By Bonnie Erbe, Thomas Jefferson Street blog
As hard as the book publishing industry has been hit by the recession, by the Kindle, and by the waning interest of the American public in the printed word, publisher Simon & Schuster must still have money to burn. It's apparently signed a completely unknown author (or tale-teller, as he won't even be writing his own book) to a six-figure contract simply because he shares a famous last name.
George Obama, the allegedly drug-plagued, Kenyan half-brother of President Barack Obama, has been signed to a six-figure contract to tell his life story—to a journalist who will write George Obama's book. At 27, George is the youngest of seven children of Barack Obama's father and 20 years younger than his famous older half-brother.
The two never met as children, Barack Obama never really had much to do with his father (he was raised by his mother and mother's relatives), but the younger George does share Barack's love of community organizing. From the AP:
"Even had George Obama not been our President's half brother, his story is moving and inspirational," David Rosenthal, Simon & Schuster publisher and executive vice president, said in a statement Sunday. "It is an object lesson in survival, selflessness and courage."
To say nothing of an object lesson by Simon & Schuster in trying to make a buck off a famous last name.
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