Twenty years ago, Obama scammed his publisher into fronting him money for research. Obama seems to have pocketed the money and simply plagiarized books from another author.
Two of Gallman's books intrigued Glasco: the 1991 memoir, I Dreamed of Africa, later made into a film with Kim Basinger, and the 1994 collection of stories, African Nights. Although the title of the 1991 memoir more closely resembled Obama's, Glasco found a wealth of shared words and concepts in the 1994 book, African Nights. Gallman, for instance, tells the reader of a certain fellow. "He was a little man with a perennial grin" and a "readiness to obey or volunteer for any work." His "sentences often became tangled in a painful stutter." In Dreams, Obama meets a man just like this: "He was a short, gentle man with a bit of a stutter; he did odd jobs."
On reading sentences like this, the reader has to ask: Did Obama really know such a man, or has he borrowed from Gallman's experience? Any number of distinctive local words and phrases show up in both books: Baobab [a tree], bhang [cannabis], boma [an enclosure], samosa [a fried snack], shamba [a farm field], liana [a vine], tilapia [a fish], kanga [a sheet of fabric], shuka [decorative sashes].
On the fashion front, both books have young women "wrapped" in their kangas and "dressed" in "rags." The women in both books wear shukas, head shawls, head scarves, goatskins, and balance baskets on heads graced with "laughing smiles."
On the animal front, men in both books spearfish in "ink-black" waters and hunt by torchlight. Elephants are seen "fanning" themselves, birds "trill," insects "buzz," weaver birds "nest," and monkeys "mesmerize." The books share a veritable Noah's ark of additional fauna: crickets, crocodiles, starlings, dragonflies, cattle, lions, sand crabs, vultures, hyenas, "herds of gazelle," and leopards that can hold small animals "in their jaws."
On the flora front, the shared references are just as compelling: roadside palms, yellow grass, red bougainvillaea, pink bougainvillaea, fig trees, shady mango trees, thornbrush, banana leaves, Baobab trees, liana vines, tomatoes. The landscape, occasionally "barren," is rich in "undulating hills" whose "grazing lands" are dotted with the occasional "watering hole." The "mud and dung" houses feature "thatched roofs" "verandas," and "vegetable gardens."
People seem to be carrying "straw mats" everywhere. The stars "glint" and people "waltz" underneath them. Eyes "glimmer" in the light of "campfires." Children sing in "high-pitched" rhythms, and girls endure "barbaric" circumcisions. Obama, like Gallmannn, travels to the Great Rift Valley and stands at its edge. Both visit the small trading town of Narok.