We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
The Google eraser does its work and moves on. Ayers is history, I hope banished to the dust bin where he otherwise belongs. Barack - just a guy in the neighborhood - is back as the unlikely author of his autobiography.
Google Books does NOT list Ayers as the author of Dreams from My Father. It identifies Barack Obama as the author both on the image of the front cover of the book and in the sidepanel of the Web page. Lifson can't read? Or is this intended to be a snarky joke on the VWRC?
This is why Lifson saved a screenshot, so that you can see what he read.
If you go to books.google dot com, and type in Bill Ayers, up comes a list of books most of which have one William Ayers as an author.
This is often how I search for books of an author, and I've found it quite reliable in finding all of an author's corpus if they are published in the US.
Of course, one also gets some books where one author is named Bill, and the other author is named Ayers. And books by someone named Ayers that have "bill" in the title. And books about Ayers rock by someone named Bill. And even the Hansard of Australia, where Ayers Rock is mentioned in the context of several legislative bills. What I'm not used to seeing on the first page of search results are books where nothing in the title, subject, author, or publisher name contains the search terms.
Now if you search inauthor: bill ayers or inauthor: william ayers, you don't find the book "Dreams of My Father". But at the moment for me, a basic search on the name above on books.google delivers it right near the top on page 1.
This is "funny Ha Ha" like pointing out that what google autocomplete prompts for the text "bill ayers wrote ". It is an artifact of what people are searching for, not some hidden knowledge inside a publishing company database that some clever hack can reveal.
Well IMO apparently it isn't just Lifson who can't read. I repeat: There is nothing on Lifson's screenshot that says, "Bill Ayers is the author of this book." I looked at the screenshot Lifson provided as proof of his contention and it does not claim Ayers is the author of Dreams. That is what I wrote. According to the screenshot, Lifson simply typed the name "Bill Ayers" into the Google Books Web form. He neither searched for "Books that Bill Ayers wrote" nor does the Web form include an option to Search on Author or Search on Book Title. it simply searches on whatever phrase is entered. Lifson entered the words, Bill Ayers. Goggle therefore dutifully supplied the names of books BY Bill Ayers and those written ABOUT Bill Ayers by other people.
What the Google Books link provides is an "association" between Ayers and the book title, in this case a connection that is almost certainly driven by the many Google searches people have done on the subject of whether Obama or Ayers is the true author of Dreams. But that is NOT the same as claiming Bill Ayers is the author of Dreams. If Lifson had provided a FULL screenshot of all the listings that were returned by Google Books in response to his search, you'd see a lot of other book titles listed as well, of which Ayers was clearly NOT the author...perhaps the subject, but not the author.
Now, I think the linguistic evidence is very compelling that Ayers is the true or principal author of Dreams. The book was either ghostwritten entirely by him or at minimum a close collaboration in which he is the unnamed co-author (just as his postman now swears that Ayers was the anonymous benefactor who paid for Obama's college education). I normally like whatever Lifson writes, but in this case he has gone a "Ha Ha" joke too far.