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Barack Obama's memoir 'A Promised Land' releases today

Whether you plan to read Obama’s upcoming memoir ‘A Promised Land’ or gift it, here’s what to know (and where to find Obama's playlist for it).
Barack Obama’s book ‘A Promised Land’ is finally out and shipping. Here’s how and where you can order the upcoming memoir.
Barack Obama’s book ‘A Promised Land’ is finally out and shipping. Here’s how and where you can order the upcoming memoir.Penguin Random House

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Former President Barack Obama’s upcoming memoir “A Promised Land” was released this morning in hardcover, digital and audiobook formats — yesterday, Obama shared an eponymous playlist as a sort of companion to the book, which includes "some memorable songs from my administration," he tweeted. The memoir “is the most anticipated presidential memoir in memory, as much or more because of the quality of the writing than for any possible revelations,” reported the AP when the launch date was announced. You can find the book right now on Bookshop, Target , Walmart and Amazon for physical copies of the book — Amazon also offers Kindle and audiobook versions.

A Promised Land” by Barack Obama

The first of two volumes, this initial 768-page release is what Obama described in a September statement as “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.”

Other than recounting the past, Obama noted he’ll offer his take on what “can heal the divisions in our country going forward and make our democracy work for everybody…” If 2020 has been a year of unprecedented events and circumstances, Obama’s memoir might serve as a glimpse into what his priorities were, how they’ve evolved and where they’ve since landed. “A Promised Land” offers Obama’s take on some of his most notable moments in office, from wrestling a global financial crisis to passing the Affordable Care Act. The publisher has yet to announce the release date of the second volume.

This will be Obama’s third book so far. His first, “Dreams from My Father,” published in 1995 and “The Audacity of Hope” came out in 2006. As the holiday season approaches, Obama’s might help you check off giftees on your list as a (substantial) stocking stuffer for any politics buff or fan of the Obamas. And if you’re behind on or otherwise interested in Obama’s other books, we listed them below.

The Audacity of Hope” by Barack Obama

  • Publisher: The Crown Publishing Group / Penguin Random House
  • Goodreads: 3. 78-star average rating, more than 140,000 ratings

Writing during his tenure in Congress, then-Senator Obama explores his stances on key issues within the realms of democracy and public policy. In 362 pages, Obama shares some of the inspiration leading to his eventual presidential run. “And in these pages he often speaks to the reader as if he were an old friend from back in the day, salting policy recommendations with colorful asides about the absurdities of political life,” noted a New York Times book review.

Dreams from My Father” by Barack Obama

  • Publisher: The Crown Publishing Group / Penguin Random House
  • Goodreads: 3. 89-star average rating, more than 190,000 ratings

Originally published in 1995, Obama’s first memoir highlights the most important moments from his formative years. Obama explores his youth in Honolulu and Indonesia, his early adult years in Chicago and his path to Harvard Law School. He also shares his thinking on race, class and identity, among other ruminations. “Obama is anything but a solipsist; he is always looking beyond himself, at family, community, the wider world. He is a polished writer, with a novelist’s skill in describing a place or a person and framing a scene,” The LA Times noted in its 1995 review of the book.

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