Upping the stakes in the upcoming US elections, former President Barack Obama on Thursday urged “young people” to “get registered and vote early” on the day it was announced that the first volume of his memoirs, “A Promised Land”, in which he relates the story of his improbable odyssey from young man searching for his identity to leader of the free world, will be simultaneously published in 25 languages on November 17.
“Over the last few months, I’ve learned a thing or two from young people in our country. I figured I would return the favor by sharing with you how to make a plan to vote in this upcoming election. Get registered and vote early:..votesave.us/obama,” he tweeted.
“There’s no feeling like finishing a book, and I’m proud of this one. 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’,” he said in a separate statement.
“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. 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.
“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,” Obama said.
Providing a stirring, deeply personal account of history in the making, Obama takes readers on a compelling journey from his earliest political aspirations to the pivotal Iowa Caucus victory that demonstrated the power of grassroots activism to the watershed night of November 4, 2008, when he was elected 44th president of the US, becoming the first African American to hold the nation’s highest office, the publisher, Penguin Random House, said.
Reflecting on the presidency, he offers a unique and thoughtful exploration of both the awesome reach and the limits of presidential power, as well as singular insights into the dynamics of US partisan politics and international diplomacy. Obama brings readers inside the Oval Office and the White House Situation Room, and to Moscow, Cairo, Beijing, and points beyond.
We are privy to his thoughts as he assembles his cabinet, wrestles with a global financial crisis, takes the measure of Vladimir Putin, overcomes seemingly insurmountable odds to secure passage of the Affordable Care Act, clashes with generals about US strategy in Afghanistan, tackles Wall Street reform, responds to the devastating Deepwater Horizon blowout, and authorizes Operation Neptune’s Spear, which leads to the death of Osama bin Laden.
“A Promised Land is extraordinarily intimate and introspective -the story of one man’s bet with history, the faith of a community organizer tested on the world stage. Obama is candid about the balancing act of running for office as a Black American, bearing the expectations of a generation buoyed by messages of ‘hope and change,’ and meeting the moral challenges of high-stakes decision-making.
“He is frank about the forces that opposed him at home and abroad, open about how living in the White House affected his wife and daughters, and unafraid to reveal self-doubt and disappointment. Yet he never wavers from his belief that inside the great, ongoing American experiment, progress is always possible.
“Through his words and actions, President Obama has had an indelible impact on the world and the course of history, serving as a beacon of hope and progress that has inspired so many,” Penguin Random House CEO Markus Dohle said.
“He is also a supremely gifted and accomplished writer, and it is a great honor for Penguin Random House to publish A Promised Land for readers everywhere. I know they will find it to be a book that vividly brings history to life, reminding us of the power of democracy even during times of global crisis,” Dohle added.
A publication date for the second, and concluding, volume of the memoirs has not yet been set and will be announced at a later date. Details about Obama’s book tour will be announced later this fall.
Obama is the author of two previous New York Times bestselling books, “Dreams from My Father” and “The Audacity of Hope”, and the recipient of the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize. He lives in Washington, D.C., with his wife, Michelle. They have two daughters, Malia and Sasha.