Books by Jim Lehrer

Jim Lehrer is the anchor and executive editor of The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer on PBS and the author of numerous novels, nonfiction books, and plays. He was a 1999 recipient of a National Humanities Medal for his journalism and writing. He lives in Washing


TOP DOWN by Jim Lehrer
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 8, 2013

"A footnote to the vast library surrounding the JFK assassination, but a good read nonetheless."
Who shot JFK? In longtime PBS stalwart Lehrer's novel, the question better becomes: How shot JFK? Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Sept. 13, 2011

"A limited but entertaining peek at some of what goes on behind the curtain."
Award-winning NewsHour anchor Lehrer (Super, 2010, etc.) discusses the televised presidential election debates he and others have covered. Read full book review >
SUPER by Jim Lehrer
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: April 27, 2010

"A pipe dream of a world in which mere mortals can't imagine any higher honor than dying aboard the Super Chief."
Everyone's dying to take the Super Chief in TV newsman Lehrer's 20th novel, which, like his 19th (Oh, Johnny, 2009), is a valentine to the days when life and death seemed simpler, even if the people who lived and died weren't. Read full book review >
OH, JOHNNY by Jim Lehrer
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 31, 2009

"The understated tone of this Everyman's Citizen Kane perfectly suits Lehrer's gifts, as he eschews his usual satiric stance for a warmhearted evocation of the road not taken."
A young ex-Marine pursues two ideals, a major-league baseball career and a young woman he knows only as Betsy, in Lehrer's bittersweet 19th novel (Mack to the Rescue, 2008, etc.). Read full book review >
MACK TO THE RESCUE by Jim Lehrer
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: May 1, 2008

"Perhaps the best of all Mack's adventures. He even gets to try his hand at some shuttle diplomacy worthy of a Henry Kissinger with heart."
A chance remark on a call-in radio show throws The One-Eyed Mack into the Oklahoma governor's race. And it's not even his remark. Read full book review >
EUREKA by Jim Lehrer
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 9, 2007

"Harmless fun for old guys."
An impulsive purchase at an antiques show is the first step in the liberation of a Kansas insurance executive from the life he was never meant to live. Read full book review >
THE PHONY MARINE by Jim Lehrer
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Nov. 14, 2006

"Bad news indeed: unconvincing and instantly forgettable."
The Washington newsman's 16th novel portrays the misadventures of a "straight and dull clothing salesman" who fabricates a new life that he can't fit comfortably into. Read full book review >
THE FRANKLIN AFFAIR by Jim Lehrer
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 24, 2005

"Television anchor Lehrer (Flying Crows, 2004, etc.) offers light amusement in an academia where everyone seems perpetually on leave, classroom drudgery a thing unknown."
A diversion about scholars of early American history who venerate Ben Franklin—who may have been as unscrupulous as many of them seem to be. Read full book review >
FLYING CROWS by Jim Lehrer
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 18, 2004

"A disjointed oddity, well below Lehrer's best work. "
The prolific author (No Certain Rest, 2002, etc.) and PBS anchor takes two lunatic asylum inmates for protagonists in his quirky latest. Read full book review >
NO CERTAIN REST by Jim Lehrer
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Aug. 27, 2002

"Overreverent and, despite a shocking ending, largely inert."
Public TV worthy and sometime novelist Lehrer (The Special Prisoner, 2000, etc.) invents and solves a crime committed at the battle of Antietam. Read full book review >
THE SPECIAL PRISONER by Jim Lehrer
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 5, 2000

A near-miss about man's inhumanity to man—in war and then in peace. Read full book review >
PURPLE DOTS by Jim Lehrer
THRILLERS
Released: Oct. 1, 1998

What ought to be the routine confirmation of a new CIA director spins predictably, and entertainingly, out of control in newscaster Lehrer's dark D.C. comedy. Read full book review >

WHITE WIDOW by Jim Lehrer
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 1, 1997

"A childish and embarrassing work."
PBS newscaster Lehrer (Last Debate, 1995, etc.) gives us, in his tenth novel, all the reason a man could need for keeping clear of road trips with mysterious women. Read full book review >
THE LAST DEBATE by Jim Lehrer
THRILLERS
Released: Sept. 7, 1995

News anchor Lehrer's ninth novel (Fine Lines, 1994, etc.) is set in his own backyard—in the twin contests between the ethics of the journalist as neutral reporter and as responsible citizen, and between journalism and the political process. Read full book review >

FINE LINES by Jim Lehrer
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 1, 1994

"Beguiling minor work from a satirist who usually cuts deeper."
Still another departure for multitalented Lehrer — news anchor, playwright, and chronicler of the One-Eyed Mack, Oklahoma's priceless lieutenant governor. Read full book review >
BLUE HEARTS by Jim Lehrer
THRILLERS
Released: June 1, 1993

Versatile TV journalist/memoirist/satirist Lehrer (Short List, 1992, etc.) adds espionage to his resumé with this likable extended anecdote about two old CIA grads who accidentally stir up a mess of Kennedy-assassination trouble 30 years after the fact. Charlie Henderson, retired from the Agency to run a West Virginia bed-and-breakfast, first gets wind of the problem when a bomb goes off in his D.C. hotel room and somebody cuts the steering line on his Wagoneer back home. Read full book review >

A BUS OF MY OWN by Jim Lehrer
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 16, 1992

"Sometimes hokey, but down to earth, genuinely affecting, and immensely likable."
The co-anchor of The MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour and author of the One-Eyed Mack series looks back on his life so far, including his love of buses and his 1983 heart attack. Read full book review >
SHORT LIST by Jim Lehrer
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 6, 1992

"If this bright, affectionate tale peters out toward the end, well, let it go as a reminder that political scandal can still be great fun."
The One-Eyed Mack, the naive, open-eyed Oklahoma Lt. Read full book review >
LOST AND FOUND by Jim Lehrer
Released: March 21, 1991

"The result is a slight but very pleasant read."
The fourth in a series (The Sooner Spy, 1990, etc.) about delightful one-eyed Mack—the zany, boyish, innocent Lieutenant Governor of Oklahoma—who in this novel goes through the mildest midlife crisis ever to be committed to paper. Read full book review >
THE SOONER SPY by Jim Lehrer
Released: March 22, 1990

"Far-fetched but entertainingly loony—especially for fans of One-Eyed Mack and his pals."
TV newsman Lehrer returns with the third in his whimsical series (Kick the Can, 1988; Crown Oklahoma, 1989) affectionately featuring One-Eyed Mack, the buffoonish Lieutenant-Governor of Oklahoma. Read full book review >
CROWN OKLAHOMA by Jim Lehrer
Released: May 22, 1989

One-Eyed Mack is back: the innocent outlaw of that winsome picaresque Kick the Can (1988) is now, in the early 70's, Lieutenant-Governor of Oklahoma, defending his state against calumnies spread by TV network news. Read full book review >

KICK THE CAN by Jim Lehrer
Released: May 16, 1988

"Mack is the lighter side of Huckleberry Finn—in a novel that is heartwarming and delightful."
Here's a surprise—a cheerful, funny, wonderfully charming account of a spirited one-eyed boy's misadventurous journey through Texas, Oklahoma, and other landscapes of the American Dream in the 50's, in company with a band of endearing Norman Rock-well crooks and cranks, by the co-anchor of The McNeil/Lehrer News Hour and author of one other long-ago novel (Viva Max!, 1966). Read full book review >