Barack Obama’s “A Promised Land” is on track to become the best selling presidential memoir in modern history. AP reports that the Former Presidents memoir sold nearly 890,000 copies in the U.S. and Canada in its first 24 hours, a record for a memoir by former Presidents of the US. The first-day sales includes pre-orders, e-books and audio. The memoir has been published by Penguin Random House.
Obama’s 768-page memoir was released on Tuesday, 17 Nov and has a list price of $45. When compared in terms of sales figures, Michelle Obama’s “Becoming” sold 725,000 copies in North America on its first day. Former President Bill Clinton’s “My Life” sold around 400,000 copies and George W. Bush’s “Decision Points” around 220,000 copies in North America on their first day. The fastest-selling book in history of book sales remains J.K. Rowling’s final Harry Potter novel, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” which came out in 2007 and sold more than 8 million copies within 24 hours.
Barrack Obama has already written two acclaimed works, “Dreams from My Father” and “The Audacity of Hope, which came out in 2006 and have seen more than a million sales. His new memoir covers some of the same time period as his previous ones, while continuing his story through the first 2 1/2 years of his presidency and the 2011 killing of Osama bin Laden by the Navy SEALS. His latest book has caused a lot of debate in many countries the world over, especially in India.
Obama writes “Rahul Gandhi has a nervous, unformed quality about him as if he were a student who’d done the coursework and was eager to impress the teacher but deep down lacked either the aptitude or the passion to master the subject.”
Obama’s take on Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh, his observations about Rahul Gandhi have caused lot of flutter in India. As soon as the book was reviewed by Indian newspapers, Rahul, Sonia and Manmohan Singh trended on social media platforms. His views of Indian politicians during his first term as President is seen as blunt impressions and have left the Indian intelligentsia divided.
While Obama describes Manmohan Singh “as a chief architect of India’s economic transformation” and “a self-effacing technocrat who’d won people’s trust…”, he has been less gracious about Sonia and Rahul Gandhi. Describing his meeting with Rahul Gandhi, Obama writes “Rahul Gandhi has a nervous, unformed quality about him as if he were a student who’d done the coursework and was eager to impress the teacher but deep down lacked either the aptitude or the passion to master the subject.” This view about Rahul Gandhi was opposed by Congress and its leaders while many BJP leaders have agreed to his views.
Obama has described Sonia Gandhi as a caring mother who was more interested to see her son take over the mantle of Prime Minister than the party of its fortunes. “Would the baton be successfully passed to Rahul, fulfilling the destiny laid out by his mother and preserving the Congress Party’s dominance over the divisive nationalism touted by the BJP?”, he writes.