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The Communist Hardcover – July 17, 2012


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Mercury Ink (July 17, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1451698097
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451698091
  • Product Dimensions: 9.8 x 7 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (162 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #32,261 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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About the Author

Paul Kengor, Ph.D., is a bestselling author whose works include Dupes: How America’s Adversaries Have Manipulated Progressives for a Century; God and Ronald Reagan; God and George W. Bush; God and Hillary Clinton; and The Crusader: Ronald Reagan and the Fall of Communism. His articles regularly appear in publications ranging from USA TODAY to The New York Times, plus numerous academic journals. A professor at Grove City College, Kengor is a frequent commentator on television and radio. Kengor earned his bachelor’s degree and Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh and his master’s from American University.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.



Growing Up Frank

FRANK MARSHALL DAVIS was born on December 31, 1905. He grew up in Arkansas City, Kansas, which he described as a “yawn town fifty miles south of Wichita, five miles north of Oklahoma, and east and west of nowhere worth remembering.”1 That was a charitable description, given the racism he endured in that little town.

In his memoirs, Frank began by taking readers back to his high-school graduation on a “soft night in late spring, 1923.” He was six feet one and 190 pounds at age seventeen, but “I feel more like one foot six; for I am black, and inferiority has been hammered into me at school and in my daily life from home.” He and three other black boys “conspicuously float in this sea of white kids,” the four of them the most blacks ever in one graduating class. “There are no black girls,” wrote Frank. “Who needs a diploma to wash clothes and cook in white kitchens?”2

Frank was rightly indignant at this “hellhole of inferiority.” He said that he and his fellow “Negroes reared in Dixie” were considered “the scum of the nation,” whose high-school education “has prepared us only to exist at a low level within the degrading status quo.” And even the education they acquired was often belittling. “My white classmates and I learned from our textbooks that my ancestors were naked savages,” said Frank, “exposed for the first time to uplifting civilization when slave traders brought them from the jungles of Africa to America. Had not their kindly white masters granted these primitive heathens the chance to save their souls by becoming Christians?”3

Frank would one day rise above the degrading status quo. For now, he lamented that he himself had fallen victim to this “brainwashing,” and “ran spiritually with the racist white herd, a pitiful black tag-a-long.”4

As Frank surveyed the sea of white classmates that soft spring evening, he was glad to know it would be the last time he would be with them. He could think of only three or four white boys who had treated him as an equal and a friend, and whom he cared to remember.5

One moment that was unforgettably seared into his soul was an incident when he was five years old. An innocent boy, Frank was walking home across a vacant lot when two third-grade thugs jumped him, tossed him to the ground, and slipped a noose over his neck. He kicked and screamed as the two devils prepared, in Frank’s words, “their own junior necktie party.” They were trying to lynch little Frank Marshall Davis.6

As the noose tightened, a white man heroically appeared, chasing away the two savages, freeing Frank, brushing the dirt from his clothes. He walked little Frank nearly a mile home, then simply turned around and went about his business. Frank never learned the man’s identity.7

Imagine if that kindly man could have known that that “Negro” boy he shepherded home would one day help mentor the first black president of the United States. It is a moving thought, one that cannot help but elicit the most heartfelt sympathy for Frank, even in the face of his later political transgressions.

Frank’s parents apparently informed the school of the attempted lynching, but school officials did not bother. “I was still alive and unharmed, wasn’t I?” scoffed Frank. “Besides, I was black.”

Frank rose above the jackboot of this repression, assuring the world that this was one young black man who would not be tied down. He enrolled in college, first attending Friends University in Wichita, before transferring to Kansas State University in Manhattan.8 At Kansas State from 1924 to 1926, Frank majored in journalism and practiced writing poetry, impressing students and faculty alike.

These colleagues were almost universally white. To their credit, some of them saw in Frank a writing talent and were eager to help.

RACISM

Of course, that upturn did not end the racism in Frank’s life. Another ugly incident occurred in a return home during college break.9

A promising young man, Frank was working at a pool hall, trying to save money to put himself through school. It was midnight, and he was walking home alone. A black sedan slowly approached him. Out of the lowered window came a redneck voice: “Where’n hell you goin’ this time of night?”

Frank warily glanced over and saw two white men in the front seat and another in the back. Worried, he asked why it was their business.

“Don’t get smart, boy. We’re police,” snapped one of them, flashing a badge slightly above his holstered pistol. “I’m police chief here. Now, what th’ hell you doing in this neighborhood this time of night?”

A frightened Frank explained that this was his neighborhood. He had lived there for years, was home on college break, and was simply walking home from work.

“Yeah?” barked the chief. “Well, you git your black ass in the car with us. A white lady on th’ next street over phoned there was somebody prowling around her yard.”

Frank asked, “Am I supposed to fit the description?”

The chief found Frank’s question haughty: “Shut up an’ git in the car!”

They delivered Frank to the woman’s doorstep. “Ain’t this him?” said the hopeful chief.

The woman quickly said it was not. Frank looked nothing at all like the man she had spotted.

“Are you sure?” pushed the chief. “Maybe you made a mistake.”

The lady insisted that Frank was not the suspect, to the lawman’s great disappointment.

Frank suspected that the chief was keenly disappointed not to have the opportunity to work him over. “It wasn’t everyday they had a chance to whip a big black nigger,” said Frank, “and a college nigger at that.”

The chief told Frank to get back in the car, where he began interrogating him again, even though Frank was fully exonerated. The chief was not relenting. He was looking for blood.

“Where do you live?” the chief continued. Frank stated his address. The chief turned to his buddies: “I didn’t know any damn niggers lived in this part of town, did you?” One of the officers replied: “There’s a darky family livin’ down here somewhere.”

Frank was utterly helpless, at the mercy of men with badges and guns and “the law” behind them. He boiled inside, but could do nothing. He later wrote: “At that moment I would have given twenty years off my life had I been able to bind all three together, throw them motionless on the ground in front of me, and for a whole hour piss in their faces.”

RESENTMENT

Frank escaped this incident physically unharmed, released to his home by the police. But he was hardly unscathed. Such injustice understandably fueled a lifelong resentment.

Frank’s upbringing, as told through his memoirs, is gripping. His writing is witty, engaging, sarcastic, at times delightful, leaving it hard not to like Frank, or at least be entertained by him. But the wonderful passages are tempered by Frank’s numerous ethnic slurs, mostly aimed in a self-deprecating manner at himself and his people, but also directed at others, such as “the Spanish Jew” (never named) whose restaurant he frequented in Atlanta, and, worst of all, by the many sexually explicit passages. One can see in Frank’s memoirs the author of Sex Rebel, and one can see a lot of sexism, with Frank making constant graphic references to women’s private parts (with vulgar slang terms) and referring to women as everything from “white chicks” to “a jane” to a “luscious ripened plum,” just for starters.10 In his memoirs, Frank devoted an inordinate amount of space to his sexual encounters. Sex Rebel must have been his chance to more fully indulge his lurid obsessions.

• • •

Of course, Frank also invested his writing talent in noble purposes: advancing civil rights by chronicling the persecutions of a black man. Interestingly, to that end, Frank’s memoirs are remarkably similar to Barack Obama’s memoirs; the running thread being the racial struggles of a young black man in America.

Frank’s memoirs reveal an often bitter man, one who had suffered the spear of racial persecution. His contempt for his culture and society also led to a low view of America. When America is acknowledged in his memoirs, it is not a pretty portrait: “The United States was the only slaveholding nation in the New World that completely dehumanized Africans by considering them as chattel, placing them in the same category as horses, cattle, and furniture.” That attitude, wrote Frank, was still held by too many American whites.11 Thus, his hometown of Arkansas City was “no better or worse than a thousand other places under the Stars and Stripes.”12

Again, that bitterness is understandable, a toxic by-product of the evil doings of Frank’s tormentors. Yet what is unfortunate about Frank’s narrative is the lack of concession, smothered (as it was) by resentment, that this same America, no matter the sins of its children, still provided the freedom for Frank to pull himself up and achieve remarkable things, which are manifest as one reads his memoirs.

We also find in those memoirs a resentfulness of religion and God. Frank had been raised by Baptist parents and taught the power of prayer “from infancy.” But he felt he did not see results. When blacks were massacred in ...

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Customer Reviews

Excellent book and very well researched.
Linda
This is a book on President Obama's mentor Frank Marshall Davis.
H.M.N.
Please, read this book and then pass it on.
Phillip Walker

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

321 of 381 people found the following review helpful By James R. Holland VINE VOICE on July 17, 2012
Format: Hardcover
How many people have wondered about the true identity of the Wizard of Oz that is feeding Obama's teleprompter while hidden from view behind a curtain?
Finally, a possible answer to that riddle has been discovered and documented by Paul Kengor in his new biography of Frank Marshall Davis. Who the heck is Frank Marshall Davis and why hasn't his identity and importance to Barack Obama been reported and analyzed by the media?
Obama mentions his mentor only briefly in his own autobiographies and wisely refers to that most important influence on him as "Frank." Why was that?
Frank Marshall Davis was a card-carrying member of the Communist Party USA. His card number was #47544. He was a lifetime pro-Soviet, pro-Red China Communist. "He edited and wrote for communist newspapers in both Chicago and Honolulu" and published the writings of noted Soviet Agents.
"Davis came into Barack Obama's life in the 1970s.... Frank Marshall Davis had a distinct influence on Obama during their years together in the 1970s. The exact extent of that influence will be one of the subjects analyzed in detail through this book."
To know some of Davis's hard-core Communist's beliefs, one only has to listen to the words of Barack Obama. Many of the phrases peppering his political speeches are almost direct quotes of the radical writings of Davis.
"Frank Marshall Davis is the closest thing that the adolescent Obama had to a mentor. The only competitor was Obamas's maternal grandfather, Stanley Dunham. Actually, 'competitor' is not a good word, give that Dunham introduced Frank to Obama for the purpose of mentoring."
In 21 chapters of meticulously detailed information, Kengor paints a picture of the man who may have had the single most influence on Barack Obama.
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217 of 259 people found the following review helpful By Paul Tognetti TOP 500 REVIEWER on July 18, 2012
Format: Hardcover
C'mon now. How many of you out there had ever even heard of Frank Marshall Davis? For the past dozen years I have been reading one non-fiction book per week and to the best of my knowledge I have never even come across his name. That is all about to change. Author Paul Kengor, a man who has written books about Ronald Reagan, Hillary Clinton and George W. Bush reveals the man behind the curtain in his brilliant new book "The Communist: Frank Marshall Davis--The Story of Barack Obama's Mentor". Here you will learn all about the man Barack Obama describes in "Dreams of My Father" as his "mentor" when he came into his life in the 1970's. They say you really can tell a lot about a man by knowing who his friends are. As you will discover, Davis was a card-carrying member of the Communist Party who for decades toiled as a journalist, a labor activist and you guessed it--a community organizer. According to the author "Frank Marshall Davis's political antics were so radical that the FBI placed him on the federal government's Security Index, which meant that he could be immediately detained or arrested in the event of a national emergency, such as a war breaking out between the United States and the USSR." If you are interested in discovering just who President Barack Obama really is and what he truly believes in then you positively must read this book.

With Election Day 2012 rapidly approaching, it is absolutely essential that the American people discover the truth about the man who is seeking a second term as President. There is no doubt in my mind that "The Communist: Frank Marshall Davis--The Story of Barack Obama Mentor" will play a pivotal role in helping many of the so-called "undecideds" make that choice.
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135 of 163 people found the following review helpful By Brandon King on July 17, 2012
Format: Hardcover
It is absolutely unbelievable how the media can so widely ignore the facts when it comes to someone as important to the nation's well-being as our president's mentor. The truths that this book exposes should have been pointed out by the media YEARS ago. We need to stand together on election day and vote this buffoon out before his Communist policies destroy our great nation anymore!
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129 of 157 people found the following review helpful By Geraldine Ahearn TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 17, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Best Selling author, Paul Kengor delivers a brilliant presentation on eye-opening facts, influence on Obama, communist control in Korea and Vietnam, and much more. The author portrays a powerfully moving book on deep troubling economic problems, political opinions, and arguments. Also, he presents ongoing issues as to influence of strong voices upon the Government and how these voices contributed to why this country is in the shape it's now in. Interesting and Educational. Highly Recommended!
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99 of 122 people found the following review helpful By Eric M. Gorse on July 18, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
First I think that when reviewing a political book A person should state their Own political opinions.
I consider myself a Moderate, But I feel many of the fans of this book would probable consider me a
Liberal. With That Being said I will now Give my thoughts on this book...

I didn't expect to like this book but to my surprise I found it to be a pretty good book

It's well written but it does have a tendency to be on the dry side.

The Reason that this book exists is best said by the author Himself...
''''The people who influence our leaders matter.'''

Whether we Like President Obama or we dislike him it still matters who he grew up around or was
influenced by in his youth or early adulthood.

Some people think that Davis had a major influrence on Obama and some think that he had little influence but either way there
should be no problem with an author taking a closer look at Mr. Davis's life.
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