Clinton To Pen New Book

Bill Clinton, former president of the U.S., visiting Banda Aceh, Indonesia, in his role as U.N. Ambassador to regions affected by the December 2004 tsunami, 11/29/05 AP

After writing an autobiography that sold millions of copies and earned him a hefty advance, former President Clinton has struck a deal to write another book.

Alfred A. Knopf will publish the new work, in which Clinton will focus on public service and individual citizen activism, telling a story that he hopes will "lift spirits" and "touch hearts," the former president said in a statement Wednesday.

The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Clinton is said to have received a staggering advance of $10 million to $12 million for writing "My Life," the 957-page memoir that Knopf published in 2004.

His inspiration for the second book, expected for release late next year or early 2008, sprang from the experiences he has had during his work and travel in the six years since he left the White House, Clinton said. It does not yet have a title.

Clinton, 59, plans to tell the stories of those he has met — and in some cases he will go back and interview them — to make the point that ordinary people can set forth change.

Clinton's path around the world has introduced him to tsunami aid organizations in Southeast Asia, doctors fighting to treat HIV/AIDS in Africa, neighborhoods trying to rebuild after Hurricane Katrina, and many more people that he believes are examples of what one person can do.

"We all have the capacity to do great things like this, and I am writing this book to encourage others to join their ranks," Clinton said. "My hope is that the people and stories in this book will lift spirits, touch hearts and demonstrate that citizen activism and service can be a powerful agent of change in the world."

Clinton's "My Life" sold more than 2 million copies, despite its mixed reviews. Some critics found it meandering and surprisingly dull.

In the new book, Clinton will tell the stories of ordinary people, and draw on his own memories of what he has accomplished through the Clinton Foundation, a multimillion-dollar nonprofit that has driven his post-White House life.

Knopf Chairman Sonny Mehta said Clinton will discuss "the most substantive issues of our time."

"He is writing about people who are using their time and expertise to solve problems and save lives," Mehta said. "This book will offer a blueprint for companies and individuals to make meaningful contributions to the world."

Robert Gottlieb, Clinton's editor for "My Life," will also work with him on the sophomore book project.

According to attorney Robert Barnett, Clinton's literary representative in Washington, D.C., the former president, who lives in a New York City suburb, did not shop the new book proposal to other publishers.

"He has a wonderful relationship with his editor and publisher at Knopf and looks forward to writing many others books with them," Barnett said.

Barnett would not comment on whether he expects Clinton's new book to attract as many readers as "My Life" but said he anticipated a great deal of interest both in this country and around the world.

Clinton has received numerous offers from other publishers to write books, including a biography of Abraham Lincoln, Barnett said. But he said Clinton never seriously considered any of them.

Alfred A. Knopf is a unit of Random House, which is owned by the German media company Bertelsmann AG.
  • Mary-Jayne McKay

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