Just in case you can't get through a day without some refreshing and uplifting words from the new president, the History Company has created the "Pocket Obama."
This is a tiny, pocket-sized book filled with "quotations borrowed from Barack Obama's speeches and writings."
According to its creators, "It is an unofficial requirement for every citizen to own, to read, and to carry this book at all times."
I kid you not.
As proudly described at the History Company's website (h/t NB reader John Pagonis):
Printed in a size that easily fits into pocket or purse, this book is an anthology of quotations borrowed from Barack Obama's speeches and writings. POCKET OBAMA serves as a reminder of the amazing power of oratory and the remarkable ability of this man to move people with his words. His superb and captivating oratory style has earned comparisons to John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King, and this historic collection presents words that catapulted his remarkable rise to the American Presidency. It is an unofficial requirement for every citizen to own, to read, and to carry this book at all times.
Includes themes of democracy, politics, war, terrorism, race, community, jurisprudence, faith, personal responsibility, national identity, and above all, his hoped-for vision of a new America. POCKET OBAMA is a portable, everyday primer for readers who want to examine the substance of his thought and reflect on the next great chapter in the American story.
Now, I know what you're thinking: this has got to be a hoax. Well, the History Company does indeed exist:
HISTORY COMPANY is a shopping destination like no other. It is a remarkable place where you can discover, enjoy, and find inspiration in the wonderful things that connect us to our past.
For over 10 years, we've offered an uncommon range of products that provide a brilliant glimpse of our uniquely American creativity and ingenuity, craftsmanship and style. In the process, we have been able to share the legacy of our roots in the form of fascinating, sometimes quirky gifts, for keeping or giving. At HISTORY COMPANY, the past becomes a present. Historian David Thalen wrote: "The challenge of history is to recover the past and introduce it to the present." That sums up the mission of HISTORY COMPANY.
For ten years they've been selling historical items like White House furnishings, models, and of course books. However, as the only thing Obama has done so far is get elected, it seems a tad premature to view his speeches and writings as historic, doesn't it?
After all, he could end up being a terrible president, right?
I guess the good folks at History Company aren't concerned about this, as the minimum purchase of "Pocket Obamas" is ten.
It seems they think people just can't get enough Obama.
I wonder if they're considering making Obama soap for those who can't do without The One even while they shower. Maybe a dashboard figurine, too, so that you can have him near you when you're driving.
*****Update: As NBer mvfreeman marvelously pointed out in the comments section...
This is eerily similar to Mao's Little Red Book.
Among the most widely printed books in history, Quotations had an estimated 5 to 6.5 billion copies printed during Mao's attempt to transform Chinese society. The book's phenomenal popularity may be due to the fact that it was essentially an unofficial requirement for every Chinese citizen to own, to read, and to carry it at all times during the later half of Mao's rule, especially during the Cultural Revolution.
During the Cultural Revolution, studying the book was not only required in schools but was also a standard practice in the workplace as well. All units, in the industrial, commercial, agricultural, civil service, and military sectors, organized group sessions for the entire workforce to study the book during working hours. Quotes from Mao were either bold-faced or highlighted in red, and almost all writing, including scientific essays, had to quote Mao.
To defend against the theory that it would be counter-productive, it was argued that understanding Mao's quotes could definitely bring about enlightenment to the work unit, resulting in production improvement to offset the time lost.
Yikes. That IS scary!!!