Barack Obama and Bruce Springsteen’s Podcast Will Become a Book


On “Renegades,” a podcast collaboration between Barack Obama and Bruce Springsteen, the former president admitted at a glance that it was an odd partnership.

“Looks like Bruce and I don’t have much in common,” he said. “A white man from a small town in Jersey; I am a mixed race Black man born in Hawaii with a childhood that took me around the world. He’s a rock ‘n’ roll icon. I’m a lawyer and politician – not that cool.”

But they became holiday buddies and enthusiastic collaborators whose podcast A series of candid conversations about race, fatherhood, social justice, and American identity has become one of the most-listened podcasts on Spotify worldwide.

Now they’ll be a kind of co-author with the release of a book of their conversation. This October, Crown, an imprint of Penguin Random House, is releasing “Renegades: Born in the USA,” a book adaptation of the podcast. The 320-page book includes introductions to Obama and Springsteen, more than 350 photographs and illustrations, and archival material such as Springsteen’s handwritten lyrics and Obama’s annotated speeches.

In the introduction, Obama describes how the conversations stem from “our continued efforts to understand how we got here and how we can tell a more unifying story that is beginning to bridge the gap between America’s ideals and reality.”

As far as sellable book ideas go, a collaboration between a rock star and a former president seems like a sure bet. (Crown recommends a list price of $50 in the United States and $65 in Canada.)

Springsteen’s memories “Born to Run” Released by Simon & Schuster in 2016, it was a hit, selling nearly half a million hardcover copies in the first few months. for sale. Obama’s 2020 memory “The Promised Land” Published by Crown, it has sold 8.2 million copies worldwide and has sold nearly five million copies in North America.

The book version of “Renegades” also marks the latest release of the Obamas’ growing media empire. It is produced in partnership with Higher Ground, the company founded by Barack and Michelle Obama, which has exclusive production deals with Netflix for film and television and Spotify for podcasts. The Obamas sold their memoirs to the Crown for a record-breaking $65 million in 2017. Michelle Obama’s memoir “Becoming” has sold more than 16 million copies worldwide since its release in 2018.

Obama and Springsteen met while Obama was campaigning in 2008 and have become friends over the years. Springsteen performed at the White House in January 2017 as Obama prepared to leave office.

In their podcast conversations, the couple focused largely on personal stories about their lives and eschewed partisan politics, but spoke about the pressing need to understand and address divisions in American society in general.

“A time of wakefulness where who we are is severely tested,” writes Springsteen in the introduction to “Renegades.” “Hard conversations about who we are and who we want to be may serve as a little guiding map for some of our compatriots.”


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