In “Renegades,” a podcast collaboration between Barack Obama and Bruce Springsteen, the former president admitted that it was, at a glance, a strange partnership.
“On the surface, Bruce and I don’t have much in common,” he said. “He is a white man from a small town in Jersey; I am a black boy of mixed race, born in Hawaii, with a childhood that took me around the world. He is a rock ‘n’ roll icon. I am a lawyer and politician – not that good. “
But they have become friends and avid allies of the holiday whose podcast — a series of candid conversations about race, fatherhood, social justice and American identity — became one of the podcasts with the most listeners worldwide on Spotify.
Now, they will co-author a book of their conversation with the upcoming release. This October, Crown, an imprint of Penguin Random House, is publishing “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 explanatory speech.
In his introduction, Obama describes how “to find out how we got here, and how we can tell a more unified story that begins to bridge the gap between America’s ideals and its reality, Our continued effort to find out how the conversation grew out of it.”
As marketable book ideas go, a collaboration between a rock star and a former president seems like a sure bet. (Crown is suggesting a list price of $50 in the United States and $65 in Canada.)
Springsteen’s Memoirs, “Born to Run” which was released in 2016 by Simon & Schuster, was a hit, selling nearly half a million hardcover copies in its first few months. on sale. Obama’s 2020 memoir, “A Promised Land” Crown, which has sold 8.2 million copies globally and nearly five million in North America.
The book edition of “Renegades” also marks the latest release of Obama’s growing media empire. It is being produced in partnership with Higher Ground, the company founded by Barack and Michelle Obama, which has had exclusive production deals with Netflix for film and television, and with Spotify for podcasts. Obama sold his memoirs to The Crown in 2017 for a record-breaking $65 million. Michelle Obama’s memoir, “Being”, has sold over 16 million copies globally since its 2018 release.
Obama and Springsteen knew each other in 2008, when Obama was campaigning, and became friends over the years. Springsteen performs at the White House in January 2017 as Obama prepares to step down.
In their podcast conversations, the pair largely focused on personal stories about their lives and avoided partisan politics, but spoke about the urgent need to understand and address divisions in American society in general.
“It is a time of vigilance when who we are is being seriously tested,” Springsteen wrote in his introduction to “The Renegades.” “The difficult conversation about who we are and who we want to be could perhaps serve as a small guiding map for some of our fellow citizens.”