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Thursday, February 22, 2024
Feb. 22, 2024

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U.S. Rep. John Lewis biography scheduled for fall


NEW YORK (AP) — An upcoming biography of the late U.S. Rep. John Lewis will draw upon hundreds of interviews, along with the civil rights activist’s FBI files and materials from a planned book that was never completed.

Historian David Greenberg’s “John Lewis: A Life” is scheduled for release next fall, Simon & Schuster announced Tuesday. Greenberg, a professor of history and journalism and media studies at Rutgers University, said in a statement that he began writing the book while Lewis was alive and that he had received his approval.

“Obviously I admired John Lewis at the start of this project,” he said. “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.”

According to Simon & Schuster, Greenberg will present “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.” Greenberg’s sources include an unfinished project by Lewis’ friend and fellow activist, Archie Allen, who had compiled dozens of interviews and 17 binders of documents.

Lewis, a Democrat from Georgia who died in 2020 at age 80, told part of his story in the memoir “Walking with the Wind.” Jon Meacham’s best-selling biography, “His Truth Is Marching On,” came out shortly after Lewis’ death and focused on his years in the civil rights movement.

Greenberg’s books include “Nixon’s Shadow: The History of an Image” and “Republic of Spin: An Inside History of the American Presidency.”