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Image: A photograph of Barack Obama Sr.
Ben Curtis  /  AP file
This photograph of Barack Obama Sr., the president’s father, hung on the wall of his grandmother Sarah Hussein Obama's house in Kenya.
TODAY books
updated 7/7/2011 4:14:20 PM ET 2011-07-07T20:14:20

A new book may shed new light on the background of President Obama’s father.

“The Other Barack: The Bold and Reckless Life of President Obama’s Father” is slated for release on Tuesday, July 12 by Public Affairs Press. In it, Boston Globe reporter Sally H. Jacobs takes a candid look at Barack Obama Sr. and paints a portrait in sharp contrast to the one provided by the president in his own memoir, “Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance,” published in 2004.

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Through exhaustive interviews, Jacobs assembles a complex depiction of the elder Obama as a brilliant but troubled man. One of the most notable revelations she offers is that when Barack Obama Sr. was a 24-year-old college sophomore, he and Ann Dunham — his second wife and the mother of President Obama — initially planned to give their unborn child up for adoption via the Salvation Army.

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Jacobs’ account was gleaned from a memo about a conversation with Obama Sr. conducted by the US Immigration and Naturalization Service. She further reports that upon the time of that memo’s release (through the Freedom of Information act), the president himself was unaware of it or its contents.

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Ultimately, Jacobs recounts, the president’s father chose not to put his infant son up for adoption. How serious his original intention was remains unclear.

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