2 of 16
Long before Senator Obama was a political powerhouse, he penned his autobiography, Dreams from My Father. The book was first published in 1995 and then re-released in 2004. Senator Obama says he used proceeds from the best-selling book to pay off his college loans. "That's what happens when you don't have that trust fund!" he jokes.

Senator Obama says he wrote his second book, The Audacity of Hope, at night after his wife and two daughters were asleep. The title of the book was inspired by a sermon his pastor, Jeremiah Wright, gave at Chicago's Trinity United Church of Christ. "I was really struck by that phrase, because I think that one of the things that characterizes this country in particular is the sense that we can overcome...the sense that no matter how difficult our circumstances, we have the boldness to say, 'We can do better,'" he says.

Although he borrowed the book's title from his pastor, he says he wrote the rest on his own. "My own thoughts, my own ideas...a novel concept for a politician," he says.
FROM: Barack Obama on the Tough Questions
Published on October 18, 2006