BOOK REVIEW

Advancing Soviet Interests

Advancing Soviet InterestsThere are books of the political moment that reveal important facts about a candidate. Think of the exposé of John Kerry by the Swift Boat veterans in 2004.And there are books that look at history and give us insights into how we came to where we are.

Paul Kengor’s The Communist, Frank Marshall Davis: The Untold Story of Barack Obama’s Mentor is both of these—a book to buy and read and share for what it says about our Commander-in-Chief now up for reelection, and a book to keep on the bookshelf as a history that explains how communist subversives have wormed their way into the highest levels of government. Our nation’s very sovereignty is at stake under the direction of a president who has imbibed the communist internationalist worldview and proclaimed himself a “citizen of the world.”

Kengor’s book will provide more evidence for the millions of Americans who have been alarmed by Obama’s dismissal of American exceptionalism, his apology tour, his takeover of General Motors and payoff to the “workers” (er, unions), his lecture to an aspiring entrepreneur (a plumber) about “sharing the wealth,” and his abandonment of former Soviet satellites like Poland. These and many more parallels can be traced back to a mentor that Obama, in his autobiography Dreams from My Father, names only as “Frank.”

Frank was Frank Marshall Davis, a fact corroborated by many Obama supporters. What they do not admit, though, was that Davis was a card-carrying member of CPUSA and one of its most prolific propagandists. Davis arrived in the then-U.S. territory of Hawaii in 1948 to advance Soviet interests in the area by writing for the Soviet-funded Honolulu Record, the last of a series of communist papers for which he worked.

While Davis worked to overthrow the U.S. government and turn it into a communist state, he argued that anticommunism was a disguised form of racism. Today, liberals herald Davis as “a civil rights crusader” who was a victim of McCarthyism because he was called to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee in 1956. But one of the interesting facts that Kengor points out was that Davis’s testimony was before a Senate committee run by Democrats. The senator who directly questioned Davis was Arthur Watkins, a Utah Republican, and “the namesake of the 1954 Watkins Committee, the special Senate committee that censured Joe McCarthy” [emphasis added].

Obama, who grew up without a father, admits to having been profoundly affected by the long visits with “Frank.” He went off to college, seeking out leftists like “‘Marxist professors and structural feminists.’” During his first run for the state senate he was backed by the New Party (a socialist front). He carried out Saul Alinsky’s communist ethic in his work as a “community organizer” (as did “pal” Bill Ayers) and taught Alinskyite strategies in workshops. He did legal work for the subversive ACORN. Obama dismissed the idea that a radical like Bill Ayers could have had an influence on him because he was a young child in the 1960s. But these sixties revolutionaries – including Tom Hayden, Jane Fonda, Mark Rudd, Carl Davidson, Daniel Ellsberg, and Bill Ayers – “re-emerged as Progressives for Obama.” Their anti-Vietnam rallies were “penetrated and often organized by communist ringleaders.”

One of the many similarities between Davis and Obama is the use of race as a diversionary tactic. Beginning in the 1920s communists in America used the issue of race to deflect criticism of communism, and to dupe blacks and whites into joining the party. In a very un-presidential manner, Obama has inserted himself into volatile racial issues from the Henry Louis Gates incident to the Trayvon Martin killing.

We have a president, who, by words and actions, has not abandoned the worldview of his communist mentor, a mentor who, furthermore, had close ties to the communist mentors and family members of Obama’s two closest advisors, Valerie Jarrett and David Axelrod. The web of connections via Hawaii and Chicago (where Davis also lived and worked) is fascinating and terrifying.

Kengor asserts that his mission is not to demonstrate that Obama is or is not a communist, but he does explain, “The Communist Party established in the United States was expected to thrive on deceit.” Kengor quotes from “The Twenty One Conditions of Admission into the Communist International” (1920): a “‘parallel illegal apparatus . . . at the decisive moment’ would seize the day. . . . When the moment was ripe, those comrades would assist the masters in Moscow in ‘performing [their] duty to the revolution.’”

Much of the communist government infiltration of the United States of America happened during the reign of FDR. The American public learned a lot when former Communists, like Whittaker Chambers, came forward and testified against subversives in high levels of government.

It can be argued that the infiltration of the national government is more extensive today than during FDR’s reign. Yet, as a result of the counter-campaign by communists and communist sympathizers, it has become verboten to even imply that a political candidate has ties to communist front groups or harbors communist sympathies. Witness the airbrushing of Davis’s communist past today by Obama defenders. Think of the ridicule heaped on Congressman Allen West for his statement about Democratic Congressmen of the Progressive Caucus who are communists, while those like Danny K. Davis openly attend communist gatherings!

Not much has changed.

Kengor’s book is a needed corrective to an educational and media establishment that denies the existence of a past or present communist threat. We need more books like this carefully crafted and researched exposé by a respected political scientist. Kengor sympathetically allows for the fact that Davis’s reasons for joining the Communist Party may have stemmed from the racial discrimination he faced, but he tells us about what we face right now: a Commander-in-Chief whose values were shaped by a communist subversive.

It is only logical to see Obama’s statements and actions in that light.


Mary Grabar, Ph.D., teaches English at Emory University in the Program in American Democracy and Citizenship. She recently founded the Dissident Prof Education Project, Inc., an education reform initiative that offers information and resources for students, parents, and citizens. The motto, “Resisting the Re-Education of America,” arose in part from her perspective as a very young immigrant from the former Communist Yugoslavia (Slovenia specifically). She writes extensively and is also a published poet and fiction writer.