Kerry, 73, has signed with Simon & Schuster, the publisher told The Associated Press on Thursday. The book, a memoir covering his life from childhood through his recent time as secretary of state, does not yet have a title or release date.
“This is the first opportunity I’ve had in a long time to pause and look back, with an eye toward looking forward. I hope we can produce a good book that captures for readers not so much my story, but some of the lessons learned along the way, including lessons learned the hard way,” Kerry said in a statement.
“I am grateful that Simon & Schuster is working with me to revisit meaningful moments lived at the intersection of history, and to help readers get to know some of the compelling people I’ve known, learned from, admired, and even debated with across my years.”
Kerry has been a public figure since the early 1970s. He was a decorated veteran who emerged as a spokesman for the Vietnam Veterans Against the War organization and denounced the conflict during Senate hearings, famously stating “How do you ask a man to be the last man to die in Vietnam? How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?”
The Massachusetts Democrat later served nearly 30 years in the Senate, with colleagues ranging from Ted Kennedy to Barack Obama, and had an unsuccessful run for president in 2004, losing to incumbent George W. Bush. He was secretary of state during President Obama’s second term, with highlights including a global pact on climate change — the Paris Agreement — and a deal to curb Iran’s nuclear program. Both agreements have been strongly questioned by President Donald Trump.
Kerry’s previous books include “The New War: The Web of Crime That Threatens America’s Security” and he cooperated with biographer Douglas Brinkley on a book about his Vietnam experience, “Tour of Duty.” But he has never written a full-length memoir or discussed in depth his presidential run, when he was subjected to a conservative “swift boating” campaign that challenged his war record. He served in the Senate from 1985 to 2013, when he succeeded Hillary Clinton as secretary of state.
“This is a great American life, and what’s exciting about John Kerry’s memoir is that he’s finally got the time and perspective to tell the full story, in all of its sweep,” Jonathan Karp, publisher of Simon & Schuster, said in a statement.
Kerry met with several publishers about the book, for which financial terms were not disclosed. He was represented by Robert Barnett, the Washington attorney who recently worked on book deals for Clinton and for Barack and Michelle Obama.