onyango, who was said to have been detained and tortured in a prison outside Nairobi for six months because of his brave defiance of British colonialists. But after a half-dozen interviews and other research, Maraniss deemed the tale “unlikely.”
Maraniss did not respond to several calls requesting an interview, but Fox News caught up with him outside a Washington book signing. “I think there’s a difference between a memoir and the serious, rigorous factual history of a biography,” he said. “Some of what he did was the result of mythologies that were passed along from his family, and some were for the purposes of advancing themes in his book which had more to do with finding his racial identity.”…
Obama’s early life, while sad in many respects, was too marked by privilege — recreational drug use, a Hawaii upbringing with financially comfortable white parents, enrollment in elite private schools and universities — to mesh neatly with the aggrieved black literature in which the young author was so well read and conversant. “Obama seems to sense this problem and, at the very start of his book, darkens his canvas as well as he can,” Remnick wrote.