James Reston Jr.

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James Reston Jr.
Born James Barrett Reston Jr.
(1943-09-01) September 1, 1943 (age 73)
New York City, USA
Residence Chevy Chase, Maryland
Nationality American
Alma mater University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Author
  • Journalist
Children 2
Parent(s) James Reston

James Barrett Reston Jr. (born September 1, 1943)[citation needed] is an American author and journalist.

Early life[edit]

The son of American journalist James Reston,[1] Reston was born in New York City September 1, 1943[2] and raised in Washington, D.C.. He earned his BA in philosophy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) while on a Morehead Scholarship. At UNC, he was an All-South soccer player, and retains the single game scoring record for the university (5 goals against NC State, October 18, 1962). He attended Oxford University during his junior year.


Reston was an assistant to U.S. Secretary of the Interior, Stewart Udall (1964–1965) and served in the U.S. Army (1965–1968) as an intelligence officer. He was a lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of North Carolina (1971–81).[3] Reston is a Senior Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington D.C.[4] and has been a fellow at the American Academy in Rome and a scholar in residence at the Library of Congress.

Reston is the author of 13 books, three plays, and numerous articles in national magazines. His works of both fiction and non-fiction cover mostly historical and political topics. He was awarded the Prix Italia and the Dupont-Columbia Award for his 1983 90-minute radio documentary on National Public Radio, Father Cares: the Last of Jonestown. Three of his works, Galileo: A Life, The Last Apocalypse, and Warriors of God, have been translated into ten foreign languages. Warriors of God and Collision at Home Plate have been optioned by Hollywood. His latest work, The Accidental Victim, is a non-fiction book about John F. Kennedy's assassination which argues that Texas Governor John Connally was Lee Harvey Oswald's intended victim.[5]

Reston's articles have appeared in The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, Time, The New York Times Magazine, George, Esquire, American Theatre, Playboy, and Rolling Stone. In recent years he has lectured widely in the United States and overseas on the millennium and the Crusades, citing their relevance to modern issues.

Personal life[edit]

Reston is married, has three children, and lives in Chevy Chase, Maryland. His daughter, Maeve Reston, is a journalist.[6]


Reston is depicted in the 2008 film Frost/Nixon, portrayed by Sam Rockwell.[7]



  • To Defend, To Destroy, a novel, 1971
  • The Amnesty of John David Herndon, 1973
  • The Knock at Midnight, a novel, 1975
  • The Innocence of Joan Little, 1977
  • Sherman, the Peacemaker, a play, 1979
  • Our Father Who Art in Hell, The Life and Death of Jim Jones, 1981
  • Jonestown Express, a play, 1984
  • Sherman's March and Vietnam, 1985
  • The Lone Star: the Life of John Connally, 1989
  • Collision at Home Plate: The Lives of Pete Rose and Bart Giamatti, 1991
  • Galileo: A Life, 1994
  • The Last Apocalypse: Europe in the Year 1000 A.D., 1998
  • Warriors of God: Richard the Lionheart and Saladin in the Third Crusade, 2001
  • Dogs of God: Columbus, the Inquisition, and the Defeat of the Moors, 2005
  • Fragile Innocence: A Father's Memoir of His Daughter's Courageous Journey, 2006[8]
  • The Conviction of Richard Nixon: The Untold Story of the Frost/Nixon Interviews, 2007
  • Defenders of the Faith: Charles V, Suleyman the Magnificent, and the Battle for Europe, 1520-1536, 2009
  • The Accidental Victim, 2013
  • Luther's Fortress: Martin Luther and His Reformation Under Siege, 2015


Reston, James Jr. (28 January 1985). "A Reporter at Large: You Cannot Refine It". The New Yorker. 60 (50): 35–71.  General William Tecumseh Sherman.


  1. ^ "Alone Against Angry Voices". The La Crosse Tribune. Wisconsin, La Crosse. January 21, 1973. p. 28. Retrieved March 31, 2017 – via Newspapers.com.  open access publication – free to read
  2. ^ St. Albans School for Boys Class of 1959 yearbook
  3. ^ "The Author". The La Crosse Tribune. Wisconsin, La Crosse. January 21, 1973. p. 28. Retrieved March 31, 2017 – via Newspapers.com.  open access publication – free to read
  4. ^ James Reston Jr, Wilson Center Experts, Wilson Center
  5. ^ "James Reston Biography". 
  6. ^ "Maeve Reston". CNN. Archived from the original on 1 April 2017. Retrieved 1 April 2017. 
  7. ^ Manhola Dargis (2008-12-05). "Mr. Frost, Meet Mr. Nixon". New York Times. Retrieved 2009-02-04. 
  8. ^ Polly Morrice (2006-03-26). "What Not to Expect". New York Times. Retrieved 2009-02-04. 

External links[edit]