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Photo: Penguin Random House

Former President Obama's memoir will be published in two volumes — with a 768-page Volume 1, "A Promised Land," out Nov. 17 in 25 languages, publisher Penguin Random House announced Thursday.

What we're hearing: The long wait for the book has been a running joke with former Obama aides, but they tell Axios it's worth the wait.

  • Obama is a graceful, thoughtful writer who cares about the words — and has two previous bestsellers, "Dreams from My Father" and "The Audacity of Hope."
  • The ferociously competitive Obama knows he's unlikely to outsell Michelle Obama's "Becoming," which was the biggest selling U.S. book of 2018, and remained on the N.Y. Times bestseller list for well more than a year.

In his own words, Obama will give a personal account of his "improbable odyssey from young man searching for his identity to leader of the free world," per the announcement.

  • "We are privy to his thoughts as he assembles his Cabinet, wrestles with a global financial crisis, takes the measure of Vladimir Putin, overcomes seemingly insurmountable odds to secure passage of the Affordable Care Act."

Details: Obama will narrate an audio edition.

  • There is not yet a release date for the second volume.

What he's saying: "There’s no feeling like finishing a book, and I’m proud of this one. I’ve spent the last few years reflecting on my presidency, and in 'A Promised Land' I’ve tried to provide an honest accounting of my presidential campaign and my time in office," Obama said in a statement.

  • "And finally, at a time when America is going through such enormous upheaval, the book offers some of my broader thoughts on how we can heal the divisions in our country going forward and make our democracy work for everybody — a task that won’t depend on any single president, but on all of us as engaged citizens.

Flashback: Penguin Random House secured the rights to the memoir back in 2017, after a bidding war that reportedly exceeded $60 million.

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Go deeper

Biden's economic team will write a new crisis playbook

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Joe Biden's economic team faces a daunting task helping the millions of Americans who have lost their jobs or otherwise been financially ravaged by the coronavirus. But most of them have first-hand crisis experience, dating back to when Barack Obama inherited a crumbling economy when he took office in 2009.

Why it matters: Most of President-elect Biden's economic nominees served in the Obama administration, and wish that they could have gone bigger to help America recover from the 2008 financial crisis. But it's not going to be easy for them to push through massive fiscal spending in 2021.

6 hours ago - Health

FDA advisory panel recommends Pfizer boosters for those 65 and older

A healthcare worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine at the Key Biscayne Community Center on Aug. 24, 2021. Photo: Eva Marie Uzcategui/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A key Food and Drug Administration advisory panel on Friday overwhelmingly voted against recommending Pfizer vaccine booster shots for younger Americans, but unanimously recommended approving the third shots for individuals 65 and older, as well as those at high-risk of severe COVID-19.

Why it matters: While the votes are non-binding, and the FDA must still make a final decision, Friday's move pours cold water on the Biden administration's plan to begin administering boosters to most individuals who received the Pfizer vaccine later this month.

6 hours ago - World

France recalls ambassadors from U.S. and Australia over submarine deal

Secretary of State Antony Blinken (L), French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian (C), and French ambassador to the U.S. Philippe Etienne. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

France has taken the extraordinary step of recalling its ambassadors to the U.S. and Australia after both countries blindsided their French allies with a new military pact and submarine contract, the French Foreign Ministry announced on Friday.

The backstory: While sealing an agreement with the U.S. and U.K. to acquire nuclear submarines, Australia ripped up an existing $90 billion submarine deal with France. That led senior French officials to accuse the U.S. of a "stab in the back."