Jakes, John 1932- (William Ard, John William Jakes, Alan Payne, Jay Scotland)
Jakes, John 1932- (William Ard, John William Jakes, Alan Payne, Jay Scotland)
Born March 31, 1932, in Chicago, IL; son of John Adrian (a Railway Express general manager) and Bertha Jakes; married Rachel Ann Payne (a teacher), June 15, 1951; children: Andrea, Ellen, John Michael, Victoria. Education: DePauw University, A.B., 1953; Ohio State University, M.A., 1954. Politics: Independent. Religion: Protestant. Hobbies and other interests: Swimming, boating, acting and directing in community theater.
Home—SC and CT. Agent—Rembar & Curtis, 19 W. 44th St., Ste. 711, New York, NY 10036. E-mail—[email protected]
Abbott Laboratories, North Chicago, IL, 1954-60, began as copywriter, became product promotion manager; Rumrill Co. (advertising agency), Rochester, NY, copywriter, 1960-61; freelance writer, 1961-65; Kircher Helton & Collet, Inc. (advertising agency), Dayton, OH, senior copywriter, 1965-68; Oppenheim, Herminghausen, Clarke, Inc. (advertising agency), Dayton, 1968-70, began as copy chief, became vice president; Dancer-Fitzgerald-Sample, Inc. (advertising agency), Dayton, creative director, 1970-71; freelance writer, 1971—. University of South Carolina, Columbia, Department of History, research fellow, 1989. DePauw University, Greencastle, IN, trustee.
PEN, Century Association, Writers Guild of America (East), Western Writers of America, Authors Guild, Dramatists Guild, South Carolina Academy of Authors.
LL.D., Wright State University, 1976; Litt.D., DePauw University, 1977; Porgie Award, 1977, for best books in a series; Ohioana Book Award for fiction, 1978, for "American Bicentennial" series; Friends of the Rochester Library Literary Award, 1983; Citizen-Celebrity Award for library advocacy, White House Conference on Libraries, 1995; Distinguished Alumni Award, Ohio State University, College of Humanities, 1995; Western Heritage Literature Award, National Cowboy Hall of Fame, 1995; D.H.L., Winthrop College, 1985, University of South Carolina, 1993, and Ohio State University, 1996; South Carolina Academy of Authors, 1996; Professional Achievement Award, Ohio State University Alumni Association, 1997; Career Achievement Award, South Carolina Humanities Association, 1998; Medal of the Thomas Cooper Society, University of South Carolina, 2002; Owen Wister Award for lifetime contribution to Western literature, Western Writers of America, 2007.
The Texans Ride North: The Story of the Cattle Trails (for children), John C. Winston (Philadelphia, PA), 1952.
Wear a Fast Gun, Arcadia House (New York, NY), 1956.
A Night for Treason, Bouregy & Curl (New York, NY), 1956.
(Under pseudonym Alan Payne) Murder, He Says, Ace Books (New York, NY), 1958.
(Under pseudonym Alan Payne) This Will Slay You, Ace Books (New York, NY), 1958.
The Devil Has Four Faces, Bouregy (New York, NY), 1959.
The Imposter, Bouregy (New York, NY), 1959.
Johnny Havoc, Belmont Books (New York, NY), 1960.
(Under pseudonym William Ard) Make Mine Mavis, Monarch (Derby, CT), 1961.
(Under pseudonym William Ard) And So to Bed, Monarch (Derby, CT), 1962.
(Under pseudonym William Ard) Give Me This Woman, Monarch (Derby, CT), 1962.
Johnny Havoc Meets Zelda, Belmont Books (New York, NY), 1962, published as Havoc for Sale, Armchair Detective Library (New York, NY), 1990.
Johnny Havoc and the Doll Who Had "It," Belmont Books (New York, NY), 1963, published as Holiday for Havoc, Armchair Detective Library (New York, NY), 1991.
G.I. Girls, Monarch (Derby, CT), 1963.
Tiros: Weather Eye in Space, Messner (New York, NY), 1966.
When the Star Kings Die, Ace Books (New York, NY), 1967.
Great War Correspondents, Putnam (New York NY), 1967.
Famous Firsts in Sports, Putnam (New York, NY), 1967.
Making It Big, Belmont Books (New York, NY), 1968, published as Johnny Havoc and the Siren in Red, Armchair Detective Library (New York, NY), 1991.
Great Women Reporters, Putnam (New York, NY), 1969.
Tonight We Steal the Stars (bound with The Wagered World by Laurence M. Janifer and S.J. Treibich), Ace Books (New York, NY), 1969.
The Hybrid, Paperback Library (New York, NY), 1969.
The Last Magicians, Signet (New York, NY), 1969.
Secrets of Stardeep, Westminster (Philadelphia, PA), 1969, published with Time Gate (also see below), New American Library (New York, NY), 1982.
The Planet Wizard, Ace Books (New York, NY), 1969.
The Asylum World, Paperback Library (New York, NY), 1969.
Mohawk: The Life of Joseph Brant, Crowell (New York, NY), 1969.
Black in Time, Paperback Library (New York, NY), 1970.
Six-Gun Planet, Paperback Library (New York, NY), 1970.
Mask of Chaos (bound with The Star Virus by Barrington T. Bayler), Ace Books (New York, NY), 1970.
Monte Cristo 99, Modern Library (New York, NY), 1970.
Master of the Dark Gate, Lancer Books (New York, NY), 1970.
Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (novelization of film of the same title), Award Books (New York, NY), 1972.
Time Gate, Westminster (Philadelphia, PA), 1972.
Witch of the Dark Gate, Lancer Books (New York, NY), 1972.
Mention My Name in Atlantis: Being, at Last, the True Account of the Calamitous Destruction of the Great Island Kingdom, Together with a Narrative of Its Wondrous Intercourses with a Superior Race of Other-Worldlings, As Transcribed from the Ms. of a Survivor, Hoptor the Vintner, for the Enlightenment of a Dubious Posterity, DAW Books (New York, NY), 1972.
On Wheels, Paperback Library (New York, NY), 1973.
The Best of John Jakes (science fiction), edited by Martin H. Greenberg and Joseph D. Olander, DAW Books (New York, NY), 1977.
The Bastard Photostory, Jove (New York, NY), 1980.
Susanna of the Alamo: A True Story (juvenile), Harcourt (New York, NY), 1986.
California Gold, Random House (New York, NY), 1989.
The Best Western Stories of John Jakes, edited by Martin Greenberg and Bill Pronzini, Ohio University Press (Athens, OH), 1991.
Homeland, Doubleday (New York, NY), 1993.
In the Big Country: The Best Western Stories of John Jakes, G.K. Hall (Thorndike, ME), 1993.
John Jakes' Mullkon Empire, Tekno Comix (Boca Raton, FL), 1995.
Great Stories of the American West, large print edition, G.K. Hall (Thorndike, ME), 1995.
American Dreams (sequel to Homeland), Dutton (New York, NY), 1998.
On Secret Service (novel), Dutton (New York, NY), 2000.
The Bold Frontier, Signet (New York, NY), 2001.
Crime Time: Mystery and Suspense Stories, Five Star (Waterville, ME), 2001.
Charleston, Dutton (New York, NY), 2002.
Savannah: or, A Gift for Mr. Lincoln, Dutton (New York, NY), 2004.
The Gods of Newport: A Novel, Dutton (New York, NY), 2006.
"BRAK THE BARBARIAN" SERIES
Brak the Barbarian, Avon (New York, NY), 1968.
Brak the Barbarian versus the Sorceress, Paperback Library (New York, NY), 1969.
Brak versus the Mark of the Demons, Paperback Library (New York, NY), 1969.
Brak: When the Idols Walked, Pocket Books (New York, NY), 1978.
Fortunes of Brak, Dell (New York, NY), 1980.
"AMERICAN BICENTENNIAL" SERIES; ALSO PUBLISHED AS "KENT FAMILY CHRONICLES" SERIES
The Bastard (also see below), Pyramid (New York, NY), 1974, published in two volumes, Volume 1: Fortune's Whirlwind, Volume 2: To an Unknown Shore, Corgi (London, England), 1975.
The Rebels (also see below), Pyramid (New York, NY), 1975.
The Seekers (also see below), Pyramid (New York, NY), 1975.
The Titans, Pyramid (New York, NY), 1976.
The Furies (also see below), Pyramid (New York, NY), 1976.
The Patriots (contains The Bastard and The Rebels), Landfall Press (Chicago, IL), 1976.
The Pioneers (contains The Seekers and The Furies), Landfall Press (Chicago, IL), 1976.
The Warriors, Pyramid (New York, NY), 1977.
The Lawless, Jove (New York, NY), 1978.
The Americans, Jove (New York, NY), 1980.
"NORTH AND SOUTH" TRILOGY
North and South, Harcourt (New York, NY), 1982.
Love and War, Harcourt (New York, NY), 1984.
Heaven and Hell, Harcourt (New York, NY), 1988.
(Author of lyrics) Dracula, Baby (musical comedy), Dramatic (Chicago, IL), 1970.
(Author of book and lyrics) Wind in the Willows (musical comedy), Performance (Elgin, IL), 1972.
A Spell of Evil (three-act melodrama), Performance (Elgin, IL), 1972.
Violence (two one-acts), Performance (Elgin, IL), 1972.
Stranger with Roses (one act), Dramatic (Chicago, IL) 1972.
For I Am a Jealous People (adaptation of the story by Lester del Rey), Performance Publishing (Elgin, IL), 1972.
(Author of book and lyrics) Gaslight Girl (musical), Dramatic (Chicago, IL), 1973.
(Author of book and lyrics) Pardon Me, Is This Planet Taken? (musical), Dramatic (Chicago, IL), 1973.
(Author of book and lyrics) Doctor, Doctor! (musical), McAfee Music (New York, NY), 1973.
(Author of book and lyrics) Shepherd Song (musical), McAfee Music (New York, NY), 1974.
(Adapter) Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol, Dramatic (Chicago, IL), 1997.
(Author of book and lyrics) Great Expectations (musical), produced by Arts Center of Coastal Carolina, 1999, National Alliance for Musical Theatre Festival, 2001.
UNDER PSEUDONYM JAY SCOTLAND
The Seventh Man, Bouregy (New York, NY), 1958, published under name John Jakes, Pinnacle (New York, NY), 1981.
I, Barbarian, Avon (New York, NY), 1959, published under name John Jakes, Pinnacle (New York, NY), 1979.
Strike the Black Flag, Ace Books (New York, NY), 1961.
Sir Scoundrel, Ace Books (New York, NY), 1962.
Veils of Salome, Avon (New York, NY), 1962, published under name John Jakes as King's Crusader, Pinnacle (New York, NY), 1976.
Arena, Ace Books (New York, NY), 1963, Olmstead Press (Chicago, IL), 2001.
Traitors' Legion, Ace Books (New York, NY), 1963, published under name John Jakes as The Man from Cannae, Pinnacle (New York, NY), 1977.
(Editor, with Martin Harry Greenberg) New Trails: Twenty-three Original Stories of the West from Western Writers of America, Doubleday (Garden City, NY), 1994.
(Editor) A Century of Great Western Stories, Doherty/Forge (New York, NY), 2000.
Work represented in anthologies, including The Funeral of Tanner Moody, Dorchester Publishing (New York, NY), 2004; contributor of short stories to magazines. Jakes's manuscripts are housed at the University of Wyoming, DePauw University, and the John Jakes Archive, Thomas Cooper Library, University of South Carolina, Columbia. Also author of novellas including, The Sellers of the Dream and Here Is Thy Sting.
Books adapted for television include The Bastard, The Rebels, and The Seekers, Operation Prime Time and Universal Studios; North and South, ABC, 1985; Love and War, ABC, 1986; and Heaven and Hell, ABC, 1995. Many of Jakes's works have been adapted for audio.
John Jakes was a prolific but obscure writer for some twenty years until his "American Bicentennial" series of historical novels captured the public's imagination and made him famous. Jakes had published his first work while he was still a high school student, and throughout the 1950s and 1960s, he turned out more than fifty books in various genres, including science fiction, mystery, children's literature, and suspense. Most of his early works were written in his spare time while he held down full-time positions in the advertising industry; the resounding success of the "American Bicentennial" series finally enabled him to devote himself to writing full time. Jakes has followed his landmark series with other best-selling novels based on American history, including North and South, Love and War, and California Gold.
Jakes's books have been phenomenally popular. Martin H. Greenberg and Walter Herrscher, writing in the Dictionary of Literary Biography Yearbook: 1983, praise Jakes as being "a natural storyteller" whose body of work is consistently characterized by "attention to detail, careful plotting, epic sweep, and—where required, strong historical research." Discussing his early work, Greenberg and Herrscher state: "Jakes was much more than simply a pedestrian science fiction writer. He did some outstanding work in this demanding popular genre, and his collection, The Best of John Jakes, contains excellent work, most notably the novella Here Is Thy Sting, which focuses on the meaning of death, and The Sellers of the Dream, a moving and devastating attack on our consumer society." Greenberg and Herrscher also praise Jakes's "Brak the Barbarian" series, which lampoons the "Sword and Sorcery" genre; his sci-fi western Six-Gun Planet; and his futuristic novel On Wheels, which they judge to be "a minor masterpiece of social speculation."
Whatever the merits of Jakes's early work, it brought him little recognition and only a modest secondary income. He felt he had bottomed out as a writer in 1973, when he accepted an assignment to write a novelization of the last film in the "Planet of the Apes" movie series. He remembers the job—which took him three weeks and earned him a quick fifteen hundred dollars—with bitterness. "When that Planet of the Apes thing came along, I said to [my wife], ‘I've been wasting the last twenty years.’" He had doubts about his ability as a writer, but fortunately for Jakes his fellow writer Don Moffitt had a higher opinion of his work.
Moffit had been approached by Lyle Kenyon Engel, a packager in the paperback trade industry, to write a series of historical novels for publication around the time of the bicentennial of the United States. The books would follow several generations of the fictional Kent family through the first hundred years of the country's history. Moffit was unavailable for the job, but he suggested that Engel review Jakes's early historical fiction, much of which had been published under the pseudonym Jay Scotland. These "solidly researched, well-plotted commercial novels with believable characters," as they are described in the Dictionary of Literary Biography Yearbook: 1983, convinced Engel that Jakes was the man to pen the Kent family chronicles.
The series was originally intended to total five books, but its success was so great that Engel was eager to extend Jakes's contract. Eight titles were eventually published, beginning with The Bastard in 1974 and concluding with The Americans in 1980. None of the titles sold less than 3.5 million copies, and the series as a whole has sold over fifty million copies. Marked by vivid plots and memorable, simply drawn characters, the saga takes readers through seven generations of the Kent family history. Engel would have continued the series for as long as it remained profitable, but after The Americans, Jakes rebelled. Jakes expressed his gratitude for the chance that Engel gave him but felt it was time to end the series.
Following his triumph in the realm of paperback publishing, Jakes was approached by Harcourt Brace to produce a trio of hardcover novels covering the Civil War era. The "North and South" trilogy—North and South, Love and War, and Heaven and Hell—intertwine fictional and real-life characters much as the "American Bicentennial" series does, and has proved to be as successful. The central characters are two men who, after becoming friends at West Point, find themselves enemies in war. Their descendants' adventures continue through the Reconstruction period and the taming of the American frontier. Rory Quirk, writing in the Washington Post, credited Jakes with creating "a graphic, fast-paced amalgam of good, evil, love, lust, war, violence and Americana." He further commented: "The imposition and ultimate failure of Reconstruction in the South covers some well-traveled ground but Jakes manages to resift the historical information, meld it with his fictional characters and produce an informative and nicely crafted narrative…. Jakes is particularly adept at capturing the splendid desolation of the untamed West, the mind-numbing isolation of duty with the frontier Army, and the unremitting brutality of the subjugation of the American Indian."
Jakes's novel Homeland captures another classic American scene—the European immigrant era around the turn of the twentieth century. The story's protagonist, Pauli Kroner, is fourteen years old in 1892, when he is sent by his ailing German aunt to live with relatives in Chicago. Renamed Paul Crown, the boy enters the prosperous household of his uncle Joe, who runs a brewery. While working at the brewery along with Joe's son, Joe, Jr., Paul gains first-hand knowledge of the labor-management rifts that characterized the last decade of the nineteenth century. When a labor strike at the brewery results in a bombing that kills three workers, Joe, Jr., is implicated. He runs away to the West coast, and Uncle Joe blames Paul for assisting his son and banishes Paul from the house. The event provides Paul with the opportunity to seek work in a field he loves—photography. He begins working for a shady photographer and motion picture camera innovator and eventually finds his way to Cuba during the Spanish-American War of 1898. There, while working on his photography, he meets many famous people, including Theodore Roosevelt. He also becomes reacquainted with his cousin, Joe, Jr.
Writing in the New York Times Book Review, Frank Wilson called Jakes "a master of the ancient art of storytelling" and declared that the author "portrays Paul's world with an admirable combination of sympathy and detachment." Washington Post Book World reviewer Bruce Cook concluded: "Jakes researches exhaustively. He writes acceptably. He is a master of an old-fashioned sort of novel that readers still enjoy."
American Dreams is a sequel to Homeland and covers the years 1906 to 1917. The action revolves around Joe Crown, now a beer baron whose daughter, Fritzi, "defies her father to purse a dreadfully unsuccessful New York stage career," according to a Publishers Weekly reviewer. Fritzi's ambition takes her to Hollywood, where the film industry is in its infancy. American Dreams interweaves the fictional characters with such real-life figures as Charlie Chaplin and Thomas Edison. One character even matches wits with Kaiser Wilhelm. Eric Robbins, contributor to Booklist found that this book showcases Jakes's "pleasant storytelling style" and provides "a popular vehicle for readers who want tasty vignettes of the past."
Jakes marked his fiftieth year as a writer with the publication of On Secret Service. This novel explores a little-regarded aspect of the U.S. Civil War: the development of the U.S. Secret Service and its role following the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. Booklist reviewer Brad Hooper found that in Jakes's hands Washington is found "brimming with as much espionage as a European capital during one of that continent's frequent internecine struggles." The author's historical research is "impeccable," according to Kelly Milner Halls in Book, and the critic added praise for the author's character development and singled out the secondary characters who propel the story line. To a Publishers Weekly contributor, On Secret Service showed Jakes as no less than "the foremost historical novelist of our national conflict."
Jakes is editor of the collection A Century of Great Western Stories, an anthology of thirty short stories written over the previous century by such masters of the genre as Zane Grey, Owen Wister, Max Brand, and Luke Short. The collection also includes more contemporary Western writers, such as Elmer Kelton, Bill Pronzini, and Brian Garfield. All stories are set in the Old West, and several were the basis for important Western films. John M. Cunningham's "The Tin Star" (1947) was adapted for the film High Noon, and John Ford's legendary Stagecoach is based on "Stage to Lordsburg" (1937), by Ernest Haycox, although plots and endings were changed in producing the films. A Publishers Weekly contributor noted what he felt to be the best of the collection, including "Sweet Cactus Wine," a tale of a woman's revenge by Marcia Muller, and "Sergeant Houck," Jack Schaefer's story of a compassionate cavalryman. Many of the stories are reproduced here for the first time since they were published in the pulps of the 1930s through the 1950s. The reviewer concluded by writing that "their appeal is as fresh as ever."
Discussing his novel Charleston, Jakes explained that it came about "from my fascination with much of the largely unknown history of the state where I've lived for the past twenty-five years. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries Charleston aristocrats controlled South Carolina, and South Carolina was a significant power in national affairs—sometimes beneficially, sometimes with a tragic result, notably the Civil War. The point I make about the book is this—in the years I've written about, roughly 1780 to Reconstruction, South Carolina history is American history in the fullest sense."
Published shortly after Charleston, Savannah: or, A Gift for Mr. Lincoln, takes place during the winter of 1864 as the Civil War rages on. Union general William T. Sherman is making his way toward the coastline with his troops, along the way scooping up anything of economic value, burning towns, and leaving innocent civilians at the hands of the looters who follow in his wake. Jakes presents a story of "a charming widow and her young daughter, who are determined to prevent General Sherman from making Savannah a ‘gift for Mr. Lincoln,’" according to Library Journal reviewer Barbara Hoffert. Jay Freeman, contributor to Booklist commented: "Although Jakes occasionally takes liberties with historical facts, he does recreate the spirit of the times, in the process telling a whopping good story," and creating "a fine work of popular historical fiction."
Jakes's later works include The Gods of Newport: A Novel. Set in the late nineteenth century on the shores of Newport, Rhode Island, it is the tale of the fabulously wealthy and exclusive Newport set that summers there. Sam Driver is a former bank robber, now a railroad tycoon, who wants to break into the magical inner circle, in part to introduce his beautiful daughter Jenny into high society. Jenny loves a poor Irish boy but is forced by her father to marry a wealthy and titled scoundrel.
Library Journal contributor Robert Conroy commented that this novel "is more a romance than an epic." Margaret Flanagan noted in Booklist, that here again, Jakes portrays the world of the rich, and of the poor who serve them. Flanagan wrote that Jakes "has fashioned yet another breezy, easy-to-read piece of historical fiction, sure to please his many fans."
Meredith Allard interviewed Jakes for the Copperfield Review online and commented on the fact that Charles Dickens is Jakes's favorite writer, as he notes on his Web site. When Allard asked Jakes what he has learned from Dickens, he replied: "For years, I searched for a definitive statement of the difference between popular and ‘literary’ fiction. Finally, an editor I met at a writers' conference came up with it. He said popular fiction is about the story, while literary fiction is about the words. I have held to that definition ever since, and because of it, I realized what is, to me, the real nature of Charles Dickens's genius: he could write both kinds of fiction in a single work."
Viewing Jakes's career overall, Greenberg and Herrscher maintain that his "historical novels cannot be judged by usual literary standards. They are unabashedly fiction for the mass market, and it cannot be expected that they display the virtues of interpretive fiction…. Jakes's novels do not provide that main quality we expect from interpretive fiction: a sharper and deeper awareness of life, often in memorable prose. But Jakes has not claimed to be this kind of writer. In an afterword to North and South he says that his primary purpose is to entertain; and if a writer is to be judged solely on the success of his intentions, then John Jakes is without doubt one of the most successful and important writers in the history of commercial fiction."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Contemporary Literary Criticism, Volume 29, Gale (Detroit, MI) 1984.
Contemporary Southern Writers, St. James Press (Detroit, MI), 1999.
Dictionary of Literary Biography Yearbook: 1983, Gale (Detroit, MI) 1984.
Hawkins, R., The Kent Family Chronicles Encyclopedia, Bantam (New York, NY) 1979.
St. James Guide to Science Fiction Writers, 4th edition, St. James Press (Detroit, MI), 1996.
Book, July-August, 2000, Kelly Milner Halls, review of On Secret Service, p. 78.
Booklist, October 15, 1994, Wes Lukowsky, review of New Trails: Twenty-three Original Stories of the West from Western Writers of America, p. 403; May 1, 1998, Eric Robbins, review of American Dreams, p. 1477; March 15, 2000, Brad Hooper, review of On Secret Service, p. 1292; July, 2004, Jay Freeman, review of Savannah: or, A Gift for Mr. Lincoln, p. 1799; September 15, 2006, Margaret Flanagan, review of The Gods of Newport: A Novel, p. 6.
Center for Children's Books Bulletin, June, 1986, review of Susanna of the Alamo: A True Story, p. 186.
Current Biography, September, 1988, "Jakes, John William," p. 19.
Drood Review of Mystery, November, 2001, review of Crime Time: Mystery and Suspense Stories, p. 11.
Kirkus Reviews, May 15, 1998, review of American Dreams, p. 690; September 15, 2006, review of The Gods of Newport, p. 925.
Kliatt, March, 2007, Jean Palmer, review of The Gods of Newport, p. 51.
Library Journal, November 1, 1984, review of Love and War, p. 2079; February 15, 1991, Robert Jordan, review of The Best Western Stories of John Jakes, p. 221; October 1, 1994, Robert Jordan, review of New Trails, p. 117; July, 1999, review of North and South, p. 53; March 15, 2000, review of A Century of Great Western Stories, p. 131; March 15, 2000, Robert Conroy, review of On Secret Service, p. 127; June 1, 2004, Barbara Hoffert, review of Savannah, p. 101; November 1, 2006, Robert Conroy, review of The Gods of Newport, p. 68.
Los Angeles Times, December 2, 1984, Garry Abrams, review of Love and War, p. 8.
New York Times Book Review, November 4, 1984, Robert P. Mills, review of Love and War, p. 24; April 27, 1986, review of Susanna of the Alamo, p. 25; October 8, 1989, Michael Pellecchia, review of California Gold, p. 24; August 22, 1993, Frank Wilson, review of Homeland, p. 14.
Parents Magazine, November, 1986, review of Susanna of the Alamo, p. 72.
People, December 3, 1984, review of Love and War, p. 23; July 13, 1998, Erica Sanders, review of American Dreams, p. 47.
PR Newswire, April 19, 2007, "Western Writers of America Honoring John Jakes for Lifetime Achievement."
Publishers Weekly, September 28, 1984, review of Love and War, p. 98; April 25, 1986, Diane Roback, review of Susanna of the Alamo, p. 78; July 28, 1989, Sybil Steinberg, review of California Gold, p. 204; September 7, 1990, review of California Gold, p. 82; October 3, 1994, review of New Trails, p. 53; May 25, 1998, review of American Dreams, p. 64; February 28, 2000, review of A Century of Great Western Stories, p. 59; April 17, 2000, review of On Secret Service, p. 49; October 2, 2006, review of The Gods of Newport, p. 36.
Reading Teacher, January, 1987, Sam Leaton Sebesta, review of Susanna of the Alamo, p. 460.
Roundup Magazine, May, 1995, review of New Trails, p. 23; April, 2000, review of A Century of Great Western Stories, p. 33; August, 2000, review of A Century of Great Western Stories, p. 26; October, 2001, review of A Century of Great Western Stories, p. 30; June, 2007, "2007 Owen Wister Award: John Jakes Chronicles the Truth in Bestselling Historical Fiction," p. 28.
Sarasota, November, 2006, Kay Kipling, "The John Jakes Chronicles: As with Many of His Heroes, Writer John Jakes's Life is a Triumph of Determination," p. 62.
School Library Journal, August, 1986, Ruth M. McConnell, review of Susanna of the Alamo, p. 93.
Social Education, April, 1987, review of Susanna of the Alamo, p. 292.
Texas Monthly, January, 1990, Anne Dingus, review of Susanna of the Alamo, p. 132.
Washington Post, November 3, 1984, Rory Quirk, review of Love and War, p. 2.
Washington Post Book World, July 18, 1993, Bruce Cook, review of Homeland, p. 1.
Writer's Digest, February, 1998, Donald McKinney, "John Jakes: ‘I'll Never Stop,’" p. 26.
Bookreporter.com,http://www.bookreporter.com/ (August 9, 2002), interview; (November 28, 2007), biography.
Copperfield Review,http://www.copperfieldreview.com/ (November 28, 2007), Meredith Allard, "An Interview with John Jakes."
John Jakes Home Page,http://www.johnjakes.com (August 19, 2004).