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From The Blaze:

You might recall TheBlaze’s series of reports on Dr. Paul Kengor’s powerful book, “The Communist,” which offered a detailed account of the Communist Party ties of President Obama’s longtime mentor, Frank Marshall Davis. “Frank,” as he is referred to in Obama’s memoir “Dreams From My Father,” is mentioned multiple times in the print edition of the president’s book, however, Kengor now reveals that all references to “Frank” were purged from the volume’s abridged audio version.

It’s an observation that was first broached, albeit very briefly, by Jack Cashill in a July article. And since then, the scrubbing has gone unnoticed. Until now.

“Frank” — whose influence Kengor asserts was key to the fledgling politician and that the eccentric activist appears in “each mile-marker” of Obama’s path from Hawaii to the halls of Washington, D.C. — is mentioned no less than 22 times by name in “Dreams From My Father” and is referenced via pronouns numerous other times throughout the book.

But while listening to the audio version recently, Kengor noticed “Frank” had disappeared. He re-listened to the entire audio book on Tuesday afternoon and compared it to the unabridged memoir.

“Every reference to ‘Frank’ everywhere in the book, from every section—and there are many of them—are gone,” Kengor told TheBlaze in an email.

The omissions are important because a review of the Random House website reveals that all audio versions of “Dreams,” along with Obama’s subsequent book, “The Audacity of Hope,” are only available in the abridged format.


Stanley Dunham, the man President Obama called “Gramps”, was monitored by the FBI, but like President Obama, his paper trail has been obscured. News comes from Cliff Kincaid, via the Christian News Service and Canadian Fee Press:

“The FBI confirms that a file was maintained on Obama’s grandfather, Stanley Armour Dunham,” states Cliff Kincaid, the journalist who runs the public policy group, America’s Survival, Inc. (ASI). “This is a troubling development in the effort to understand the Marxism that drives Obama’s policies as president today.”
In correspondence with Kincaid, available at, the FBI says the file was destroyed in 1997. The FBI made the admission after Kincaid complied with a request to verify the identity of Dunham and the fact that he was deceased.

 Dubbed “Gramps” by Obama, Dunham has been depicted in news reports as a patriot who served in the U.S. Army in World War II . But he had a close relationship with Communist Party USA (CPUSA) member Frank Marshall Davis in Hawaii, who reportedly drank and smoke pot with Dunham.….

Davis was not only a communist but a pornographer who wrote a semi-biographical novel about having sex with a 13-year-old girl. He mentored Obama for as many as nine years of his young life in Hawaii.

For full article:

(note: I am posting the full text of the American Thinker article on Obama’s “Pops” poem, because it provides great analysis)

March 07, 2010

What I Learned from Obama’s Pop

by Jack Cashill

“Who in the world am I? Ah, that’s the great puzzle!”
  – Alice in Wonderland
A little more than a month ago, I began my first descent into the rabbit hole of Barack Obama’s origins, a place known to swallow reputations whole. What prompted my inquiry was an e-mail from a correspondent asking my opinion of “Pop,” a poem published under the 19-year-old Obama’s name in the spring 1981 edition of Occidental College’s literary magazine, Feast. Having no prior bias going in, here is what I have concluded coming out.


  • Questioning Obama’s origins is a legitimate enterprise. Even by their own humble standards, the major media — including Obama’s biographers — have done an impressively slack job in tracing the president’s uncertain roots.
  • Obama was almost assuredly born in Hawaii. There is no evidence that puts him elsewhere. Undoing the Kenyan possibility is the high likelihood that the “marriage” between Barack Sr. and Ann Dunham was a sham.
  • Much depends on that marriage. “My parents shared not only an improbable love, they shared an abiding faith in the possibilities of this nation,” said Obama, establishing the romantic narrative in his keynote speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention. His father was from Kenya. His mother was from “a town on the other side of the world, in Kansas.” 
  • To paraphrase Harry Reid, Obama was no ordinary “Negro.” Said Joe Biden of Obama’s background, “I mean, that’s a storybook, man.” Enough depends on this story that Team Obama would and has dissembled to preserve it.
  • For starters, Ann Dunham spent her formative years in Washington State, several of them in the progressive cocoon of Mercer Island. It was to Washington that she returned for a year immediately after Obama’s birth, a fact missed by every Obama biography I could find.
  • Baby Barack spent most of his first year in Washington as well, another fact overlooked by the biographers.
  • There is not much storybook to a romance in which the mother leaves home immediately after her son’s birth. Barack Sr.’s close friends have no memory even of a relationship between him and Dunham.
  • When Barack Sr. left Hawaii a year after Obama’s birth, Ann’s father Stanley was there to see him off with smiles. He would always speak well of the black man who knocked up his daughter and then abandoned wife and child — mighty unusual behavior from a father-in-law.
  • There was a marriage license from another county, Maui — a classic way to avoid local notification — and a divorce, but if there was a wedding, then no one attended it. There was no ring, no photos, no leis.
  • Ann Dunham met Barack Sr. in Russian class. (In 1960, people like Lee Harvey Oswald took Russian classes.) The possibility that the Dunhams recruited Barack Sr. to front for a less savory impregnation of Ann by a black man makes more sense than the fabled romance. Obama looks nothing like Barack Sr.
  • No, there is absolutely no reason to believe that the father was Malcolm X.
  • This brings us back to “Pop.” Every mainstream reviewer I could find has argued that the subject of the poem was Obama’s grandfather, Stanley Dunham. None of them asked why Obama would write a poem about his “Gramps” and title it “Pop.” None addressed the questions of paternity implicit in the title and in the confrontation between son and father figure.
  • On closer examination, the poem is almost assuredly about Obama’s African-American mentor, the communist Frank Marshall Davis. There are two good reasons to assert this. One is that “Pop” recites a poem that he had written. Davis was a poet. Dunham was not.
  • The second reason is that “Pop” actually appears to have been written by Davis about his own relationship with Obama.
  • A stronger case can be made for Davis’s authorship than for Obama’s. For one, “Pop” has a different style altogether from a silly adolescent poem called “Underground” published under Obama’s name along with “Pop” in Feast. Critic Warwick Collins rightly describes “Pop” as “by far the more powerful and complex” of the two, and his is the consensus opinion.
  • For another, “Pop” closely resembles in style, language, and subject a matter a poem published by Davis in 1975 called “To A Young Man.” The literary analyst who unearthed this poem — I have referred to him as “Mr. West” — has argued for Davis as “Pop” from the beginning.
  • In each of the two poems in question, the young man is the narrator. In each, the old man, the Davis character, is discussed in the third person. In the 1981 poem, the narrator calls him “Pop,” in the 1975 poem “the old man.” In each poem, when this older character speaks to the young man, he does so without benefit of quotation marks.
  • In “To A Young Man,” the Davis character says on one occasion, “Since then I have drunk/ Hal a hundred liquid years/ Distilled Through restless coils of wisdom.”
  • Note the similar flow of language in “Pop”: “Pop switches channels, takes another/ Shot of Seagrams, neat, and asks/ What to do with me, a green young man.”
  • As is evident in these two short samples, both poems are written in free verse and make ready use of what is called “enjambment” — that is the abrupt continuation of a sentence from one line into the next.
  • There are parallels in word choice as well as style. “Neat” means without water or ice. “Neat” and “distilled” both suggest a kind of alcoholic purity. Each of these words is emphasized by isolating it from the flow of the text.
  • Both poems are published with a seeming typo that may, in fact, be a pun.
    In “To A Young Man,” as cited above, the old man says, “Since then I have drunk/ Hal a hundred liquid years/ Distilled.” On first reading, I presumed the capitalized “Hal” to be a reference to young Prince Hal of Shakespeare’s Henry IV with an allusion to old man as Hal’s wayward guide, Sir John Falstaff. The sentence reads better, however, if the old man, fifty years older than his young friend, says, “I have drunk half a hundred liquid years.”

  • In “Pop,” the older man “Stands, shouts, and asks
/For a hug, as I shink.” Most reviewers simply dismiss “shink” as a typo, the right word being “shrink.” Still, as poet Ian McMillan notes in the U.K. Guardian, “shink” literally means “to be hit in the face with a penis.” I am not making this up.

  • In each case, too, the older man shares his wisdom with a “young man” who may not be eager to hear it. The young man of “Pop” dismisses that wisdom as a mere “spot” in his brain, “something
/that may be squeezed out, like a/
Watermelon seed between/
Two fingers.”
  • Comparably, the narrator of “To A Young Man” observes that the old man “walked until/ On the slate horizon/ He erased himself.” Whether “squeezed out” or “erased” from the young man’s consciousness, the Davis character understands just how tenuous is his hold on the lad.
  • For all his awareness, however, the older man finds a certain drunken satisfaction in the exchange. Towards the end of “To A Young Man,” the old man “turned/ His hammered face/ To the pounding stars/ Smiled/ Like the ring of a gong.” “Pop” also concludes on an upbeat note: “I see my face, framed within
/ Pop’s black-framed glasses/ 
And know he’s laughing too.”
  • There is no reason to believe that the “young man” of the 1975 poem is Obama. The reader is told that the younger fellow is twenty years old and that the old man is fifty years older. Davis was precisely seventy in 1975, but Obama was no more than fourteen. Lacking too in the 1975 poem is the intimacy and anxiety that characterizes “Pop.”
  • In fact, “Pop” hints at both a blood relationship between the two men and a sexual one. The very name of the poem implies paternity, and in the poem the young man uses reflections and mirrors to show a physical resemblance between himself and the old man.
  • As to a possible sexual relationship between Obama and the admittedly bisexual Davis, the poem offers some intriguing evidence: “Pop … points out the same amber/ Stain on his shorts that I’ve got on mine, and/ Makes me smell his smell, coming/ From me.”
  • It is impossible to confirm that Davis either sired Obama or sexually abused him, but this imagery does at the least reek of some unsavory boundary violation.
  • As compensation, Davis may well have slipped this “green young man” a poem for publication. Such an everyday fraud would not have seemed unethical to an old man used to the “flim and flam” (“Pop”) of a world where “one plus one” does not necessarily make “two or three or four” (“To A Young Man”).
  • Trained to believe that nothing adds up and the deck is stacked against him, Obama has seemed from the beginning entirely comfortable with his counterfeit literary career.
  • This chicanery would reach fruition in Dreams, the acclaimed literary success that laid the foundation of the Obama-as-genius myth. The evidence that Obama pal and mentor Bill Ayers largely ghosted this memoir now overwhelms the objective reviewer.
  • In the final analysis, Davis, a pornographer with a stated fondness for young white women, makes as likely a suspect to be Obama’s blood father as Barack Sr. Team Obama’s evasiveness about the birth certificate and other questions of origins may have something to do with paternity issues.
  • Questions about Obama’s citizenship remain in play. His seeming adoption by the Muslim Lolo Soetoro and his removal to Indonesia cloud the issue of nationality. Obama was, in fact, registered at school there as “Barry Soetoro,” a “Muslim” and an Indonesian citizen.
  • Contrary to rumor, Obama could have traveled to Pakistan on an American passport in 1981. Whether he did or not is another question. It was not until April 2008 at a San Francisco fundraiser that Obama casually let it be known that he had traveled to Pakistan at all. Curiously, he had not mentioned this trip in either of his two books or in any prior public discussion of Pakistan.
  • Raising suspicions further was the fact that two weeks before the Pakistani admission, someone had improperly accessed Obama’s passport on three occasions. That someone worked for John Brennan at Analysis Corp, a company with fewer than a hundred employees. A former CIA operative then advising Obama, Brennan is now Deputy National Security Adviser.


Curiouser and curiouser! Those dependent on the major media for their news know close to none of the above. They have been coached to believe that only Mad Hatters and “birthers” would dare question the self-serving slop of disinformation that the media have dished out in the age of Obama. Well, off now to see Alice — something of a homecoming for me, as I have lived in Wonderland for the last several years.



Sitting in his seat, a seat broad and broken
In, sprinkled with ashes
Pop switches channels, takes another
Shot of Seagrams, neat, and asks
What to do with me, a green young man
Who fails to consider the
Flim and flam of the world, since
Things have been easy for me;
I stare hard at his face, a stare
That deflects off his brow;
I’m sure he’s unaware of his
Dark, watery eyes, that
Glance in different directions,
And his slow, unwelcome twitches,
Fail to pass.
I listen, nod,
Listen, open, till I cling to his pale,
Beige T-shirt, yelling,
Yelling in his ears, that hang
With heavy lobes, but he’s still telling
His joke, so I ask why
He’s so unhappy, to which he replies…
But I don’t care anymore, cause
He took too damn long, and from
Under my seat, I pull out the
Mirror I’ve been saving; I’m laughing,
Laughing loud, the blood rushing from his face
To mine, as he grows small,
A spot in my brain, something
That may be squeezed out, like a
Watermelon seed between
Two fingers.
Pop takes another shot, neat,
Points out the same amber
Stain on his shorts that I’ve got on mine, and
Makes me smell his smell, coming
From me; he switches channels, recites an old poem
He wrote before his mother died,
Stands, shouts, and asks
For a hug, as I shrink, my
Arms barely reaching around
His thick, oily neck, and his broad back; ’cause
I see my face, framed within
Pop’s black-framed glasses
And know he’s laughing too.

Barack and “Gramps” Dunham:

Frank Marshall Davis, friend of “Gramps” Dunham and “Mentor” for young Obama:

The murky circumstances of Obama’s birth invite attempts to make the known facts fit together. This article was prompted by two emails.  The first asked me why I had never weighed in on the birth certificate controversy surrounding President Barack Obama


I responded that although I was troubled by the lack of documentation regarding all phases of Obama’s history — I’d be content with his SAT scores — I could not understand why any pregnant American woman would go anywhere near Kenya.

Update: I pulled this comment from the American Thinker article comments. I have commented myself before about the requirements to register my kids for sports being more involved than the POTUS candidate meeting its qualifications:



Posted by: Inthemiddle <!– Comment: #45 –> 
Feb 07, 01:37 PM
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I’d like to weigh in on this fascinating piece by Cashell. I have been forced to produce more background documentation than Obama just to get my two little kids onto recreational sports teams! Here in Florida, in order to get my daughter on a recreational SOCCER TEAM or my son on a recreational BASEBALL TEAM I have to produce a BIRTH CERTIFICATE every season they want to play–I believe this is to prevent “fraud in sports”–i.e. they’re worried about some sports prodigy from Latin America playing against opponents who are much younger so they verify everyone’s age every season. And speaking of “fraud prevention,” if you want to practice law in Florida the Florida Bar requires you to produce every scholastic transcript from every educational institution you’ve ever attended, from college on up through law school. I attended one semester at a university in Italy and that attendance was reflected in my undergraduate institution’s transcript. But that wasn’t good enough for the Florida Bar. So I then produced the translated-into-English copy of an Italian letter confirming my satisfactory completion of all courses during that semester in Italy from the Italian university to my undergraduate institution. The letter had been translated into English by the head of the French, Italian and Spanish departments at my college and I thought it was downright amazing that my college–which I contacted in a desperate frenzy when the transcript paperwork required by the Florida Bar threatened to keep me from being admitted– still had the translated letter in its records so many years later. But that still wasn’t good enough for the Florida Bar. Finally I had to contact the university in Italy (in Italian I might add) to ask it to write directly to the Florida Bar about my attendance. Weeks later, much to my amazement, the Florida Bar informed me they had received the letter and that my application for bar admission was completed. Isn’t it reassuring that the gurus in Tallahassee know more about me studying art in the Renaissance than the American people know about Obama?
The second email was more interesting.  It came from a Michigan entrepreneur named Don Wilkie, with whom I had not previously communicated.  Knowing my interest in the authorship questions surrounding Obama’s writing, he presumed that I was intrigued as he was by a cryptic poem the 19-year old Obama wrote called “Pop,” the best thing that Obama himself has actually written.  He was right.
“Pop” relates an encounter between Obama and a man most reviewers presume to be Obama’s maternal grandfather, Stanley Dunham.  Dunham would have been in his early 60’s at the time.  In the poem, Obama has “Pop” wondering drunkenly about the boy, “What to do with me, a green young man.” 
The Obama of the poem is cynical, even a little bitter.  He makes several allusions to the fact that he and the old man look and even smell alike, a fact that strikes Obama as more ironic than reassuring.  The poem ends, however, with reconciliation when Pop stands and asks for a hug.  Writes Obama:
I see my face, framed within

Pop’s black-framed glasses

And know he’s laughing too.

For full article:

A recent photograph of Barack Obama Sr. with Stanley Dunham (Obama’s grandfather), along with other information from Stanley Ann Dunham’s acquaintances in Washington State, call the “nativity” story of the 44th President’s birth into question, and provide further challenges to the secrecy of his birth certificate.

World Net Daily reports:

WND has reported that contrary to President Obama’s statement, his father did not abandon the family in Hawaii when he accepted an invitation to study at Harvard in 1962.

Instead, his mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, abandoned Barack Obama Sr., when she moved from Hawaii to Seattle where she was enrolled in extension courses beginning Aug. 19, 1961, only 15 days after Barack Obama Jr. was born, according to Dunham’s grade transcript that WND obtained from the University of Washington.

The Polk city street directory for Seattle in 1961-1962 has Obama’s mother listed as a student living at 516 13th Ave. E., apartment 2, in Seattle’s Capitol Hill area, where babysitter Mary Toutonghi reported Obama’s mother attended night classes at the university that began at 4:30 p.m., as part of her extension school curriculum.


Documents uncovered by WND have raised questions whether President Obama’s parents ever lived together as husband and wife, despite Obama’s repeated assertions his parents lived together in Hawaii during the first two years of his life.

WND further reported the Polk city street directory for Honolulu for 1961-1962 indicates Obama’s grandparents, Madelyn and Stanley Dunham, lived at 6085 Kalanianaole Highway, the address listed for Obama’s birth in the announcement published in the Hawaiian newspaper at the time. Barack Obama Sr., meanwhile, maintained a separate bachelor pad at an 11th Avenue address, closer to the University of Hawaii.

Still, the nativity birth myth that Barack Obama, Sr. abandoned Ann Dunham when he left for Hawaii matches the nativity story he told on page 126 of Dreams from My Father.


Barack Obama was photographed in circa 1983 with his grandparents, Stanley and Madelyn Dunham in New York. Note his ring finger in both pictures. Grandpa Dunham died on February 8, 1992, and Barack married Michelle Robinson on October 18th, 1992. Whose wedding band is on his hand in 1983? Does the Cook County marriage license applications ask about prior marriages? The marriage license application in Las Vegas, NV for Maya Soetoro to Konrad Ng indicates that her first marriage ended in divorce in Honolulu in early 1995, several months before her mother’s death.

It is of no importance whatsoever how many times Maya was married, or basically if Obama was married before either. It just is more of the “unknowns” of the empty suit that was elected last November.,_Jr.:_The_Real_Story.html (for Maya’s marriage license)



Those who came before : US Army Specialist Ruben Jara from Fort ...

Charles Payne, the brother of Barack Obama’s grandmother, Madelyn “Toots” Dunham, arrived in Normandy with former Senator Bob Dole and the Secretary of Veteran Affairs. During WWII, Payne was a member of the Army’s 89th Infantry Division, and he was a witness to the atrocities of the Holocaust, as the group that liberated Buchenwald. Obama paid tribute at Buchenwald on Thursday.

Charles Payne, great-uncle to U.S. President Barack Obama takes ...

Charles Payne

     Along with the millions of troops who participated in the D-Day battle, and the days, weeks, and months that followed, Obama’s maternal family has ties to Normandy. Obama’s grandfather Stanley Dunham served in Normandy 6 weeks after D-Day, and his great- uncle Ralph Dunham was a part of the next round into Normandy 4 days after D-Day. Ralph Dunham, at 92, did not make the trip to Normandy from his retirement home in Virginia. The President mentioned his family’s service in WWII, as well as that of Sen. Dole and the millions of others!

Ralph Emerson Dunham, 92, President Barack Obama's great-uncle ...

Ralph Emerson Dunham, 92

     From a young 19 year old private seeing the ravages of war first hand, the atrocities of Adolph Hitler’s Holocaust, to an 84 year old veteran watching his NEPHEW address the veterans, as the President of the United States… front seat of history. With all of this family ties to WWII, one would think that Obama would have a better handle on the world affairs, instead of apologizing for the United States… after all, his grandftaher and great uncles were a part of the Greatest Generation that made it possible for Europe to not be required to speak German today!

When Barack Obama goes to the former Buchenwald concentration camp to honor the victims of the Nazi and the Americans who liberated them, there is one member of the Greatest Generation who is cocking an eye at the event.

His great-uncle, who was one of those liberators. Charles Payne, 84, told the German magazine Der Spiegel his great-nephew never expressed any interest in his war duty … not until the media caught him in a gaffe last fall.

“I was quite surprised when the whole thing came up and Barack talked about my war experiences … We had never talked about that before. This is a trip that he chose, not because of me I’m sure, but for political reasons,” Payne told Der Spiegel.

For Full story:

Both Charles Payne (Obama’s grandmother’s brother) and Stanley Dunham, Obama’s grandfather, served in WWII. The AP recently researched Stabley Dunham’s service, information that his grandson never gleaned from the man who raised him.

     The University of Hawaii has done exactly what I have said any good marketing executive for EITHER of the two hospitals where our 44th President is alleged to have been born. The University has solidly attached itself to al that is Obama, particularly the ties of his mother to the school. In reading this article about Stanley Ann Dunham, some from the Obama biographies, but some from the University’s ties to Ms. Dunham, I again state that Ms. Dunham’s story is far more interesting than that of the “Dreams of My Father“, a man who left his wives and abandoned his children.



Legacy of the President’s Mother

January 14th, 2009  |  by Paula Bender |  Published in Cover Story  |  38 Comments | Print This Post

The candidacy and election of President Barack Obama drew international eyes to the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, where his parents met. But among some at the university, it is Obama’s late mother who stirs strong emotions of memory and hope.

Stanley Ann Dunham took an unconventional approach to life on both personal and professional levels. Her son’s book portrays her as an innocent, kind and generous; academics who knew her and reporters who have discovered her describe the idealism and optimism of her worldview and work ethic.

In her work, she was not a romantic, rather appreciating the artistic while dealing with the realistic, one contemporary observes.

Dunham was born in Kansas and attended high school in Washington State. Moving to Hawaiʻi with her parents, she entered UH in 1960. In Russian class, she met the first African student to attend UH, charismatic Barack Obama Sr., who moved in politically liberal, intellectual student circles that included future Congressman Neil Abercrombie. They married and had Barack Obama Jr. in 1961.

Obama Sr. left his family for Harvard and then Kenya. Dunham returned to UH, earning a math degree. She pursued graduate work, married another international student, Lolo Soetoro, and returned with him to Indonesia. There she began extensive research and fieldwork and welcomed the birth of daughter Maya Kassandra Soetoro, nine years Barack’s junior.

Although eventually divorced a second time, Dunham is credited with encouraging her children’s appreciation of their ethnic heritages.

“She was one of the most caring mothers you can imagine,” recalls UH Librarian Bron Solyom, a fellow graduate student who shared scholarly interests and a lasting friendship.

Weaving her studies as an anthropologist with her role as a mother and using United States-based correspondence materials, recordings of gospel singer Mahalia Jackson and speeches by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., Dunham home-schooled both of her children in the early morning hours before classes at the nearby Indonesian school.

“She instilled in us a love of books, based on the understanding that we could journey anywhere and that any world could belong to us,” Maya Soetoro-Ng told an overflow audience at a September 2008 UH Mānoa symposium about her mother’s work.

“She had an expansive notion of the world and of our possibilities within it. What a remarkable person she was.”

Anthropology in Indonesia

Dunham’s fieldwork immersed the children in the experiences of rural villages and of the peasants who hammered at iron, wove fibers, threw pots and expertly dyed fabrics in the method of batik. While her children were exposed to a world that embraced ancient traditions of craftwork in a modern world, Dunham worked to preserve and strengthen the crafts as viable industry for Javanese villages.

Dunham reluctantly sent 10-year-old Barack to live with her parents, Stanley and Madelyn “Toot” Dunham in Honolulu, where he attended Punahou School on scholarship. Maya’s home-schooling continued; often while accompanying her mother on excursions as photographer or note-taker. Dunham received her master’s degree from UH in 1983.

Soetoro-Ng said her brother credits Dunham’s empathy for his own ability to build bridges between people and countries, within the nation and with the rest of the world.

Solyom, who also studied Indonesian blacksmithing, said men admitted Dunham into their smithies, where she focused on both the intricacies of the work itself and the smithies’ role within the social and economic environment.

“Women were not welcome in the forge,” she told the symposium audience, whose members ranged from Dunham’s college contemporaries to youthful Obama supporters. “She worked with ease in what was a male workplace and was accepted in an industry dominated by men. This was an important achievement on her part. From a ceremonial or ritual point of view, the presence of a woman could be seen as the cause of a problem.”

Sound scholarship

Dunham’s extensive data proved the importance of non-agricultural rural industry alongside agriculture in a developing region’s ability to survive and thrive, Solyom says.

A detailed ethnographic study of Indonesian blacksmithing makes up the central portion of Dunham’s 1,000-page doctoral thesis. She completed the thesis in 1992 and was working with advisor Alice Dewey, emeritus professor of anthropology, to get parts of it published when she died of cancer just three years later at age 53.

A translated portion of part of Peasant Blacksmithing in Indonesia: Surviving and Thriving Against All Odds is under review by an Indonesian publishing house. Dewey and UH colleagues are hoping to find U.S. publishers interested in introductory and concluding sections of the thesis, which they say is of continuing relevance and broader general interest.

“She found hope everywhere she went and delighted in all the beauties and many layers each place provided,” Soetoro-Ng recalled.

“She believed every place, every group of people has something valuable to give. Instead of slash and burn, she would look at the plants and the crops and encourage us to see what emerges, to see the surprising and lush things that emerge from the fertile soils of the earth and the fertile soil of our minds, as we grow in the presence of one another.”

Social activism

Dunham worked as a consultant for the U.S. Agency for International Development, setting up a village credit program, and served as a Ford Foundation program officer in Jakarta, specializing in women’s work. She helped establish microfinancing networks in Pakistan, India and New York.

She joined Indonesia’s oldest bank to work on what was described as the world’s largest sustainable microfinance program to assist poor farmers and rural entrepreneurs with credit and savings projects.

While Dunham didn’t invent microfinancing, she was recognized for her keen ability to bridge the gap between peasant village workers and the financial institutions she persuaded to provide financial support.

“Ann made friends everywhere. She would come into a village and was part of the family,” Dewey recounted at the symposium. “She considered peasants just as important a people as those of high rank.”

Dunham’s fierce drive to improve the lives of those she stood shoulder to shoulder with was impressed upon her children, Dewey continued. “Ann brought Barry up in a world where it is complex and where you become appreciative of the culture that captures you.

This then begs the question as to why weren’t these stories and these photographs a part of the Obama campaign literature and dialogue. It becames painfully clear that Obama did in fact play the race card from day one, pushing the emphasis on his deadbeat Dad with his African ties, instead of his caucasian mother.