Political Bestsellers: Which Politician Has Sold the Most Books

George W. Bush’s memoir sold more than 700,000 copies in its first week on sale, but how does he compare to other political authors who have turned votes into books? The Daily Beast analyzes the sales figures.

Charles Rex Arbogast / AP Photo

Charles Rex Arbogast / AP Photo

1, Barack Obama

Books: Audacity of Hope (2006); Dreams From My Father (1995)

Weeks on New York Times Best Sellers List: 270

Total copies sold: 4,650,000

Reported Advances: $500,000 for abridged version of Dreams From My Father, $425,000 for The Audacity of Hope.

Paul Connors / AP Photo

2, Jimmy Carter

Books: Why Not the Best?(1975 ); A Government as Good as Its People (1977); Keeping Faith: Memoirs of a President (1982); Negotiation: The Alternative to Hostility (1984); The Blood of Abraham: Insights Into the Middle East (1985); Everything to Gain: Making the Most of the Rest of Your Life (1987), with Rosalynn Carter; An Outdoor Journal (1988); Turning Point: A Candidate, a State, and a Nation Come of Age (1992); Talking Peace: A Vision for the Next Generation(1993); Always a Reckoning (1995); The Little Baby Snoogle-Fleejer (1995); Sources of Strength: Meditations on Scripture for a Living Faith (1997); The Virtues of Aging (1998); An Hour Before Daylight: Memories of a Rural Boyhood (2001); Christmas in Plains: Memories (2001); The Hornet's Nest (2003); Sharing Good Times (2004); Our Endangered Values: America's Moral Crisis (2005); Palestine Peace Not Apartheid (2006); A Remarkable Mother (2008); Beyond the White House: Waging Peace, Fighting Disease, Building Hope (2008); We Can Have Peace in the Holy Land: A Plan That Will Work (2009); White House Diary (2010)

Weeks on New York Times Bestsellers List: 130

Total copies sold: 2,218,000

Reported Advances: n/a

3, Bill Clinton

Books: Giving (2007); My Life (2004); Between Hope and History (1996); Putting People First (1992) with Al Gore

Weeks on New York Times Bestsellers List: 46

Total copies sold: 1,899,000

Reported Advances: $15 million for “My Life”

Rabbani Solimene, WireImage / Getty Images

4, Al Franken

Books: The Truth (With Jokes); Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them (2004); Oh, the Things I Know! (2002); Why Not Me? The Inside Story of the Making and Unmaking of the Franken Presidency (2000); Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot (1999); I’m Good Enough, I’m Smart Enough and Doggone It, People Like Me!(1992); You’re Good Enough, You’re Smart Enough, and Doggone It, People Like You!(1992)

Weeks on New York Times Bestsellers List: 103

Total copies sold: 1,777,000

Reported Advances: n/a

Bill Pugliano / AP Photo

5, Hillary Clinton

Books: It Takes a Village (1996) Dear Socks, Dear Buddy: Kids’ Letters to the First Pets (1998); An Invitation to the White House: A Home with History (2000); Living History (2003)

Weeks on New York Times Bestsellers List: 63

Total copies sold: 1,491,000

Reported Advances: $8 million for “Living History”

Beth Hall / AP Photo

6, Sarah Palin

Books: Going Rogue (2009)

Weeks on New York Times Bestsellers List: 12

Total copies sold: 1,455,000

Reported Advances: $1.25 million for “Going Rogue”

Chris Hondros / Getty Images

7, Newt Gingrich

Books: To Save America (2010); 5 Principles for a Successful Life (2009); Days of Infamy (2008); Real Change (2007); Rediscovering God in America (2006); Never Call Retreat (2005); Lessons Learned the Hard Way (1998), To Try Men’s Souls (2010); A Contract With the Earth (2007)

Weeks on New York Times Bestsellers List: 50

Total copies sold: 1,098,000

Reported Advances: Offered $4.5 million for two books in 1994, but turned it down for larger share of royalties after critics claimed he was cashing in on Republican victory during that year’s elections.

Richard Drew / AP Photo

8, Al Gore

Books: Our Choice (2009); The Assault on Reason (2008); Joined at the Heart (2003) with Tipper Gore; The Spirit of Family (2002) with Tipper Gore; Businesslike Government (1997); Earth in the Balance (1992); Putting People First (1992) with Bill Clinton

Weeks on New York Times Bestsellers List: 108

Total copies sold: 913,000

Reported Advances: n/a

Scott Olson / Getty Images

9, Ted Kennedy

Books: True Compass (2009); My Senator and Me (2006); America Back on Track (2006); Freeze! How You Can Help Prevent Nuclear War (1982); In Critical Condition: The Crisis in America’s Health Care (1972); Decisions for a Decade: Policies and Programs for the 1970s (1968)

Weeks on New York Times Bestsellers List: 17

Total copies sold: 651,000

Reported Advances: $8 millionfor True Compass

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

10, John McCain

Books: Faith of My Fathers (1999) with Mark Salter; Worth the Fighting For (2002) with Mark Salter; Why Courage Matters (2004) with Mark Salter; Character Is Destiny (2005) with Mark Salter; Hard Call (2007) with Mark Salter

Weeks on New York Times Bestsellers List: 35

Total copies sold: 614,000

Reported Advances: n/a

11, George W. Bush

Books: Decision Points (2010); A Charge to Keep (2001)

Weeks on New York Times Best Sellers List: 8

Total copies sold: 434,000*

Reported Advances: $7 million for Decision Points *first week sales

Mark Humphrey / AP Photo

12, Mike Huckabee

Books: A Simple Christmas (2009); Do the Right Thing (2008); Character Makes a Difference (2007); From Hope to Higher Ground (2007); Quit Digging Your Grave with a Knife and Fork (2005); Living Beyond Your Lifetime (2000); Kids Who Kill (1998); Character Is the Issue (1997)

Weeks on New York Times Bestsellers List: 12

Total copies sold: 419,000

Reported Advances: n/a

Jim Spellman,WireImage / Getty Images

13, Ron Paul

Books: A Foreign Policy of Freedom (2007); The Revolution: A Manifesto (2008); End the Fed (2009)

Weeks on New York Times Bestsellers List: 13

Total copies sold: 281,000

Reported Advances: n/a

Jim Mone / AP Photo

14, Jesse Ventura

Books: I Ain’t Got Time to Bleed (2000); Do I Stand Alone? (2000); Jesse Ventura Tells It Like It Is (2002); Don’t Start the Revolution Without Me! (2008) with Dick Russell; American Conspiracies (2010) with Dick Russell

Weeks on New York Times Bestsellers List: 22

Total copies sold: 130,000

Reported Advances: $500,000 for “I Ain’t Got Time To Bleed”

Susan Walsh / AP Photo

15, Mitt Romney

Books: No Apology: The Case for American Greatness (2010); Turnaround: Crisis, Leadership, and the Olympic Games (2007)

Weeks on New York Times Bestsellers List: 5

Total copies sold: 112,000

Reported Advances: n/a

Tom Williams / Getty Images

16, Jim Webb

Books: Fields of Fire (1978); A Sense of Honor (1981); A Country Such as This (1983); Something to Die For (1992); The Emperor’s General (1999); Lost Soldiers (2002); Born Fighting: How the Scots-Irish Shaped America/ (2004); A Time to Fight: Reclaiming a Fair and Just America (2008)

Weeks on New York Times Bestsellers List: 5

Total copies sold: 111,000

Reported Advances: n/a

Steven Senne / AP Photo

17, George H.W. Bush

Books: Speaking of Freedom: The Collected Speeches (2009); The China Diary of George H.W. Bush (2008); Heartbeat: George Bush in His Own Words (2003); All the Best, George Bush (2000); A World Transformed(1999); Looking Forward (1988) with Victor Gold

Weeks on New York Times Bestsellers List: 0

Total copies sold: 84,000

Reported Advances: n/a

Jennifer Pottheiser, NBAE / Getty Images

18, Bill Bradley

Books: The Journey From Here (2000); The New American Story (2007); Values of the Game (1998); Time Present, Time Past (1996); Life on the Run (1977)

Weeks on New York Times Bestsellers List: 17

Total copies sold: 69,000

Reported Advances: n/a

Charles Dharapak

19, Joe Biden

Books: Promises to Keep: On Life and Politics (2008)

Weeks on New York Times Bestsellers List: 1

Total copies sold: 49,000

Reported Advances: $224,000 for Promises to Keep

Jay Pickthorn

20, Byron Dorgan

Books: Reckless!: How Debt, Deregulation, and Dark Money Nearly Bankrupted America (2009), Take This Job and Ship It (2006)

Weeks on New York Times Bestsellers List: 0

Total copies sold: 26,000

Reported Advances: $120,000 for Reckless!