Photo: Hannes Magerstaedt  / Getty Images
  /  07.22.2021

Months after launching their Spotify podcast, Barack Obama and Bruce Springsteen have unveiled plans to release the pod as a book.

On Thursday (July 22), the two announced that they’re planning to release a book based on “Renegades: Born in the USA,” a Spotify podcast that debuted in February. The podcast is one in which the two American icons discuss their lives, the U.S. and more. The book will be released on Oct. 26, and it will cost $50. It will also include rare photos, annotated Obama speeches and handwritten lyrics from Springsteen.

“Over the years, what we’ve found is that we’ve got a shared sensibility,” said the former U.S. president, whose A Promised Land memoir was released last year. “About work, about family, and about America. In our own ways, Bruce and I have been on parallel journeys trying to understand this country that’s given us both so much. Trying to chronicle the stories of its people. Looking for a way to connect our own individual searches for meaning and truth and community with the larger story of America.”

The podcast is one that has seen both Obama and Springsteen get deeply personal. In one particular episode, Obama recalled breaking a classmate’s nose after the person called him a racial slur.

“Listen, when I was in school, I had a friend. We played basketball together,” Obama remembered. “And one time we got into a fight, and he called me a coon. Now, first of all, ain’t no coons in Hawaii, right? It’s one of those things where he might not even have known what a coon was. What he knew was, ‘I can hurt you by saying this.’”

Obama was obviously offended by the comment, and his reaction was a violent one.

“I remember I popped him in the face and broke his nose, and we were in the locker room,” Obama continued. “I explained to him—I said, ‘Don’t you ever call me something like that. I may be poor. I may be ignorant. I may be mean. I may be ugly. I may not like myself. I may be unhappy, but you know what I’m not? I’m not you.’”

You can read more about that and other stories when Obama and Springsteen’s book comes out in a few months.



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