Barack Obama’s new memoir will arrive right after the presidential election

Barack Obama
Barack Obama is releasing a new memoir this year.
(Lynne Sladky / Associated Press)
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A new memoir by Barack Obama documenting his time in the White House will hit shelves right after this year’s presidential election.

On Thursday, the former president announced that his next book, “A Promised Land,” is finished and will arrive Nov. 17. The entry — the first of two presidential memoirs Obama plans to release — will offer firsthand accounts of several watershed moments that occurred during the first term of his presidency, ending with the killing of Osama bin Laden.

“There’s no feeling like finishing a book, and I’m proud of this one,” Obama wrote in a statement shared on social media.


“I’ve spent the last few years reflecting on my presidency, and in A Promised Land I’ve tried to provide an honest accounting of my presidential campaign and my time in office: the key events and people who shaped it, my take on what I got right and the mistakes I made, and the political, economic, and cultural forces that my team and I had to confront then — and that as a nation we are grappling with still.”

The story begins before Obama’s historic 2008 election, chronicling his early career as a politician as well as his groundbreaking presidential campaign. Other topics covered are the Affordable Care Act, Wall Street reform, conflict in Afghanistan and the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

“In the book, I’ve also tried to give readers a sense of the personal journey that Michelle and I went through during those years, with all the incredible highs and lows,” Obama continued in his statement.

“And finally, at a time when America is going through such enormous upheaval, the book offers some of my broader thoughts on how we can heal the divisions in our country going forward and make our democracy work for everybody — a task that won’t depend on any single president, but on all of us as engaged citizens.”

A window into his mind, the memoir will also touch on Obama’s experience as the first Black president of the United States, “bearing the expectations of a generation buoyed by messages of ‘hope and change,’ and meeting the moral challenges of high-stakes decision-making.”


Netflix’s new documentary, “Becoming,” a companion to Michelle Obama’s memoir of the same name, is unlikely to change one’s view of its subject.

May 5, 2020

“Along with being a fun and informative read, I hope more than anything that the book inspires young people across the country — and around the globe — to take up the baton, lift up their voices, and play their part in remaking the world for the better,” he wrote.

In the 768-page book, Obama also reflects on the effects his presidency had on his two daughters and wife, Michelle Obama, who endorsed her husband’s work Thursday on Twitter. Michelle Obama’s bestselling memoir, “Becoming,” and subsequent Netflix documentary of the same name debuted in November 2018 and May 2020, respectively.

“There’s no one more reflective, more honest, and more thoughtful than @BarackObama,” she wrote. “I’ve seen that in so many ways throughout our life together. And after seeing him pour his whole heart into this book, I know you will too.”

“A Promised Land,” published by Penguin Random House, is available online for preorder, priced at $45 in hardcover. A Spanish-language edition, “Una Tierra Prometida,” will also be available. A publication date for the second volume, as well as details about Obama’s upcoming book tour, will be announced at a later date.