Monday, October 20, 2008


Obama Praised 'Searing and Timely' Book by Ayers

Barack Obama once gave a glowing endorsement of a book by former domestic terrorist William Ayers and was mentioned by name in the book itself.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Barack Obama, who has consistently downplayed his relationship with William Ayers during his presidential campaign, once gave a glowing endorsement of a book by the former domestic terrorist and was mentioned by name in the book itself.

A blogger unearthed the Dec. 21, 1997, endorsement in the Chicago Tribune and posted photographs of the praise for Ayers' book on Saturday.

Featured next to a smiling photograph of himself, then-State Senator Obama called Ayers' book, "A Kind and Just Parent: Children of the Juvenile Court," a "searing and timely account of the juvenile court system, and the courageous individuals who rescue hope from despair."

The book, which details life at the Chicago Juvenile Court prison school, mentions Obama by name on page 82 when it describes Chicago's Hyde Park neighborhood:

"Our neighbors include Muhammad Ali, former mayor Eugene Sawyer, poets Gwendolyn Brooks and Elizabeth Alexander, and writer Barack Obama. Minister Louis Farrakhan lives a block from our home and adds, we think, a unique dimension to the idea of 'safe neighborhood watch': the Fruit of Islam, his security force, has an eye on things twenty-four-hours a day."

The Obama campaign said the blurb was not a full-fledged review of the book.

"He didn't do a review. He provided one line about the book to the Tribune," campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt told

A month before the item appeared, on Nov. 20, 1997, Michelle Obama, then dean of student services and director of the University Community Service Center, held a panel at the University of Chicago that featured both Barack Obama and Ayers.

"Ayers will be joined by Sen. Barack Obama, Senior Lecturer in the Law School, who is working to combat legislation that would put more juvenile offenders into the adult system," the University of Chicago Chronicle reported on Nov. 6, 1997.

Obama has been criticized for refusing to elaborate on the extent of his relationship with Ayers and for claiming to have had no idea Ayers was a co-founder of the Wesather Underground, which claimed responsibility for bombing the Pentagon, U.S. Capitol and a New York Supreme Court justice's home in the Sixties.

The Obama campaign has noted that Obama was 8 years old when Ayers and the Weather Underground were active and has no link to their activities. Ayers has said he has "no regrets" about his participation in the domestic terror group.

"A Kind and Just Parent" was in stock at and ranked 51,273 in sales on Monday.

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