Modeled after the podcast of the same name, Renegades will chronicle a collection of intimate and candid conversations between former President Barack Obama and Bruce Springsteen

By Katie Campione
July 22, 2021 06:00 AM
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Barack Obama and Bruce Springsteen
Barack Obama (left) and Bruce Springsteen in 2012

A tale of two unlikely friends is now being woven into a new book.

Modeled after the podcast of the same name, RENEGADES: Born in the USA will chronicle a collection of intimate and candid conversations between former President Barack Obama and music icon Bruce Springsteen.

In addition to the discussions that have already captured the attention of an international audience, the fully illustrated book will also include rare and exclusive photographs from the authors' personal collections and never-before-seen archival material, including Springsteen's handwritten lyrics and Obama's annotated speeches.

Over the course of several days in 2020, the 44th president and the 20-time Grammy winner shared stories with each other about their lives.

They discussed marriage and fatherhood, race and masculinity, each of their most inspiring American heroes, and, of course, music.

"There were serious conversations about the fate of the country, the fortune of its citizens, and the destructive, ugly, corrupt forces at play that would like to take it all down," Springsteen explains in his introduction. "This is a time of vigilance when who we are is being seriously tested. Hard conversations about who we are and who we want to become can perhaps serve as a small guiding map for some of our fellow citizens."

The final product will offer "a compelling and beautifully illustrated portrait of two outsiders—one Black and one white—who have helped shape the American story," Penguin Random House said in a statement announcing the news on Thursday.

Bruce Springsteen and Obama book

Writes Obama in the opening pages of the book: "Over the years, what we've found is that we've got a shared sensibility. 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."  

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"The conversations Bruce and I had in 2020 feel as urgent today as they did back then," he continues. "They represent our ongoing effort to figure out how it is that we got here, and how we can tell a more unifying story that starts to close the gap between America's ideals and its reality."

RENEGADES: Born in the USA will hit shelves on October 26.