Penguin Random House has said in it has “acquired world publication rights for two books, to be written by immediate past president and Mrs Obama respectively.The terms of the deal were not disclosed, but bidding for the high-profile double book deal topped $60 million, a record sum for US presidential memoirs, according to the Financial Times.
Until now, the record for a US presidential memoir was $15 million paid for Bill Clinton’s “My Life,” released in 2004. George W. Bush received $10 million for “Decision Points” in 2010. Hillary Clinton reportedly received a $14 million advance for “Hard Choices,” her account of her time as secretary of state under Obama.
The Obama deal was negotiated by Washington super-lawyer Robert Barnett, who represented both the Clintons and Bush. As part of the agreement, the company will donate one million books in the Obama family’s name to First Book, a charity, Penguin said. “We are very much looking forward to working together with President and Mrs Obama to make each of their books global publishing events of unprecedented scope and significance,” said Penguin Random House CEO Markus Dohle. The Obamas took a long vacation after Donald Trump was sworn in as president on January 20, and the former president has stuck by a pledge to keep a low public profile unless events threatening what he called America’s “core values” warranted that he speak out. He did just that in January, just days after
Trump enacted his ban on travelers from seven mostly Muslim countries, and on all refugees. Obama expressed support for protests that sprang up nationwide against the now-suspended Trump travel ban.
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