Obama Senior's Long-Lost Political Writing Surfaces

Elder Barack critiqued Kenyan socialism
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 15, 2008 11:13 AM CDT
This undated photo shows Barack Obama and his father, also named Barack Obama. Obama's father left the family to study at Harvard when Barack was just two, returning only once.   (AP Photo)
camera-icon View 1 more image

(Newser) – A mid-'60s treatise on Kenyan socialism has been causing a stir in the 2008 US presidential election, Politico reports, because of its author—Barack Obama Sr. Titled “Problems Facing Our Socialism,” conservative bloggers believe the paper reveals the elder Obama’s hidden communist leanings. But the scholarly paper is more a moderate, mocking critique of the “African Socialism” Kenya’s government was then advocating.

The younger Obama never mentions the paper in his book Dreams From My Father, but he describes how his absent father's opposition to the Kenyan government drove him into poverty and bitterness. In the paper, however, Obama Sr. is still optimistic. “Obama Sr. was quite a sharp mind,” said one Kenyan professor, who says that many of Obama’s criticisms still ring true.