“Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to my Daughters” is a 40-page picture book and will have an initial print run of half a million copies when it is released on November 16 — not coincidentally two weeks after congressional elections.
Obama penned the book before he was elected and proceeds from its sale will go to a scholarship fund for the children of US soldiers killed or disabled in wars abroad. The president’s publisher, Random House, praised the work as an “inspiring marriage of words and images, history and story.” “‘Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters’ celebrates the characteristics that unite all Americans — the potential to pursue our dreams and forge our own paths,” the company said in a press release.
The book celebrates figures including the first president George Washington, and Jackie Robinson, who broke down barriers by becoming the first African American baseball player in the major leagues. The title is taken from the lyrics of “My Country, ‘Tis of thee” an early American patriotic song. Obama’s previous books, the autobiographical “Dreams from My Father” published in 1995, and the political manifesto “The Audacity of Hope” which came out in 2006, have been huge international bestsellers. They have also secured Obama’s financial future. The president and his wife Michelle declared a joint gross income of 5.5 million dollars for 2009 alone — almost all of it based on royalties from his books.
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