The Communist: Frank Marshall Davis: The Untold Story of Barack Obama’s Mentor

SUPPLEMENTAL NOTE: For more perspective on Frank Marshall Davis and Barack Obama, check out author Paul Kengor’s take on what David Maraniss didn’t write (but should have) in our review of Barack Obama: The Story.

With the heightened rhetoric and ad hominem campaigning that seems to define presidential election season nowadays, finding evenhanded voices that engage with rubber-meets-the-road issues (as opposed to distracting sideshow acts of desperation) can be a frustratingly fruitless endeavor.

Which is why Prof. Paul Kengor’s painstakingly documented and sober look at President Obama’s mentor, the radical communist Frank Marshall Davis, is so refreshing and eye-opening.

In short, Kengor lets his research do the talking—and the hard evidence he uncovers is a sufficiently loud call for Americans to wake up and take a long look at the man who Kengor says had the biggest effect on shaping Obama’s worldview.

Far from conjecture, Davis is cited by the Associated Press as an “important influence” on Obama, one whom he “looked to” not merely for “advice on living” but as a “father” figure.

Here’s Kengor on the July 18 Glenn Beck radio show talking in depth about his new book:

Strangely enough—or perhaps not strange in the least—Obama himself refers to “Frank” no less than 22 times in his memoir, Dreams From My Father…yet never his full name. Why not? (Seriously, do we really need to spell that one out?)

Want more? Check out Davis’ essential values as outlined by Kengor in The Communist: Frank Marshall Davis: The Untold Story of Barack Obama’s Mentor and determine for yourself if any ring some recent bells:

  • Advocated wealth redistribution from (in his words) greedy “corporations” to “health insurance” and “public works projects”;
  • Favored taxpayer funding of universal health care;
  • Supported government stimulus and trumpeted the public sector over the private sector;
  • Dismissed traditional notions of American exceptionalism and framed the U.S. not as selflessly serving the post-World War II planet but instead as selfishly flaunting its so-called “mountainous ego” and “racist-imperialist-colonialist” ambitions;
  • Sought political support from the “social justice”-oriented Religious Left;
  • Viewed the Catholic Church as an obstacle to his vision for the state;
  • Vilified the “tentacles of big business,” bankers, big oil, “excess profits,” corporate fat cats and their “fat contracts,” “millionaires,” “rich men,” and the wealthy;
  • Attacked “GOP” tax cuts that “spare the rich” and benefit “millionaires” only;
  • Singled out the “corporate executive” for not paying his “fair share”;
  • Used slogans such as “change” and “forward.”

Check out this video summary of The Communist, which explains the main points regarding who Davis was and, more importantly, who he was to Obama:

The idea that Obama is product of radical influences has long been postulated (e.g., Bill Ayers, Jeremiah Wright), but Kengor tips the balance with an exhaustive examination of Davis’ literally card-carrying communist agenda, made permanent in the communist Chicago Star newspaper, for which he courted contributions from Soviet agents.

In fact, as Kengor notes, during the Cold War the FBI placed Davis on its security index, which meant that if an armed conflict occurred between the U.S. and Soviet Union, the feds would’ve viewed Davis as a prime suspect for treason.

And this is the man who mentored the current leader of the free world.

“We’ve had 44 presidents and they’ve all had mentors,” Kengor told Blaze writer Tiffany Gabbay during an exclusive interview. “Yet never before in the entire 200-plus year [presidential] history of this country, have we had a president with a mentor who was a card carrying member of the Communist Party.”

(You can read more of Gabbay’s take on Kengor’s research here and here, as well as a pair of guest columns Kengor penned recently for the Blaze here and here.)

These are the facts:

  • Davis was a pro-Soviet, pro-Red China communist;
  • His Communist Party USA card number, revealed in FBI files, was CP #47544;
  • In the early 1950s, Davis opposed U.S. attempts to slow Stalin and Mao. He favored Red Army takeovers of Central and Eastern Europe, and communist control in Korea and Vietnam.
  • In the 1970s, Davis came into Obama’s life.

Another aspect of The Communist that sets it apart is that it treats Davis quite fairly and evenhandedly, noting the devastating Jim Crow-era racial persecution he suffered, which no doubt steered a rightfully angry young man on a misguided political track.

Check out Glenn Beck introducing The Communist (below) in the context of Obama’s cozy relationship with Russia and specifically his infamous, non-teleprompted, assumed-confidential remarks to President Medvedev about having more “flexibility” after the 2012 election: