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Lew Paper

Official Website of the critically acclaimed author of


Terror, Tension and the American Ambassador's Struggle to Avoid Pearl Harbor



In the Cauldron.jpg
IN THE CAULDRON: Terror, Tension, and the American Ambassador's Struggle to Avoid Pearl Harbor

This is not just another book about Pearl Harbor.  It is the story of Joseph Grew, America’s ambassador to Japan, and his frantic effort in the months before the Pearl Harbor attack to orchestrate an agreement between Japan and the United States to avoid the war he saw coming.  It is a story filled with hope and heartache, with complex and fascinating characters, and with a drama befitting the momentous decisions at stake.


And more than that, it is a story that has never been told.

“The underbrush through which Mr. Paper cuts his way . . . would be challenging for any writer.  But Mr. Paper, with an eye for character and an easy narrative style, manages to keep his subject interesting. . . . And even though we know how it’s all going to end, Mr. Paper manages to add a measure of suspense to his narrative — a tribute to his abilities as a writer.”

— Washington Times

"In the Cauldron tells one of the great overlooked stories of World War II. Lew Paper delivers a riveting tale with deep research and compelling prose."

—Jonathan Eig, author of Ali: A LifeGet Capone: The Secret Plot That Captured America’s Most Wanted Gangster, and Luckiest Man: The Life and Death of Lou Gehrig. — a book service comparable to Goodreads — selected In the Cauldron as one of the best books to understand why America was unprepared for the Pearl Harbor attack.  They asked me to identify five other books that were among the best in that category.  Here is the link.

Perfect: Don Larsen's Miraculous World Series Game and the Men Who Made It Happen, Lew Paper, Don Larsen, baseball
PERFECT: Don Larsen's Miraculous World Series Game and the Men Who Made it Happen

“The story of Larsen and his legendary afternoon was hanging out there, like a juicy curveball, for somebody to smash out of the park, and Lew Paper . . . has done exactly that.” Washington Post

EMPIRE: William S Paley And The Making of CBS
EMPIRE: William S. Paley and The Making of CBS

“Paper’s book is an anecdotal delight and a starter kit for understanding the American phenomenon that is television.” Chicago Tribune

BRANDEIS: An Intimate Biography of One of America's Truly Great Supreme Court Justices
BRANDEIS: An Intimate Biography of One of America's Truly Great Supreme Court Justices

"[A] comprehensive triumph of interpretive scholarship. . . . [A] landmark contribution to the oral history of this [twentieth] century.”
Los Angeles Times

THE PROMISE AND THE PERFORMANACE: The Leadership of John F. Kennedy, JFK
John F. Kennedy: The Promise and The Performance
Foreword by James MacGregor Burns
Introduction by U.S. Senator Bill Bradley (paperback edition only)

The Promise and the Performance is “an excellent piece of scholarship and one of the most useful works on JFK.”
Tom Wicker, The New York Times

Deadly Risks, Lew Paper, conspiracy, JFK assassination, thriller

“Murder by jungle lion gets this CIA-laced story off to a rousing start. . . . As conspiracy theories go, Paper, a Washington, DC attorney, offers an intriguing one that links top-level U.S. officials to the assassination.  Dialogue and pacing are superb. . . . Catnip for conspiracy theorists and fans of fast-paced thrillers.” 

Kirkus Reviews


Lew Paper, Deadly Risks, JFK, assination, CIA,

Lew Paper has authored six books -- In The Cauldron: Terror, Tension, and The American Ambassador's Struggle to Avoid Pearl Harbor; John F. Kennedy: The Promise and the PerformanceBrandeis: An Intimate BiographyEmpire: William S. Paley and the Making of CBSDeadly Risks (a novel revolving around the assassination of John F. Kennedy); and Perfect: Don Larsen's Miraculous World Series Game and the Men Who Made It Happen. Lew's articles and book reviews have appeared in a variety of newspapers and magazines, including the New York Times, The Washington PostThe New Republic, and The American Scholar.

Lew is a former Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University Law Center and a former Teaching Fellow in Government at Harvard College.

Articles by Lew Paper



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