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Renehan, Edward J(ohn), Jr. 1956-

RENEHAN, Edward J(ohn), Jr. 1956-

PERSONAL: Born August 7, 1956, in New York, NY; son of Edward John (a purchasing agent) and Joan (a homemaker; maiden name, Salvesen) Renehan; married Christa Bartkovick (a graphic artist), August 24, 1985; children: William James, Katherine Eleanor. Politics: "Generally left of center."

ADDRESSES: Home—Wickford, RI. Agent—Chris Calhoun, Sterling-Lord Literistic, 65 Bleecker St., New York, NY 10012.

CAREER: Writer.

WRITINGS:

(Editor) The Clearwater Songbook, G. Schirmer (New York, NY), 1980.

(Editor) John Burroughs, A River View and Other Hudson Valley Essays, North River (Croton-on-Hudson, NY), 1981.

John Burroughs: An American Naturalist (biography), Chelsea Green (Post Mills, VT), 1992.

The Secret Six: The True Tale of the Men Who Conspired with John Brown (nonfiction), Crown (New York, NY), 1995.

1001 Really Cool Web Sites, Jamsa Press (Las Vegas, NV), 1995.

1001 Programming Resources, Jamsa Press (Las Vegas, NV), 1996.

Science on the Web: A Connoisseur's Guide to Over500 of the Best, Most Useful, and Most Fun Science Websites, Springer (New York, NY), 1996.

Net Worth: Creating and Maximizing Wealth with theInternet, Jamsa Press (Las Vegas, NV), 1996, revised edition published as Net Worth: Using the Internet for Personal Financial Planning, Butterworth-Heinemann (Boston, MA), 2001.

Great American Websites: An Online Discovery of aHidden America, Osborne McGraw-Hill (Berkeley, CA), 1997.

The Lion's Pride: Theodore Roosevelt and His Family in Peace and War, (nonfiction), Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 1998.

The Kennedys at War, 1937-1945, Doubleday (New York, NY), 2002.

Contributor to periodicals, including American Scholar, Conservationist, and Hudson Valley Magazine.

SIDELIGHTS: Edward J. Renehan, Jr. is the author of numerous biographies, including John Burroughs: An American Naturalist, which relates the life story of the celebrated conservationist and nature writer of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Robert McCracken Peck, in his New York Times Book Review assessment of John Burroughs, described the legendary naturalist as "a champion of hard work and simple country living" and quoted the man who was the most popular nature writer of his time on his philosophy: "Wisdom cannot come by railroad or automobile, or aeroplane, or be hurried up by telegraph or telephone, [but only in] simple things, modest wants, agrarian independence and the value of a kinship to place." Renehan once explained his own interest in Burroughs to CA: "Who could be more fascinating than a pioneer nineteenth-century naturalist and essayist who, long before the stylish environmentalism of our own day, wrote that cities were the 'devil's laboratory' and that, in order to endure, man had to develop a relationship with nature that did not 'vulgarize it and rob it of its divinity'?" Peck praised Renehan's book: "In John Burroughs, Mr. Renehan . . . [reveals] a far more complex and interesting man than other biographers have described."

In The Lion's Pride: Theodore Roosevelt and His Family in Peace and War, Renehan chronicles the life of this powerful U.S. president, and the effect he had on his family. Theodore Roosevelt was a forceful figure, but also a gentle father who was deeply involved in the lives of his children. Honor, duty, and bold heroism were all vital qualities, as far as Roosevelt was concerned. He personally demonstrated all of these traits. In battle, he proved more than willing to risk his own life as well as those of his men. In the political arena, he dreamed of forging a global alliance with Britain that would ensure world peace. Yet when World War I came, he considered it a noble cause, and encouraged his sons to join the fighting in Europe. The family paid dearly, with the youngest son killed, another the victim of nerve gas, and another badly injured. The Lion's Pride is "a superb, real-life family saga," claimed Jay Freeman in Booklist. Jonathan Shipley, a reviewer for BookBrowser, stated that The Lion's Pride is "filled with the voices of the entire Roosevelt Family, thought, letters and speeches and memories," which together create "a fabric.... This fabric is an American family, as powerful and thought provoking as the Kennedys today. And Renehan has taken this fabric, and woven an intricate tapestry of their lives."

Another famous American political family, the Kennedy clan, is the subject of Renehan's The Kennedys at War, 1937-1945. The author focuses on the war years, which he views as a turning point for the family as a whole. Joseph Kennedy, Sr. had remained staunchly isolationist as World War II had loomed; his son John, the future president, first asserted his independence by disagreeing with his father over this position. The elder Kennedy's political aspirations rested largely on his namesake, but Joe, Jr. was killed in World War II. John, meanwhile, fought in the Pacific, where his PT boat was sunk by the enemy. Although for a time it seemed the incident might lead to a court-martial, it in fact led to Kennedy being proclaimed a war hero. World War II had its effects on other members of the family, too; a sister, Kathleen, was widowed when her husband was killed in battle, and she herself died in a plane crash not long thereafter. This book is "a well-written, well-researched account," deemed a Publishers Weekly writer, and the author makes a convincing case that "the war was the transformative experience of young JFK's life."

Renehan once told CA: "I am fascinated by the process of biography and historical narrative. Throughout my schooling, my two great loves were always the subjects of history and composition. Merging these two things, I find my voice as an author. The past—and, of particular importance to me, the American past—is full of wonderful untold stories that lay waiting down at the far ends of neglected corridors of memory, ready to enlighten us on the sources of the political and social milieu of our day.

"Today—amid the multitude of environmental, social, and ethical crises that confront us—we desperately need lore from the past that provides models of forbears who, guided by the light of their own sense of justice and truth, went against long odds to stand up for what they believed. We need to be reminded, for example, of George Luther Stearns, a figure in my book The Secret Six. Stearns was a wealthy Boston merchant in the 1850s who risked literally everything he had (and also risked the gallows) to aid the abolitionist militiaman John Brown. So long as I can bring such men as John Burroughs and Stearns to life in my pages for the education and enlightenment of contemporaries who want their example, I'll feel that I'm doing good work."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

American Heritage, September, 1995, review of TheSecret Six: The True Tale of the Men Who Conspired with John Brown, p. 98.

American Scholar, spring, 1996, review of The SecretSix, p. 309.

Booklist, September 1, 1998, Jay Freeman, review of The Lion's Pride: Theodore Roosevelt and His Family in Peace and War, p. 62; February 15, 2000, Donna Seaman, review of The Secret Six, p. 1078.

Bookwatch, September, 1997, review of Great American Websites: An Online Discovery of a Hidden America, p. 7.

Choice, March, 1993, review of John Burroughs: AnAmerican Naturalist, p. 1151; March, 1997, review of Science on the Web: A Connoisseur's Guide to Over 500 of the Best, Most Useful, and Most Fun Science Websites, p. 1180.

Computer Book Review, fall, 1997, review of GreatAmerican Websites, p. 28.

Kirkus Reviews, March 15, 1995, review of The SecretSix, p. 368; August 1, 1998, review of The Lion's Pride, p. 1096; February 1, 2002, review of The Kennedys at War, 1937-1945, p. 168.

Knowledge Quest, January, 1998, review of GreatAmerican Websites, p. 71.

Library Journal, April 1, 1995, review of The SecretSix, p. 110; September 1, 1997, review of Great American Websites, p. 212; August, 1998, Karl Helicher, review of The Lion's Pride, p. 104.

New England Quarterly, December, 1995, review of The Secret Six, p. 669.

New Yorker, September 11, 1995, review of The SecretSix, p. 93.

New York Times Book Review, December 13, 1992; August 20, 1995, review of The Secret Six, p. 14; October 18, 1998, Robert W. Merry, review of The Lion's Pride, p. 35.

Publishers Weekly, March 27, 1995, review of The Secret Six, p. 69; August 17, 1998, review of The Lion's Pride, p. 53; March 11, 2002, review of The Kennedys at War, 1937-1945, p. 62.

Science Books and Films, April, 1993, review of JohnBurroughs, p. 75; May, 1993, review of John Burroughs, p. 105.

Sierra, July-August, 1993, Kathleen Courrier, review of John Burroughs, p. 88.

Western American Literature, November, 1993, review of John Burroughs, p. 246.

Wilson Library Bulletin, April, 1995, review of JohnBurroughs, p. 46.

ONLINE

BookBrowser,http://www.bookbrowser.com/ (April 30, 2002), Jonathan Shipley, review of The Lion's Pride.

Review Zone,http://www.thereviewzone.com/ (April 30, 2002), Tina Velgos, review of Great American Websites.*

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