President’s Half-Brother George the Latest Obama to Sign Book Deal

By Jennifer Parker

Jun 15, 2009 1:22pm

President Obama met his half-brother George during a 1987 visit to Kenya.

"I took comfort in the fact that perhaps one day, when he was older, George, too, might want to know who his father had been, and who his brothers and sisters were, and that if he ever came to me I would be there for him, to tell him the story I knew," the president wrote in “Dreams From My Father.”

Over the weekend David Rosenthal, the publisher and executive vice president of Simon & Schuster, told the Associated Press that George had signed a book deal of his own.

“Even had George Obama not been our President's half brother, his story is moving and inspirational," Rosenthal said. "It is an object lesson in survival, selflessness and courage."

George is one of President Obama’s eight half-siblings.

Tentatively titled “Homeland,” George Obama’s book is scheduled to be published in January 2010, and will be written with self-described “author, war reporter, adventurer” Damien Lewis, author of Apache Dawn, Cobra Gold, Operation Certain Death, Bloody Heroes, Slave and Desert Claw.

The AP says the book will describe George Obama's “fall into crime and poverty as a teenager and his eventual embrace of community organizing.”

The last time we heard about George was just after Inauguration Day when he was arrested in Kenya for possession of marijuana and resisting arrest.

Kenyan Police Chief Joshua Omokulongolo said that George had one joint on him. "He is not a drug peddler," Omokulongolo said. "But it's illegal, it's a banned substance." Charges were ultimately dropped.

George is just the latest Obama to get in on the literary action.

Five days before his inauguration, then-President-elect Obama inked a $500,000 licensing deal for an abridged middle-school version of his best-selling book "Dreams From My Father."

Shortly after Inauguration, the president’s brother-in-law – First Lady Michelle Obama’s brother Craig Robinson, the Oregon State University men’s basketball coach – announced he’d signed a book deal with Gotham Books, an imprint of Penguin Group. “A Game of Character” will be published next year.

"I've been privileged to know some extraordinary people in my life," Robinson said in a statement.  "I've watched as my sister Michelle, a rock of a mother, became a leader in her own right. My brother-in law, President Barack Obama, who I knew from the first time I met him had something special, continues to inspire all of us."

In April, Candlewick Press bought a book, Ladder to the Moon, from President Obama’s half-sister, Maya Soetoro-Ng.  Publishers Weekly reported that Ladder to the Moon will imagine what lessons Soetoro-Ng’s four-year-old daughter might have learned from her grandmother – President Obama and Soetoro-Ng’s mother — if the two had ever met.

Speaking of whom, Duke University Press announced last month that this November, it will posthumously publish the 1992 anthropology dissertation of the president’s late mother, Dr. S. Ann Dunham, "Surviving against the Odds: Village Industry in Indonesia."

-jpt

 

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