Michelle Obama's thesis was released to the public by Princeton University Tuesday after several days of media scrutiny over its availability and content. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), her husband, received criticism from conservative media and bloggers when the University restricted access to her senior thesis until after the presidential election in November."A thesis can be restricted or unrestricted for a variety of reasons, including at the request of alumni," University spokeswoman Cass Cliatt '96 said in an e-mail.
Here he is on the then-Michelle Robinson’s Princeton thesis: I direct your attention to Mrs. Its title (rather limited in scope, given the author and the campus) is ‘Princeton-Educated Blacks and the Black Community.’ To describe it as hard to read would be a mistake; the thesis cannot be ‘read’ at all, in the strict sense of the verb.This is because it wasn’t written in any known language. I don’t know, but my guess is he’d have a lot of difficulty saying it, because any number of things he wrote in the pre-Twitter era would have caused the social-justice left to demand that cease publishing him.The sacred-cow abattoir that is Hitchens’s style inspires fond memories now but it would have inspired siege-of-Leningrad-level outrage campaigns against him.Before today, callers to Mudd requesting information on Obama's thesis were told that the thesis has been made "temporarily unavailable" and were directed to the University Office of Communications.Following the thesis' release by the Obama campaign to politico.com, a political news site, the University lifted the restriction."In 1985, Princeton was still a very conservative school; [Tiger Inn] would not admit women members for another six years.Today, the student body is a lot more progressive and diverse."Completed theses are kept in Mudd Manuscript Library and are generally available to the public for viewing and scanning."When I went to my thesis advisor for a letter of recommendation for law school, he did the best thing he possibly could have done: He gave a brutally honest response," Obama said. "You know, you're a good student," Obama said her advisor told her, "but are you the best I've seen? Obama drew on her personal experiences as an example."As I enter my final year at Princeton, I find myself striving for many of the same goals as my White classmates -- acceptance to a prestigious graduate school or a high-paying position in a successful corporation," she wrote, citing the University's conservative values as a likely cause."Predominately White universities like Princeton are socially and academically designed to cater to the needs of the White students comprising the bulk of their enrollments," she said, noting the small size of the African-American studies department and that there were only five black tenured professors at the University across all departments.Obama studied the attitudes of black Princeton alumni to determine what effect their time at Princeton had on their identification with the black community.