Dear Barack: The Extraordinary Partnership of Barack Obama and Angela Merkel (Paperback)

Dear Barack: The Extraordinary Partnership of Barack Obama and Angela Merkel Cover Image

Dear Barack: The Extraordinary Partnership of Barack Obama and Angela Merkel (Paperback)


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One of the great political friendships of the modern world, as told through key moments that shaped the twenty-first century

Today, we know US President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel as two of the world’s most influential leaders, together at the center of some of the biggest controversies and most impressive advancements of our time. But while their friendship has been the subject of both scrutiny and admiration, few know the full story.

Taking office at the height of the 2008 global recession, Obama was keenly aware of the fractured relationship between the US and Europe. And for her part, Merkel was suspicious of the charismatic newcomer who had captivated her country.

Faced with the challenges of globalization, the two often clashed over policy, but—as the first Black president and first female chancellor—they shared a belief that democracy could uplift the world. United by this conviction, they would forge a complicated but inspiring partnership.

Dear Barack is a thoroughly researched document of the parallel trajectories that led to Obama and Merkel meeting on the world stage and the trials, both personal and political, that they confronted in office. At times in the leaders’ own words, the book details such events as Merkel’s historic acceptance of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, Russia’s annexation of Crimea, and the 2013 NSA spying scandal, demonstrating the highs and lows of this extraordinary alliance.

A story of camaraderie at a global scale, Dear Barack shows that it is possible for political adversaries to establish bonds of respect—and even friendship—in the service of the free world.

Claudia Clark is an author, speaker, and activist focused on social justice and democracy. In 2017, Clark and her husband moved from California to Germany, where she served as the national Get Out the Vote (GOTV) coordinator for the Democrats Abroad Germany chapter in preparation for the 2020 presidential election. Clark has several advanced degrees, with a focus on social work, women’s history, and labor. She currently lives in Berlin, where she is conducting research for her next book about the rise of the alt-right in Europe.
"Technology has linked the planet, and the need for responsible, committed, and informed leaders has never been greater. Dear Barack reflects upon this urgency as Clark brings to life the correspondences, meetings, and goals shared between two great world leaders." —Tom Cochran, Obama White House & State Department Technology Advisor

"This book articulately captures the epic friendship, strong partnership, and extraordinary leadership of two of the world’s most remarkable politicians, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and former US President Barack Obama...This book has profound life lessons and is definitely a must-read!" —Kadian Davis-Owusu, Founder, TeachSomebody

"Clark’s book retells a fascinating and necessary chapter of U.S. relations with Germany. Dear Barack is a reminder that the U.S. can always return to the era of Obama and Merkel’s companionship, and that the world would be a better place if it did." —Shari Temple, Democrats Abroad Germany Voting Representative and 2008 DNC Obama delegate

"These past few years have left me searching for hope, and I’m happy to find it in Dear Barack...Clark exudes expertise, warmth, and a commitment to the subject matter." —Judy Pipkin, Director of Community Services and Voter Registration, Santa Clara County Democratic Party

"Clark’s book offers a fresh and much needed perspective–one that highlights the necessity of communication and celebrates two trailblazing politicians. In Dear Barack, Clark demonstrates how two diverse global leaders united their missions, policies, and hopes for the world." —Sergio Jimenez, San Jose City Council Member

"Clark traces the friendship of Obama and Merkel in meticulous detail with charming anecdotes and expertly places their bond within the historical contexts of other world leaders’ relationships...A delightful, well-researched account of two leaders’ unlikely friendship." —Kirkus Reviews


Celebrating the power of story, the inaugural Santa Fe Literary Festival will be an unforgettable weekend dedicated to a shared love and language of ideas. Collected Works Bookstore is thrilled to be the official bookstore of the Festival. 

Bestselling, prizewinning authors and literary legends like Margaret Atwood, Joy Harjo, Colson Whitehead, Sandra Cisneros, John Grisham, amongst others, will headline the festival, discussing their work with readings and book signings that set the stage for further inspired conversations.

NOTE: If you purchase a festival event ticket that is INCLUSIVE of the author's book, you will receive that book upon check-in for your event at the festival.

To order books by festival authors directly from CW, see below. Collected Works will be carrying a wide selection of books by all participating authors available for online pre-order and at the on-site festival bookstore May 20-23.

Purchase your tickets from the SF Literary Festival website here.

Purchase your books by festival authors directly from CW below:

Margaret Atwood     Freddie Bitsoie     Sandra Cisneros

Lynn Cline     William deBuys     Ashley Ford

John Grisham     Roshi Joan Halifax     Joy Harjo

Anne Hillerman     Cheryl Alters Jamison     Craig Johnson

Asma Khan     Phil Klay      Jon Krakauer

Valeria Luiselli     Deborah Madison      Emily St. John Mandel

George R. R. Martin      James McGrath Morris     Sarit Packer and Itamar Srulovich of Honey & Co. 

Carmella Padilla     Douglas Preston     Kirstin Valdez Quade

Bob Shacochis     Henry Shukman     Hampton Sides

Bryant Terry     Darryl Lorenzo Wellington     Colson Whitehead

Don Winslow     Lawrence Wright