In partnership with Higher Ground, Penguin Random House announced today the October 26, 2021, global publication of RENEGADES: Born in the USA, a collection of candid, intimate, and entertaining conversations between Barack Obama, and Bruce Springsteen.
RENEGADES: Born in the USA chronicles the conversations Obama and Springsteen began in Spotify’s co-produced podcast of the same name, which is one of the most internationally listened-to podcasts on the Spotify platform. During these intimate conversations, they share exclusive stories and ruminations about life, music, and their enduring love of America, with all its challenges and contradictions. Published in an oversized, fully illustrated format, RENEGADES also features 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, offering a compelling and beautifully illustrated portrait of two outsiders—one Black and one white—who have helped shape the American story.
Over a number of days, President Barack Obama and Bruce Springsteen sat down to talk. From disparate backgrounds and lived experiences, they would seem to have little in common. But as President Obama shares in the opening pages of RENEGADES:
“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.”
In RENEGADES: Born in the USA, readers are invited to sit alongside these two longtime friends, in a recording studio stocked with dozens of guitars and during at least one Corvette ride, as they discuss marriage and fatherhood, race and masculinity, the lure of the open road and the call back to home, some of the most inspiring American heroes of all time, and music. . . . They talk a lot about music.
Along the way, they reveal their passion for—and the occasional toll of—telling a bigger, truer story about America throughout their careers and explore how our fractured country might begin to find its way back toward unity.
As Springsteen shares in his introduction to RENEGADES:
“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. 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. . . . This is a time for serious consideration of who we want to be and what kind of country we will leave our children. Will we let slip through our hands the best of us or will we turn united to face the fire? Within this book you won’t find the answers to those questions, but you will find a couple of seekers doing their best to get us to ask better questions.”
And as President Obama writes, “the conversations Bruce and I had in 2020 feel as urgent today as they did back then. 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.”
The English-language print edition, to be published in the United States and Canada by Crown, will be 320 pages long and include more than 350 full-color photographs and illustrations.