In the press

His enthusiasm is infectious… he entertains and illuminates, writing gracefully, and with a fine sense of irony… He’s funny and he’s fair and he swims well against powerful cultural cross-currents.New York Times Book Review

Thurston Clarke’s work has been widely reviewed and highly acclaimed in the press. Interviews with the author and excerpts of his books are regularly published in print and online.

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Excerpts of JFK’s Last Hundred Days featured in Vanity Fair (July 2013), Salon.com, and MSNBC.

Reviews of JFK’s Last Hundred Days

“Thurston Clarke has done the seemingly impossible: he has found a revealing new angle of vision on John F. Kennedy that brings the president and his times back to vivid life. This is excellent narrative history.”
—Jon Meacham, New York Times bestselling author of Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power

“Clarke makes the drama, the excitement, and the dark side of Camelot seem like only yesterday—indeed, you feel as though you’re right there, in the Kennedy White House, at Hyannis Port, and aboard Air Force One with JFK, today.”
—Strobe Talbott, President, Brookings Institution

“Certainly demonstrates that three often painful years in office had taught Kennedy valuable lessons… Clarke delivers a thoroughly delightful portrait… few will put it down.”
Kirkus
» Read the full starred review

“The three-months before President John F. Kennedy was shot in Dallas were frenetic times: civil rights, Vietnam, Berlin and reelection were on his mind. Thurston Clarke’s JFK’s Last Hundred Days does a marvelous job of reliving Camelot’s fragile promise. Clarke is a masterful storyteller and able researcher. This book sings. Highly recommended.”
—Douglas Brinkley, author of Cronkite

“A fascinating close-up look at the final dramatic months of a young president’s life. Thurston Clarke’s portrait of Kennedy is masterful in this compelling convergence of history and biography.”
—Bob Herbert, Distinguished Senior Fellow at Demos and former Op-Ed Columnist for the New York Times.

“A graceful, bittersweet chronicle of President Kennedy’s final months… Those who remember Kennedy and those too young to do so, will find this an absorbing narrative.”
—Karl Helicher, Library Journal Review
» Read the full review

“As we approach [its] 50th anniversary… there will be a slew of books on John F. Kennedy’s death, but the early prize goes to historian Thurston Clarke’s meticulous reconstruction of JFK’s Last Hundred Days. Here we see a president in action, a man maturing and developing as a thinker and executive, and so we are haunted all over again by what might have come next.”
—Jimmy So and Lucas Whittman, “Brainy Beach Reads,” The Daily Beast/Newsweek

“Thurston Clarke takes a fresh look… [a] compelling portrait of one of the towering figures of 20th-century America.”
The Christian Science Monitor, 10 best books of July

“Clarke has written a real page-turner… deftly weaving together the private, personal, and intimate with the public, the political, and the-then-secret public and political.”
—Harvey J. Kaye, author of Thomas Paine and the Promise of America, in The Daily Beast
» Read the full review

“…There will be few, if any, contributions more entertaining and informative than Thurston Clarke’s comprehensive chronological telling of his last 100 days in office… Now, as Clarke underlines so well, we can still only wonder what might have been.”
—Jurek Martin, Financial Times
» Read the full review

“Mr Clarke is a good storyteller, and his account—one of many JFK books timed for the 50th anniversary of the assassination—offers an enjoyable snapshot of the day-to-day workings of the presidency.”
The Economist
» Read the full review

“…A superb piece of writing—richly detailed and, considering that the end is all too well known, surprisingly enthralling.”
—Frank Gannon, Wall Street Journal
» Read the full review

“A wonderful new book…”
—Marc Ambinder, The Week

“A gracefully written, fresh look at the oft-told story… Clarke throws light on personal details to bring his subject vibrantly alive.”
—Don Graham, The Dallas Morning News

“Thurston Clarke has written a superb book… We see… a composite portrait of a ‘casually gracious’ man who, despite his flaws, was principally characterised by ‘nobility and sacrifice.’”
—Roger Lewis, The Daily Mail (U.K.)
» Read the full review

“All of the upcoming retrospectives will be hard-pressed to match the haunting work of Thurston Clarke…  Agree with him or not, Clarke has delivered a compelling history in an interesting manner… That he has done so while writing about the nation’s most glamorized presidency borders on the miraculous.”
—Erik Spanberg, The Christian Science Monitor
» Read the full review

Interviews

With Peace Corps Writers

Reviews of Ask Not

In the San Francisco Chronicle, Los Angeles Timesand The New Yorker

Reviews of The Last Campaign

“A stunning, heartbreaking book, a reminder–which we badly need these days–of just how noble public life can be. Robert Kennedy’s brief, passionate 1968 presidential campaign set a standard of courage and candor and sheer gorgeous language that is unlikely ever to be equaled. This is a book worthy of the man and that moment, an honorable and unforgettable piece of work. The Last Campaign should be required reading for anyone seeking public office, and for the rest of us, too.”—Joe Klein

“The Last Campaign is a great read, an evocative and engaging reminder of the glory and the tragedy of Bobby Kennedy’s run for the presidency in 1968. Thurston Clarke’s keen eye for the telling detail and his fast-paced narrative make The Last Campaign a must-have for any student of American politics.”—Tom Brokaw

“The Last Campaign is a triumphant look at Robert F. Kennedy’s heartfelt plunge into the poverty underbelly of America. The reader can’t help but be moved at how deeply Kennedy cared about the underclass. Thurston Clarke has written a smart political book which actually inspires.”—Douglas Brinkley

“The Last Campaign is a magnificent account of the final months in the life of a man who changed so many of us, and the brilliantly told story of a campaign that broke our hearts.”—E.J. Dionne, author of Souled Out: Reclaiming Faith and Politics After the Religious Right

“Tremendously moving….Clarke compellingly recreates this “huge, joyous adventure”….Kennedy’s gradual but determined evolution into a fearless, formidable, winning candidate makes stupendous reading. The hope he inspired….still proves instructive and pertinent, especially in this election year. Generous without being slavish, beautifully capturing Kennedy’s passion and dignity.”—Kirkus (starred review)

“…revealing as an iconic portrait of the passionate, turbulent zeitgeist of the 1960s.”—Publisher’s Weekly

“I’ll be shocked if I read a more devastatingly beautiful book than Thurston Clarke’s The Last Campaign… this year… Robert F. Kennedy’s moral imagination shines in this book, so brightly, so compassionately, so full of literature and light and sacrifice, that it will haunt many readers who had hoped matters of war, poverty, and inequality might have been solved 40 years ago.”- The Austin American-Statesman

“. . .The Last Campaign, a beautifully written and emotionally powerful examination of Robert F. Kennedy’s 1968 presidential campaign. . . Thurston Clarke has built The Last Campaign on an incredible amount of research, both archival and through hundreds of interviews with those who knew Kennedy best. The result is a vivid, intimate, historical portrait of a candidate who knew how to speak to an electorate amid troubled times. . . Clarke’s book will break your heart but it may also relieve your cynicism, reminding all of us that candidates need not pander to succeed.”—The Christian Science Monitor

“. . .The Last Campaign succeeds in framing a picture within a picture of a seminal year that reverberates to this day.”—St. Louis Post-Dispatch

“. . .very well written and offers a ringside seat on tumultuous times.”—Mike Barry

“Clarke’s findings help to explain the divisions that have riven this nation for a generation. Heed this book, therefore, for the ideals and resentments that dominated that election are starkly similar to the ones facing today’s voters.”—The Miami Herald

“…smart and well-reported, a vivid portrait of a politician coming to a moral reckoning…Clarke deftly details the chaotic rush of Kennedy’s campaign stops…”- The Los Angeles Times

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