Memories of Obama in New York Differ





Barack Obama does not say much about his years in New York City. The time he spent as an undergraduate at Columbia College and then working in Manhattan in the early 1980s surfaces only fleetingly in his memoir. In the book, he casts himself as a solitary wanderer in the metropolis, the outsider searching for a way to “make myself of some use.”...

Some say he has taken some literary license in the telling of his story. Dan Armstrong, who worked with Mr. Obama at Business International Corporation in New York in 1984 and has deconstructed Mr. Obama’s account of the job on his blog, analyzethis.net, wrote: “All of Barack’s embellishment serves a larger narrative purpose: to retell the story of the Christ’s temptation. The young, idealistic, would-be community organizer gets a nice suit, joins a consulting house, starts hanging out with investment bankers, and barely escapes moving into the big mansion with the white folks.”

In an interview, Mr. Armstrong added: “There may be some truth to that. But in order to make it a good story, it required a bit of exaggeration.”




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