BOOKS BY LEW PAPER
IN THE CAULDRON: Terror, Tension, and the American Ambassador's Struggle to Avoid Pearl Harbor
(Publication date: November 5, 2019)
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.
In those months before the Pearl Harbor attack, Japan and the United States were locked in a battle of wills. President Franklin D. Roosevelt's economic sanctions were crippling Japan. America's noose was tightening around Japan's neck — but the country's leaders refused to yield to American demands.
In this cauldron of boiling tensions, Joseph Grew offered many recommendations to break the deadlock. Having resided and worked in Tokyo for almost ten years, Grew understood what Roosevelt and his administration back home did not: that the Japanese would rather face annihilation than endure the humiliation of surrendering to American pressure.
The President and his administration saw little need to accept their ambassador’s recommendations. The administration’s policies, they believed, were sure to succeed. And so, with increasing urgency, Grew tried to explain to the President and his administration that Japan’s mindset could not be gauged by Western standards of logic and that the administration’s policies could lead Japan to embark on a suicidal war with the United States “with dangerous and dramatic suddenness.”
Relying on Grew’s diaries, letters and memos, interviews with members of the families of Grew and his staff, and an abundance of other primary source materials, Lew Paper presents the gripping story of Grew’s effort to halt the downward spiral of Japan’s relations with the United States. Grew had to wrestle with an American government that would not listen to him – and simultaneously confront an increasingly hostile environment in Japan, where pervasive surveillance, arbitrary arrest, and even unspeakable torture by Japan's secret police were constant threats.
In the Cauldron reads like a novel, but it is based on fact. And it is sure to raise questions whether the Pearl Harbor attack could have been avoided.
Praise for In the Cauldron
Click here to read Lew’s article from the Fort Myers News-Press on December 7, 2019 on the similarity between the comments during the current impeachment inquiry and Pearl Harbor history.
PERFECT: Don Larsen's Miraculous World Series Game and the Men Who Made it Happen
(New American Library 2009, NAL Paperback 2010)
Don Larsen’s perfect game in the 1956 World Series between the New York Yankees and the Brooklyn Dodgers remains the only no-hit game in World Series history and was described by The New York Times as “the greatest moment” in World Series history.
Drawing upon oral histories, contemporaneous articles, and dozens of interviews with commentators and players (including all of the surviving players for the Dodgers and Yankees), Lew Paper brings that extraordinary event to life with a pitch-by-pitch narrative that incorporates profiles of the 19 players who were on the field that day, including Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berra, Jackie Robinson, Duke Snider, and Roy Campanella. You will understand their backgrounds, their hopes, and their heartaches – and, most important, share the incredible tension they experienced on that unforgettable day in Yankee Stadium.
More than just a story about a single game, Perfect is a window into baseball’s glorious past.
Praise for Perfect
(Seven Locks hardback 2008, CreateSpace paperback 2016)
Drawing upon his considerable research for The Promise and the Performance, Lew Paper turns to fiction to provide a spell-binding story which posits a theory of how and why John F. Kennedy was assassinated – all of which is consistent with the known facts of that unforgettable tragedy. Kelly Roberts, a young woman enjoying an idyllic life in a Washington, DC suburb, is confronted with a frightening dilemma after her father dies and then her brother is killed on an African safari. The dilema arises from a note from her father, a former CIA official in the Kennedy administration, who explains that he was involved in JFK's assassination and that he wants to make amends by leaving a method for future investigators to find the truth. However, he is concerned that some of his surviving co-conspirators will not want the truth to come out and suggests that the note be given to the JFK library after his children's deaths. But Kelly cannot leave well enough alone and strives to uncover what really happened – and what role her father played in it. In a gripping plot reminiscent of John Grisham's The Pelican Brief, the book unfolds with a tale of intrigue and passion that resonates with the ring of authenticity.
Praise for DEADLY RISKS
EMPIRE: William S. Paley and the Making of CBS
(St. Martin's Press hardback 1987, St. Martin's Press paperback 1988)
This is the first biography to provide a detailed exploration of how Bill Paley took a fledgling radio network in 1927and built it into one of the major media empires of the twentieth century. Lew Paper relies upon a variety of primary source materials, including interviews with existing and former CBS employees (including legendary CBS President Frank Stanton and ousted CEO Tom Wyman), reporters and other obervers (like David Halberstam), former CBS entertainers (like Jackie Gleason and George Burns), Paley's former wife, and Paley himself. Paper explains how Paley used his considerable family wealth, talent often developed on the rival NBC network, and business ingenuity in a single-minded effort to maneuver CBS into a powerhouse position – often without regard to the consequences to his employees and his own family. It is the insightful story of a paradoxical man whose ultimate goal was to enjoy life to the fullest.
Praise for Empire: William S. Paley and The Making of CBS
BRANDEIS: An Intimate Biography of One of America's Truly Great Supreme Court Justices
(Prentice-Hall hardback 1983, Citadel paperback 1986)
This is the first biography of former Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis to provide insight into the man behind the legend. Lew Paper draws upon sources that had previously remained unavailable to Brandeis biographers: the newly-released letters and other papers of his daughter Susan, interviews with all of his surviving law clerks, and interviews with family members, including his daughter Elizabeth and his grandchildren. The portrait that emerges is surprising and uplifting – a man with many idiosyncracies (he hated cars) who had an abiding faith in man's ability to control his destiny and a sensitivity (reflected in his response to his wife's nervous breakdown) that belied the image of the hard-nosed "People's Lawyer" which he had nurtured over many years through his law practice in Boston.
Praise for Brandeis
JOHN F. KENNEDY: The Promise and the Performance
Foreword by James MacGregor Burns
Introduction by U.S. Senator Bill Bradley (paperback edition only)
(Crown hardback 1975, Da Capo paperback 1980)
Relying on criteria developed from an analysis of twentieth century presidents, Lew Paper evaluates John Kennedy's presidency – and, more specifically, whether his performance in the White House matched the promise he brought to the office in 1961. To support his evaluation, Paper draws upon oral histories and documents made available by the John F. Kennedy Library, material from other libraries around the country, and interviews with reporters, observers, and former administration officials, including Ben Bradlee from The Washington Post, James Reston from The New York Times, and White House advisors like Mike Feldman, Lee White, and Arthur Shlesinger. The analysis provides a new perspective on the major events of the Kennedy era – including the Bay of Pigs fiasco, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Steel crisis, the Test Ban Treaty with Russia, the civil rights struggles, and of course the war in Vietnam. The hardback book includes a Foreword from the renonwed historian James MacGregor Burns, and the paperback edition includes a Special Foreword from former Senator Bill Bradley.