Path Lit by Lightning: The Life of Jim Thorpe
The New Biography By Pulitzer Prize-Winning Author, David Maraniss
David Maraniss is a New York Times bestselling author and associate editor at The Washington Post. He is a three-time Pulitzer Prize finalist and won a Pulitzer for National Reporting for his 1992 coverage of then-presidential candidate Bill Clinton.
“As a journalist for almost 45 years, and now author for more than 25, I’ve learned that there’s always more.”
David was also part of The Washington Post team that won a Pulitzer for their 2007 coverage of the Virginia Tech shooting. His writing has won several other notable awards, including the George Polk Award, Robert F. Kennedy Book Award, Anthony Lukas Book Prize, and Frankfurt eBook Award. He currently lives in Washington D.C. and Madison, WI with his wife Linda.
A Good American Family – The Red Scare and My Father
“Clear-eyed and empathetic, Maraniss’s engrossing portrait of a patriotic, baseball-loving red reveals the complex human motivations underneath the era’s clashing dogmas.”
Once in a Great City – A Detroit Story
“…Motown is clearly where Maraniss’s heart is, and it is where his materials—music, race, civil rights—come together most naturally… You finish Once in a Great City feeling mildly shattered, which is exactly as it should be.”
They Marched into Sunlight – War and Peace – Vietnam and America – October 1967
“My nominee for must-read nonfiction book of the year… They Marched Into Sunlight is that miraculous thing, a substantive, exhaustively researched work of history that reads like a novel.”
When Pride Still Mattered – A Life of Vince Lombardi
“Forges a near-perfect synthesis of fine writing and fascinating material. May be the best sports biography ever published.”
Barack Obama – The Story
“This is a revelatory book… which will certainly shape our understanding of President Obama’s strengths, weaknesses, and inscrutabilities. Every few pages Maraniss offers a factual nugget that changes or enlarges the prevailing lore.”
Clemente – The Passion and Grace of Baseball’s Last Hero
“Maraniss brings imagination, energy, and even poetry to his superb biography of one of the greatest ballplayers ever to delight a stadium full of fans.”
First in His Class – A Biography of Bill Clinton
“First in His Class is a triumph of American political biography.”
Rome 1960 – The Summer Olympics that Stirred the World
“Evocative, entertaining and often suspenseful – sports history at a very high standard.”
Baltimore, MD: Enoch Pratt Free LibraryEnoch Pratt Free Library @Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and bestselling biographer David Maraniss will recount the life of Jim Thorpe, arguably the greatest athlete of modern times. Thorpe was a gold medal Olympian in the decathlon and pentathlon, a member of the first class of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and a professional baseball player. He was also a member of the Sac and Fox Nation, who faced discrimination throughout his life…
Carlisle, PA: Whistlestop BookshopBosler Memorial Library @Whistlestop Bookshop offsite at Bosler Memorial Library, in conversation with Barb Landis.
Review: The Greatest Athlete of All Time? Jim Thorpe.
“Maraniss continually yet gently returns to an affirmation. He insists that taken as a whole, Jim Thorpe’s story is not one of prejudice, nor the hypocrisy of others, nor even of the superstar who doesn’t…
Review: The incredible feats and lonely life of sports legend Jim Thorpe
“In death as in life, then, Thorpe was a celebrated hero, but one commodified beyond his control and stripped of his authentic identity. ‘Path Lit by Lightning’ tells his story with skill and integrity.”
Opinion | Athletic prowess, racism are central themes in new Jim Thorpe book
“Maraniss takes the reader on a 574-page journey through Thorpe’s glorious yet tumultuous life, one marked by divorces, alcoholism, late-life obscurity and poverty … What distinguishes any Maraniss book, biography or otherwise, is the depth…
Review: A legendary Native athlete is restored to glory by the Olympics and a rich new memoir
“David Maraniss’ new biography, Path Lit by Lightning, goes beyond the myth and into the guts of Thorpe’s life, using extensive research, historical nuance and bittersweet honesty to tell the story of a gifted and…
Opinion | Evjue grant honors Maraniss family and supports journalism
From the The Capital Times: The history of The Capital Times begins, of course, with William T. Evjue, who launched the newspaper in 1917 as a voice of the Progressive movement, but his is not…
Kelly Writers House: A Conversation with David Maraniss
David Maraniss speaks with Paul Hendrickson at the Kelly Writers House, located at the University of Pennsylvania.
Anthony Bourdain left behind a documentary series about Detroit. But will it be seen?
The journey of the documentary stretches back to “Once in a Great City: A Detroit Story,” the acclaimed 2015 book by Pulitzer winner David Maraniss.
Op-ed: A racist chant is not what patriotism looks like. This is.
From the Washington Post: The spectacle of men and women at President Trump’s rally in North Carolina on Wednesday chanting “ Send her back !” depressed me so much that I could only watch for…
An American Communist who paid too high a price
In this moment of dueling political hysterias (“The fascists are at the gates!” “The socialists are within the gates!”), it is reassuring to remember that the United States has quickly recovered from some previous plunges into overheated anxiety. David Maraniss understands this.
A Son’s Memoir of His Father’s Radical Beliefs, Pursuit by the F.B.I. and Ardent Love for America
From The New York Times: “Think of this story as a wheel,” David Maraniss writes in an author’s note at the beginning of his new book, “A Good American Family.” “The hearing in Room 740…
Podcast: Why is This Happening? w/ Chris Hayes?
Morning Joe: Interview
Author and professor David Maraniss discusses his father, Elliot, who was a WWII veteran, newspaper editor and ‘onetime card-carrying Communist.’ Maraniss writes about his father in his new book ‘A Good American Family
Face the Nation: Interview
Author and historian David Maraniss joined “Face the Nation” moderator Margaret Brennan to discuss his new book, “A Good American Family.”
Obama Biographer David Maraniss on His New Subject, His Blacklisted Father
Over the course of 11 books, including biographies of Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, Washington Post editor David Maraniss has mastered the craft of tracking political and intellectual history through private lives. In his latest, A Good American Family, the author turns to the story of his own father: Elliott Maraniss, longtime editor of the Capital Times in Madison, Wisconsin, and onetime card-carrying Communist, who died in 2004.
The Star Tribune: Review of ‘A Good American Family’
An acclaimed biographer turns his gaze onto his own family, and his father’s fervent political life.
A Good American Son
Madison rescued the Maraniss family, but for a long time, the third child, David, didn’t know how or why — not in detail, anyway.
A father, a son and how the Cap Times saved a family
How could a job offer, any job offer, save a family? Sounds hyperbolic, but it happened. For former Cap Times editor-in-chief Elliott Maraniss, his wife, Mary, and their four children, his start at the Cap Times in 1957 rescued a family that was both beleaguered and nomadic.
Book Deals: Week of March 11, 2019
Alice Mayhew, v-p and editorial director of Simon & Schuster, signed a deal with ICM’s Rafe Sagalyn for U.K., Canadian, and open market rights for Thorpe, a biography of Jim Thorpe by David Maraniss, the Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist
Aretha Franklin’s last name explained her
There was only one Aretha, but, in her case, the first-name recognition evoked so much more than pop celebrity.
The Collision Sport on Trial
Of the many sayings attributed to Vince Lombardi…the one that seems most relevant to football today is not about winning, the pursuit of excellence, or the importance of will and character, but rather this:“Football is not a contact sport; it is a collision sport.”
From The Washington Post: MY BIG brother Jim and I met on Pine Street in Center City Philadelphia on a midsummer morning. He was wearing khaki shorts and a green T-shirt that featured Peter Tosh,…