A bit of controversy is swirling about concerning the ancestry of First Lady Michelle Obama. Megan Smolenyak, author of Hey, America, Your Roots Are Showing, first reported Michelle Obama's family tree in several web articles, including the New York Times at http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2009/10/08/us/politics/20091008-obama-family-tree.html. Now one of the reporters for the original New York Times article, Rachel L. Swarns, has published a rather different version in her new book, American Tapestry: The Story of the Black, White, and Multiracial Ancestors of Michelle Obama. In fact, some of the claims made in the new book are offered without citations or any other form of independent proof.
Is the new book accurate? Or is it an embellishment containing family traditions that are notoriously inaccurate? I'll let you decide.
The book is available from most of the online bookstores, including Amazon at http://goo.gl/H4T4j. You can read Megan Smolenyak's view of the facts in her article at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/megan-smolenyak-smolenyak/does-accuracy-in-history-matter_b_1607421.html.
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