After his performance in 2004, some Democratic activists had marked him [Obama] as the best convention speaker since Ted Kennedy, Ann Richards or Mario Cuomo. Others had read his book, "Dreams from My Father," and had declared him their finest literary talent since Ted Sorensen was ghostwriting for John F. Kennedy.
Which conceals that the author and Pulitzer Prize winner of 1955's Profiles in Courage was officially Senator John F Kennedy. Until earlier this year when Sorensen finally admitted what he'd been denying for half a century:
In1957, newspaper columnist Drew Pearson appeared on ABC News' The Mike Wallace Show and claimed that the book had been ghostwritten and later named Kennedy’s "research associate" Theodore C. Sorensen as the ghost writer. Both Kennedy and Sorensen denied this claim. ABC News, under pressure from Kennedy and his lawyer Clark Clifford, retracted the story. However years later historian Herbert Parmet analyzed the text of Profiles in Courage and wrote in his book The Struggles of John F. Kennedy that although Kennedy did oversee the production and provided for the direction and message of the book, it was clearly Sorensen who provided most of the work that went into the end product.
In May 2008, Sorensen in his autobiography, Counselor, largely confirmed allegations that he had done much, if not most, of the writing. Sorensen wrote that he "did a first draft of most chapters," "helped choose the words of many of its sentences," and "privately boasted or indirectly hinted that [he] had written much of the book." Sorensen claimed that in May 1957, Kennedy "unexpectedly and generously offered, and I happily accepted, a sum" for his work on the book. The sum Kennedy paid to Sorensen exceeded half the book's royalties from its first five years of sales and led Sorensen to inform Kennedy that he was disinclined to push for recognition of his participation.
So, is Broder hinting at something too dangerous to say out loud?
[Chris] Yavelow, an award-winning composer and author, had worked for years developing what he believes is the most comprehensive linguistics tool for authorship detection, a software product trademarked asFictionFixer.
....Yavelow compared Obama’s Dreams with Bill Ayers’ memoir, Fugitive Days, he found the similarity of the two books “striking.” He then quickly corrects himself: “’Striking’ is an understatement for the relationship FictionFixer uncovered between Fugitive Days and Dreams From My Father.”
For instance, Dreams averages 17.61 words and 26.48 syllables for non-dialogue sentences. Fugitive Days averages 17.62 words and 26.27 syllables.
Another example is what Yavelow calls “attributions”—e.g., he “asked,” she “said,” they “wondered.” Some authors use as few as three. Many use fewer than twenty. Dreams, however, uses 36; Fugitive Days 34, and with only four exceptions—three of these used only once—the two books use the very same attributions.
Yavelow compares the two books on any number of other characteristics and concludes, “There is a strong likelihood that the author of Fugitive Days ghost-wrote Dreams From My Father using recordings of dialog (either tape recorded or notes). Alternatively, another scenario could be possible: Ayers might have served as a ‘book doctor’.”