Whalen, Thomas J. 1964-
Whalen, Thomas J. 1964-
Born November 5, 1964. Education: Bates College, B.A.; Boston College, M.A., Ph.D.
Home—Boston, MA. Office—Boston University, 1 Sherborn St., Boston, MA 02215. E-mail—[email protected]
Academic. Boston University, Boston, MA, associate professor of social science. Formerly a sports journalist.
Kennedy versus Lodge: The 1952 Massachusetts Senate Race, foreword by Robert Dallek, Northeastern University Press (Boston, MA), 2000.
Dynasty's End: Bill Russell and the 1968-69 World Champion Boston Celtics, Northeastern University Press (Boston, MA), 2004.
A Higher Purpose: Profiles in Presidential Courage, Ivan R. Dee (Chicago, IL), 2007.
Thomas J. Whalen is an academic. After completing a master of arts and Ph.D. at Boston College, Whalen went on to become an associate professor of social sciences at his alma mater.
Whalen published his first book, Kennedy versus Lodge: The 1952 Massachusetts Senate Race, in 2000. Written with a foreword by Robert Dallek, the book outlines the significant win John F. Kennedy made over Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr., for a Massachusetts senate seat in 1952, marking the beginning of a Democratic-dominated state and Kennedy's own ascension to new political heights. Whalen also looks at how external characters, including Joseph McCarthy, Dwight D. Eisenhower, women voters, and unions, influenced the race. Mary Carroll, writing in Booklist, described the work as "an involving study." Writing in Library Journal, Thomas J. Baldino said Kennedy versus Lodge is an "excellent book," suggesting that "perhaps this should be required reading for today's candidates."
Whalen published his second book, Dynasty's End: Bill Russell and the 1968-69 World Champion Boston Celtics, in 2004. The book examines basketball player Bill Russell and his role with the Boston Celtics, who won eleven championships in his thirteen years with the team. Whalen shows how the team, most of them nearing middle age, were able to close the 1960s with one final championship win, ending a basketball dynasty.
Writing in Library Journal, James Miller found the account to be "in-depth … without being dry." Miller concluded: "Well written and researched, this is a book with something for fans and scholars alike." Booklist contributor Wes Lukowsky remarked that "Whalen misses the mark slightly" when it comes to analyzing the relationship between the Celtics and the city of Boston. Lukowsky noted, however, that Whalen "scores big in his examination of the pride, determination, and mutual respect" that allowed the team to win the championship that year.
In 2007 Whalen published A Higher Purpose: Profiles in Presidential Courage. The account looks at nine U.S. presidents at moments when their often significant decisions went against their own or their party's interests. Topics covered in the text include Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation, Carter's secession of the Panama Canal, Garfield's backing of Hawaii's annexation, and Franklin Delano Roosevelt's Lend Lease agreement with Britain.
Karl Helicher, writing in ForeWord Magazine, found the essays in the book to be "based on secondary sources and offer little for the scholar. However, for high school students, undergraduates, and general readers, they are an enjoyable and informative recounting of some of American history's greatest events and of the brave presidential decisions that made them possible." A contributor to Publishers Weekly took issue with a few elements in the book, but concluded that "these quibbles aside, Whalen's study constitutes intriguingly construed history, eloquently told." A critic writing in Kirkus Reviews described the account as "a highly readable exercise forthrightly modeled on JFK's Profiles in Courage," calling it "uneven but entertaining."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, November 1, 2000, Mary Carroll, review of Kennedy versus Lodge: The 1952 Massachusetts Senate Race, p. 498; November 15, 2003, Wes Lukowsky, review of Dynasty's End: Bill Russell and the 1968-69 World Champion Boston Celtics, p. 563.
Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries, March, 2001, J.P. Sanson, review of Kennedy versus Lodge, p. 1334; April 2004, H.F. Kenny, review of Dynasty's End, p. 1513.
ForeWord Magazine, September-October, 2007, Karl Helicher, review of A Higher Purpose: Profiles in Presidential Courage.
Journal of American History, March, 2002, Gary W. Reichard, review of Kennedy versus Lodge, p. 1608.
Kirkus Reviews, June 15, 2007, review of A Higher Purpose.
Library Journal, September 15, 2000, Thomas J. Baldino, review of Kennedy versus Lodge, p. 97; December, 2003, James Miller, review of Dynasty's End, p. 129.
Midwest Book Review, September, 2007, review of A Higher Purpose.
Publishers Weekly, May 21, 2007, review of A Higher Purpose, p. 43.
Reference & Research Book News, February, 2001, review of Kennedy versus Lodge, p. 49; November, 2007, review of A Higher Purpose.
Boston University, College of General Studies Web site,http://www.bu.edu/ (February 16, 2008), author profile.