Simon & Schuster announced today that it will publish a comprehensive, authoritative life of John Lewis, from his extraordinary contributions to the Civil Rights movement in the 1960s to his emergence as “the conscience of the Congress” and national icon. In researching the book, author David Greenberg spoke to approximately 275 friends, relatives, and associates of Lewis. He interviewed all of Lewis’s six congressional chiefs of staff and interviewed Lewis himself three times, twice during the last months of his life. Among other sources, he drew on never-before-used FBI files and an extensive file of papers from a longtime friend of Lewis who had intended to write a biography but never did.
“Obviously I admired John Lewis at the start of this project. I’m grateful to have been able to meet with him at the start of my research and get his blessing,” said Greenberg. “But in the course of it I came to see him as a more complicated person than his public image, and also as a more pragmatic and canny politician than I think most people realized.”
During his research Greenberg was awarded fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the Cullman Center at the New York Public Library, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Leon Levy Center for Biography.
David Greenberg is a professor of history and journalism at Rutgers, and author of several books about American history and politics. Visit: https://greenberg.rutgers.edu/.
Robert Bender, Vice President, Executive Editor at Simon & Schuster, bought North America and open market, first serial, and audio rights from Peter Matson of Sterling Lord Literistic.