ADDRESSES: Office—Boston Globe, 135 Morrissey Blvd., Boston, MA 02107. E-mail—[email protected]
CAREER: Boston Globe, Boston, MA, staff reporter on local and national politics.
(With Brian C. Mooney and Nina J. Easton) John F. Kerry: The Complete Biography by the Boston Globe Reporters Who Know Him Best, PublicAffairs (New York, NY), 2004.
SIDELIGHTS: As a staff reporter for the Boston Globe, Michael Kranish has been covering the career of presidential candidate John Kerry for years. In 2003 Kranish contributed to a seven-part series printed in the Globe that presented a detailed profile of Kerry, including information on his ancestors, his war record, and his ascent in Massachusetts politics. Updated and expanded for the 2004 presidential race, John F. Kerry: The Complete Biography by the Boston Globe Reporters Who Know Him Best, written by Kranish, Brian C. Mooney, and Nina J. Easton, presents the Democratic senator as a principled man who has long held presidential ambitions.
One of the facts Kranish and his collaborators discovered about Kerry is that Kerry's paternal grandparents were Austrian Jews who converted to Catholicism and Anglicized their names. According to Gary Dorrien in the Christian Century, by dint of the reporters' efforts, "we know a great deal more about Kerry. And so does Kerry." Indeed, prior to John F. Kerry, the senator himself did not know that both of his grandparents were Jewish. John F. Kerry also examines Kerry's participation in the Vietnam War as commander of a swift boat and his subsequent activism against the war when he returned from its battlefields. In a Boston Globe review, Harris Collingwood noted that the authors' coverage of Kerry's wartime experiences "is spine-tingling, heart-stirring stuff, and it ought to shame into silence those who, at three decades' remove, have latterly sought to cast doubt on Kerry's valor in combat."
Several reviewers commended John F. Kerry in particular for its unbiased portrait of a presidential candidate. Library Journal contributor Michael A. Genovese found the book "noteworthy for its balance and thoroughness." According to Anthony Howard in the Spectator, the work is less "a dazzling encomium" than "a cool (and at times almost chilling) assessment of the various episodes that have gone into the making of the career of the present junior senator from Massachusetts." A Publishers Weekly critic deemed John F. Kerry a "major serious examination of a man who would be president," while Michiko Kakutani concluded in the New York Times: "The voter can only wish that there were as thorough, up-to-date and probing a biography of George W. Bush available before the election."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Boston Globe, July 25, 2004, Harris Collingwood, "What Makes George and John Run?," p. E6.
Christian Century, August 24, 2004, Gary Dorrien, review of John F. Kerry: The Complete Biography by the Boston Globe Reporters Who Know Him Best, p. 18.
Library Journal, June 1, 2004, Michael A. Genovese, review of John F. Kerry, p. 158.
New York Times, May 4, 2004, Michiko Kakutani, review of John F. Kerry, p. E1.
Publishers Weekly, April 19, 2004, review of John F. Kerry, p. 58.
Spectator, June 5, 2004, Anthony Howard, "An Ersatz Boston Brahmin," p. 43.*