Author Lew Paper

Lew PaperLew Paper is the author of five books: Perfect: Don Larsen’s Miraculous World Series Game and the Men Who Made It Happen (New American Library September 29, 2009). He is also the author of four previous books – John F. Kennedy: The Promise and the Performance, Brandeis: An Intimate Biography, Empire: William S. Paley and the Making of CBS, and Deadly Risks (a novel). His articles and book reviews have appeared in numerous publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The New Republic, and The American Scholar. Lew is a graduate of the University of Michigan and Harvard Law School and holds a masters in law degree from Georgetown University. He has held a variety of positions in the public and private sectors, including a Fellowship with Georgetown University Law School’s Institute for Public Interest Representation, Legislative Counsel to Senator Gaylord Nelson in the United States Senate, and Associate General Counsel at the Federal Communications Commission. He currently practices law in Washington, DC.

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Other books by Lew Paper

Click here to purchase "Deadly Risks" at

Deadly Risks
(Seven Locks hardback 2008)

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. It is presented in 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.

From Booklist
"The JFK assassination has attracted some big-name thriller authors over the years (McCarry, Littell, Ellroy). Now veteran nonfiction writer Paper throws his hat into the ring with a new interpretation of one of the most written-about incidents in American history. Soon after a Washington lawyer dies on safari in Africa, his sister, Kelly, receives a letter that her brother had been safekeeping. The letter, written by her late father, reveals that he was involved in the assassination of JFK. Together, Kelly and Jim Roth, a Senate staffer, try to decode a clue in the letter and perhaps solve, once and for all, the mystery surrounding what happened in November 1963. Paper . . . tells an engaging, well-structured, and briskly paced tale, and he makes us believe, at least in the context of the novel, that his particular conspiracy theory is plausible." David Pitt
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Click here to purchase Empire: "William S Paley and the Making of CBS"

Empire: William S Paley and the Making of CBS
(St. Martin's hardback 1987, St. Martin's paperback 1989)

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.

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

“. . . the most penetrating biographical look thus far at a complex man whose CBS boots are still firmly on.” – Washington Post

“. . . Paper’s mix of broadcast history and anecdotal style serves to flesh out a story of power, ambition, and influence.” – Duluth News-Tribune & Herald

“. . . straightforward and compelling. . . ”  –  Los Angeles Times

“. . . a rather fascinating account of the CBS Chairman’s life and times.” – Booklist

“ . . . you’ve gotta read the book. . . ” – Toledo Blade

“. . . an extraordinary and first-rate study of the exercise of power.” – Virginian Pilot-Ledger Star

“Paper. . . writes with balance and good taste, as well as with a sharp ear for anecdote.” – Palm Beach Life

“Balanced, well-researched, and highly readable. . . . This deserves a high place among the essential books on TV.” – Publishers' Weekly

Recipient of the Frank Luther Mott-Kappa Tau Alpha Award from the School of Journalism of the University of Missouri

Click here to purchase "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
(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.

“A comprehensive triumph of interpretive scholarship. . . . a landmark contribution to the oral history of this century.” – Los Angeles Times

“Urbane in style and solid in content, it offers not only superb history but classic biography.” – St.  Louis Post Dispatch

“A tour de force of what judicial biography should really be.” – American Bar Association Journal

“ . . . Paper delivers a story so intimate that the reader begins to feel like a Peeping Tom.”   – Cleveland Plain Dealer

“ . . . comprehensive and readable.  It should be the definitive work on Brandeis for many years to come.”  – Sunday (Newark) Star Ledger

“. . readable. . . Paper successfully walks a difficult path in providing enough details about legal issues to satisfy legally trained readers while writing in language that is understandable to non-lawyers.” – Portland Oregonian

“. . . this well-told life of jurist Brandeis takes pains to show the whole man, both public and private. . .” – Publishers Weekly

“Paper’s work deserves full tribute for an admirable combination of objectivity and scholarship, leavened with an appropriate sense of irony.” – Sunday Peninsula Herald

“Paper’s central accomplishment is the respectful, non-debunking humanization of a great American.” – Los Angeles Daily Journal

“. . . an authoritative and readable biography. . .” – Sunday Knoxville News-Sentinel

“ . . it will be a very long time before someone writes a more concise and consistently interesting biography of ‘the people’s attorney’. . . ” – Constitutional Commentary

Click here to purchase "The Promise and the Performance: The Leadership of John F. Kennedy"

The Promise and the Performance: The Leadership of John F. Kennedy
(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.

“An excellent piece of scholarship and one of the most useful works on JFK.” – Tom Wicker, New York Times

“This interesting book sets John Kennedy in the framework of our great expectations of past Presidents, their fulfillment of those hopes and their tragic failures.” – Anthony Lewis, New York Times

“Paper has chartered some much-needed fresh thinking on President Kennedy. . .” – CBS Radio

One of the “more thoughtful of the current reappraisals. . .” – Newsweek

“Paper has succeeded, his reward for years of painstaking research and thought and, not incidentally, his good writing. . . . a fine addition to the history of our times.” – Hartford Courant

“ . . . a new and different kind of ‘Kennedy book’ that is well worth reading. . .” – Sunday (Newark) Star-Ledger

“ . . . Paper delivers. . . a balanced study of a pragmatist who seldom allowed his political progress to be burdened by the excess baggage of ideology.”  – National Review

“. . . an intriguing analysis of the intricacies of presidential leadership.” – Chattanooga News-Free Press

“The great merit of  Lew Paper’s work is to put the Kennedy presidency into both an historical and political framework.” – James MacGregor Burns

“For thoughtful Americans, who ponder why Kennedy’s presidency is so much greater than the facts seem to warrant, and why the impact he has made confounds objectivity, this book is essential reading.” – Senator Bill Bradley

“Congratulations [to the publisher] in identifying so valuable a work; given the recent distress of our presidencies, the Kennedy experience – examined, warts and all, has much to offer.  It is fortunate that you were willing to bring out a book that makes this contribution.” – Fred I. Greenstein, Henry Luce Professor of Politics, Law and Society, Princeton University

An alternate selection for the Library of Political and International Affairs