Saturday, December 18, 2010

Saints Be Praised! Palin Takes on JFK on Church Vs. State Speech and Irks Kennedy's Niece

Of course, readers of "The Kennedys: America's Emerald Kings" already know much about the Kennedy's Irish Catholic background and about the origins of JFK's 1960 speech before the Houston Ministers. But Sarah Palin recently gave her own interpretation which evoked this response from Kathleen Kennedy Townsend:

Sarah Palin has found a new opponent to debate: John F. Kennedy.
In her new book, "America by Heart," Palin objects to my uncle's famous 1960 speech to the Greater Houston Ministerial Association, in which he challenged the ministers - and the country - to judge him, a Catholic presidential candidate, by his views rather than his faith. "Contrary to common newspaper usage, I am not the Catholic candidate for president," Kennedy said. "I am the Democratic Party's candidate for president who happens also to be a Catholic."
Palin writes that when she was growing up, she was taught that Kennedy's speech had "succeeded in the best possible way: It reconciled public service and religion without compromising either." Now, however, she says she has revisited the speech and changed her mind. She finds it "defensive . . . in tone and content" and is upset that Kennedy, rather than presenting a reconciliation of his private faith and his public role, had instead offered an "unequivocal divorce of the two."
Palin's argument seems to challenge a great American tradition, enshrined in the Constitution, stipulating that there be no religious test for public office. A careful reading of her book leads me to conclude that Palin wishes for precisely such a test. And she seems to think that she, and those who think like her, are qualified to judge who would pass and who would not.
If there is no religious test, then there is no need for a candidate's religious affiliation to be "reconciled." My uncle urged that religion be private, removed from politics, because he feared that making faith an arena for public contention would lead American politics into ill-disguised religious warfare, with candidates tempted to use faith to manipulate voters and demean their opponents.

End of an Era for Kennedys in Washington

With Patrick Kennedy's departure from the House next month, the Kennedy history in Congress comes to an end, at least for now. Here's what the NY Times said about it.

When his eighth term ends early next month, it will be the first time since 1947 — when John F. Kennedy became a congressman from Massachusetts — that no member of his family will hold a federal office.
With Mr. Kennedy’s father, Senator Edward M. Kennedy, dead for more than a year now and no one else in the family voicing plans to run for office, Capitol Hill will be left with ghosts and memories. The only politician left among them is Bobby Shriver, whose mayoral term in Santa Monica, Calif., just ended but who still sits on the City Council there.
“This is a family that once had the presidency and two Senate seats, and they’re now down to the mayor of Santa Monica,” said Darrell M. West, a Brookings Institution scholar. “It’s a pretty dramatic fall, and it’s symbolic of the decline of liberalism.”
In an interview here last week, Mr. Kennedy seemed caught between two urges: to disappear into a quiet life, and to keep trying, as a private citizen, to fill what he called the enormous shoes — “too big to ever imagine,” he said — of his father and uncles.
“My family legacy was never just about government service,” said Mr. Kennedy, who talked for more than two hours in an empty room at the Cannon House Office Building, where John F. Kennedy also worked as a House member from 1947 to 1953. “It was about giving back, and the branding of President Kennedy’s call for Americans to give back to their country.”

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Romance Novels Can't Beat Non-Fiction With This Biography; Kindle Readers Here's the Best book for your E-Book, Nook, iPad and iTune App!

The New York Times reports that Kindles, Nooks, iPads and other e-books are the hot new place for romance novels. Well, of course, this website immediately took note. An even better book for the discreet Kindle reader is the Kindle version of "Masters of Sex", the biography of Masters and Johnson that proves truth is even more interesting than fiction! You can also buy the App for this book!
Here's what the Times said about this new trend:

If the e-reader is the digital equivalent of the brown-paper wrapper, the romance reader is a little like the Asian carp: insatiable and unstoppable. Together, it turns out, they are a perfect couple. Romance is now the fastest-growing segment of the e-reading market, ahead of general fiction, mystery and science fiction, according to data from Bowker, a research organization for the publishing industry.
Publishers and retailers, spying an opportunity, have begun pursuing in earnest those enthusiastic romance readers who have abandoned print for digital. “Romance,” said Matthew Shear, the executive vice president and publisher of St. Martin’s Press, which releases 40 to 50 romance novels each year, is “becoming as popular in e-books as it is in the print editions.”

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Future of Newhouse Media Empire: Crain's New York Cites "Newhouse" Bio in Looking Ahead for Si Newhouse and Company

Cash cows that don't produce as much cash. Monopoly news that no longer have a monopoly on the news. What's a billion-dollar media empire to do?

In Crain's New York Business, media writer Matthew Flamm asks the tough questions about the future of the Newhouse media empire and even manages to mention the "Newhouse" biography, winner of the Frank Luther Prize Award as best media book of 1995. The paperback is still on sale. It's nice to see it's still relevant in the Newhouse media coverage today.
As Flamm's article says: "... the Advance tradition of doing things its own way—carried on by the patriarch's sons, S.I. “Si” Newhouse Jr., chairman, and Donald Newhouse, president—may be coming to an end. An unprecedented shift in the media landscape has brought Advance to a crossroads, forcing overdue changes at its newspaper and magazine divisions and raising doubts about their future. And with the company's two leaders in their 80s, it can't be too long before the Newhouse family must deal with the complicated issue of succession.
“For the first time in the life of this family-run organization, there are no easy answers, and nothing's a sure bet,” says Thomas Maier, author of the biography Newhouse.

Makes you wanna go out and buy the paperback, right?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Tina Brown Takeover at Newsweek Reminds of Her Challenges at Vanity Fair, as Recalled in "Newhouse" bio

The return of Tina Brown to the world of print magazine journalism, taking over the reins of Newsweek, reminds us of her 1980s revival of Vanity Fair as recounted in my biography "Newhouse", voted best media book of 1994 (my, how Time flies!). Tina's exclusive interview for this book recounts the excitement of that era. She was really the only one of the top Newhouse people who actually would agree to be interviewed for that book. I interviewed Tina at breakfast at the Royalton, in the velvet booth where she would hold court in those days. She followed up with some conversation over the phone, and it was a fascinating tutorial on what makes a great editor. But I think today's era of iPad, video and print journalism is far more challenging, even for someone as talented as Tina Brown. Here's Jack Shafer's account in Slate, which I think very accurately sums up Tina Brown's appeal and loyalty in the media world.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Word of the Day Comes from "Dr. Spock: An American Life"; Good Old Ben Would Be Pleased and So Would His Mother

In our never-ending quest to improve the mother tongue, we refer to this recent linguistic excerpt taken from Dr. Spock: An American Life.

Word of the Day, Wednesday, October 27, 2010
\ in-KOH-it \ , adjective;
1. In an initial or early stage; just begun.
2.Imperfectly formed or formulated.

Mildred Spock believed that, at about the age of three, her children's inchoate wills were to be shaped like vines sprouting up a beanpole.
-- Thomas Maier, Dr. Spock: An American Life

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Achtung, Baby! New Edition in Germany Features Masters and Johnson in Der Spiegel; See the mag's iPad video too!

Over in Germany, the work of Herr Maier is getting an expansive review in the current edition of Der Spiegel, the leading European newsweekly. (Unfortunately, Herr Maier wasn't a whiz in German... or French or Spanish for that matter... so I don't know what they're saying about the book, but I'm assured it's good.) What is also interesting is the video for Der Spiegel's iPad version that accompanies this article.

This just in from Hamburg, an English translation (more or less):
"God, I was so insensitive?"

By Frank Thadeusz

The Sexforscher William Masters and Virginia Johnson clarified once the prudish America. A biography reveals the tense life of the couple.
Honorable intentions led the American gynecologist William Masters in the fifties in peep shows and brothels. The professor drew the prospect of solving one of the great mysteries of mankind - at least for the male part: What takes place in the female orgasm really from?
Behind the mirror walls hid Masters, always in a white coat and bow tie, and recorded all movements of prostitutes. The researchers believed already on a hot track, as one of his students with a statement approvingly to put all that time gained to waver: "Do you know that women fake orgasm often?"
Masters knew it not. It was high time to search for the further progress of the investigations a knowledgeable partner. The best a woman.
About a note on the bulletin board of the University of Masters was that he was looking for - this was one of the most unusual couples to each other in modern science. William Masters, the renowned gynecologist, Virginia Johnson chose to become an accomplice of his controversial Sexrecherchen - a very unusual choice. Johnson was a mother of two, twice divorced, Studienabbrecherin and interim secretary. "I was just so the princess," the chosen one was surprised himself later
Virginia Johnson went regularly to sexual forays
The adventurous history of this duo has written, U.S. journalist Thomas Maier for the first time. Only recently has it been possible to gain profound insights into the tense life of this prominent scientist.
Masters remained alive even closest colleagues a mystery. After his death in February 2001, he left behind after all, an unpublished memoir, has drawn from the Maier now. Johnson remained silent too long, but over the decades of pent anger the now 85-year-old apparently moved first in-depth about their work at the site of master information to give.
The pair added initially extraordinarily well: he is a completely doting in his studies scholars, who rarely found on other people to access - they made a strange way early emancipated woman from the countryside, contrary to the usual gender roles in America in the fifties regularly to sexual forays went.
"I've gone out with anyone with whom I do not even sex had, "Johnson later confessed. Admirers of the Erotomanin separated after several months of whispers like love without a word of farewell. "God, I was really so insensitive?" Surprised they are in retrospect about himself
Crazy practices behind the walls Institute
Johnson gradually developed, at first only a better secretary, the indispensable assistant of William Masters. The company's Sexstudien at Washington University in St. Louis from the late fifties to the strictest secrecy. Thanks to her engaging nature Johnson recruited churning volunteers who copulated in the laboratory of her boss behind closed doors and for the benefit of science.
With empathy tempered Johnson Masters' sometimes too bold ideas. The Sexdoktor had built a penis made of plexiglass and a camera is installed to film the penetration of the vagina. Johnson warmed up the dildo with a hot towel to help the test subject, the experiment with the cool tool.
While university colleagues increasingly ludicrous practices on behind the walls Institute speculated arranged Masters and Johnson with hundreds Beischlafsitzungen volunteers. Their findings published in 1966 in which they work, "The sexual reaction."
The book became a bestseller, although the authors tormented her readers with all sorts of statistics and an entirely wooden duct. The prelude was renamed in Masters and Johnson about under the name of "stimulating rapprochement opportunity." Nevertheless, the reading for the prudish Americans promised exciting news.
Sex with Masters was for Johnson to the job profile
Relieved, the audience heard that sex during pregnancy does not harm the fetus. Less pleased especially men reacted to the discovery that the female orgasm looks in comparison to the male climax like fireworks to a single cannon shot.
Using of such provocative revelations those Americans were overtaxed, that are currently so aptly portrayed in the TV-company series "Mad Men": Men with wide-brimmed hat, which passed the morning with a kiss from her brave wife, to save the world - and to lunch the secretary flachlegten.
Although Johnson had no university degree, did their knowledge of male and female needs, fear of failure in bed but awake together to a fairly successful sex therapy. Instead of how to deal with Freud over the years with early childhood disorders and neuroses, cured Masters and Johnson at home in St. Louis within a few weeks Sexmüde with so-called surrogates - helpful ladies who straightened up the libido of the mostly male patients with patient resources and caress again. This practice would have almost brought the duo to a method for prostitution.
Johnson himself suffered from the unconventional methods of their partner. Regular sex with Masters was for them a long time to the job profile. Masters and his wife Elizabeth while sleeping in separate beds, with Johnson Masters, however, wanted "effective ways to reach orgasm or to prevent premature ejaculation, try it.
"It was perhaps sexual harassment," Johnson confessed now their biographers, "but if one earns $ 200,000 a year, will not be easy."
"It all came from Bill - I did not want it"
The curious relationship between the two researchers led by more than ten years of cooperation even in marriage. American newspapers were intoxicated by the dream wedding, and in interviews, Johnson dutifully piped: "Without him, I am restless. My only regret is that we have not found before."
Only now, in old age, reveals the icon of the Sexforschung their true feelings for William Masters: "It all came from Bill - I would not. I have never loved him well." Also for the Masters was not a love marriage marriage with Johnson. The professor, however, saw jointly conducted Sexklinik in danger, when Johnson threatened to blow with a perfume manufacturer.
For the same reason also prevented Masters, but that his partner was still a degree at university. That was not necessary and only disturb the operation, incited from Masters. In fact, the self-taught changed its name in the professional world without a degree in "Doctor Johnson."
Masters compensated for the privations of his second wife in his own way: He gave generously to the larger office and called Johnson as a co-author of the always written either by him or other employees, books.
The scientific base was the weak flank of the Seiteneinsteigerin. Interviews before Johnson had to be carefully trained with info cards, so as not to become entangled in medical details. Because her for real research, the basics were missing, she cultivated her role as a media star.
The pioneers of the past, the customers run away
As long as William Masters operational serious science, the success of the team was assured. End of the seventies, the idiosyncratic arrived but thoroughly wrong. In the book "Homosexuality," he said in all seriousness, gays could be transformed into heterosexuals "in his office within 14 days. Johnson fumed: "I do not want to be remembered because of this weak-mindedness to me." They railed against a friend about her husband: "He has invented it all and now writing this garbage!"
Long Johnson tried to break away from the eroding relationship. What they did not managed worried, then Bill Masters. The age of 76, he filed for divorce and married a little later - already ill with Parkinson's - his childhood sweetheart. Johnson responded, however, not facilitated, but hurt.
Shortly thereafter, in 1994, broke the Masters and Johnson Institute apart. The whole country was now littered with sexual therapist. The pioneers of old had run away the customers.
Income, the two had always invested in their institution and therefore covered very little money. Masters died in 2001 as a charity. Johnson tried at times to sell cartridges with love tips discussed on the Internet.
Meanwhile throws the former First Lady of the Enlightenment , the best times always wore elegant clothes, even during the day only a bathrobe on most. Former companions make a big bow around her biographer says Maier. For times when someone reports, Johnson often knows only one subject: bitter complaints about their former partners Bill Masters.
URL:, 1518,716959,00. html

Der Spiegel 2010.37.Ow.original

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Call out the FBI! Oliver Stone, "Wall Street" auteur, has ties to "The Kennedys: America's Emerald Kings." Is Book Better Than the Movie?

Part of the fun of watching the trailer to Oliver Stone's new sequel to "Wall Street", his 1987 film, is knowing that some scenes were filmed at Fordham University in the Bronx, my alma mater. **
This trailer below looks pretty juicy. And the fact that one of the protagonists in this drama is a business student at Fordham makes it more amusing to me.

I've always had an interest in Oliver Stone's work, far more than just the Fordham film clip. Stone's wildly entertaining film, "JFK" is now being sold on DVD along with a Warner Home Video documentary based on my 2003 book, "The Kennedys: America's Emerald Kings". My book was also re-issued in an updated 2008 paperback edition as well as on Kindle.
**Fordham is more than just my alma mater. It's the lovely campus where my two youngest sons are now attending business school. Their older brother also has a Fordham b-school degree and my wife has an MBA from Fordham's Graduate School of Business. Fordham's church is where we got married. I bet Oliver Stone didn't know that!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

New York Times "Paperback Row" Features "Masters of Sex" in Aug. 29 Issue

The New York Times Book Review features my biography "Masters of Sex" in this Sunday's issue, Aug. 29, and the short capsule touches on some of the main points. Certainly it's newsworthy to point out that having sex with Masters was initially part of the job for Virginia Johnson, but I hope readers will realize there was a lot more to their relationship over time. Personally, I prefer the review from The New York Times daily book critic Dwight Garner, who grasped some of the humor in the book ( like Virginia's attempts to recruit women for their sex study in the lab) because
this provides a necessary contrast to some of the dramatic and sometimes tragic aspects of the book. No matter what, the book is testimony to the extraordinary work and personal relationship between Bill Masters and Virginia Johnson.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Price of Art Dept: Brad Pitt as Dr. Masters? Angelina Jolie as Virginia? Hey, What's a Bald Cranium Among Friends, Right?

I was recently asked who would I like to see as Masters and Johnson if they made a rendition of my biography, "Masters of Sex", for the big screen (actually, my 42-inch HDTV screen, to be exact). Of course, Bill Masters and Virginia Johnson are one of the most fascinating American couples of our times, so naturally I thought Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt. The drama around their lives is nothing compared to the long-running partnership and marriage of Masters and Johnson. Of course, Pitt and Jolie might command top dollar for such a production. But I read in Vanity Fair's cover story on Jolie that she and Brad were looking for a project that they could both work on together. Well, voila! How's that for a short commute?
Contracts, agents, the paparazzi, they all are surely factors if Angelina and Brad became the "Masters of Sex" portrayed in my book, a kind of real-life version of the Pygmalion tale. The biggest obstacle might be the need for Pitt to shave his head bald, a la Dr. Masters. It gets awfully chilly in that lab without hair. But what price art, say I?

Pooh-Poohing Pee-Wee? Claims He'd Call "Masters and Johnson" Expert to Bolster Innocence in "One Hand Vs. The Other" Defense

When you're a high-minded biographer like myself, you're occasionally asked a question that makes you squirm. Sometimes, it's because you don't know the answer. Other times, it's because you wish you weren't asked the question in the first place.
A friendly journalist at Playboy, Chip Rowe, called me the other day about this reply that Paul Reubens (aka, TV's "Pee Wee Herman") gave to his magazine when asked about the 1991 arrest for indecency that virtually wrecked poor Pee Wee's career with the kiddies and their parents. Chip asked if I knew who might have been willing to testify among the Masters and Johnson staff on Pee Wee's behalf? I told Chip that I might have an idea, but the person I have in mind spoke to me in confidence for my book about Masters and Johnson and I couldn't reveal this person's name. I was really sorry to do that because the Playboy Foundation was very gracious to my book and Hugh Hefner consented to a very illuminating interview as part of the research. As my biography of Masters and Johnson recounts, Hefner is very proud of the financing that his foundation provided for the medical research done by Masters and Johnson, particularly at a time in the 1960s when government and academia shunned them. By the early 1990s, the Masters and Johnson clinic had virtually closed down, with Virginia in near retirement and Bill suffering from Parkinson's disease and winding down his medical practice. I'm virtually certain they wouldn't have testified for Pee-Wee. A former staffer who might have been willing to be called for the defense was an early source for mine in the research. I couldn't reveal this source without breaking my off-the-record promise. So unfortunately, I was no help in solving the Great Pee-Wee Mystery.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Newhouse: The Last Tycoon (But the First paperback!)

In The Guardian, Steve Fishman's profile of Si Newhouse is reprinted from New York magazine and mentions my book, "Newhouse: All the Power, Glitter, and Glory of America's Richest Media Empire and Secretive Man Behind It". And it's still available in paperback with an update!

Here's what Mr. Fishman writes:

" Sam was a newspaper man - Si didn't see much of him until he was old enough to visit the Staten Island Advance, Sam's first paper. By Sam's death in 1979, at the age of 84, he'd amassed a newspaper empire that stretched from Newark, New Jersey, up to Portland, Oregon - larger, by some measures, than that of William Randolph Hearst's. Both of Sam's sons were college dropouts who worked in the business from the age of 21. Sam tapped Donald, his younger son, to run the newspapers. Si was installed at Condé Nast - he finally became chairman in 1975. "Those who knew him well seem to think he trusted the judgment of his younger son, Donald, more than Si," writes Thomas Maier in his excellent biography, Newhouse.
It was clear what Newhouse's father thought of magazines; they were baubles, suitable for socially ambitious middle-aged ladies. Si, though, would ultimately prove his father wrong about the value of the magazines and about his talents.

Up in Canada, the Paperback of Masters of Sex Roars!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Translated by Admirer, Dr. Spock Is A Hit in China; Old Ben's Big in Beijing

Benjamin Spock not only influenced generations of American parents and their children. Now, a decade after his death, Spock's work is influencing China. As the Wall Street Journal reports, "A child-rearing book that has been a runaway success in China has this piece of advice: Listen to your child. That may not sound like revolutionary parenting advice, but as Yin Jianli, the book’s author has found, it has struck a chord with many Chinese parents as just that."

As the story goes on to say:
Books such as “Emile” by Rousseau of France and “Baby and Child Care” by American pediatrician Benjamin Spock have greatly shaped Yin’s view toward parenting, she said. “From these good books one can learn how kids think, and the meaning of equality and respect,” she said.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Recalling Masters and Johnson 40 years ago; Their Bio "Masters of Sex" Now in Paperback and Kindle

The new paperback for "Masters of Sex" is out this month along with the Kindle edition that can also be read on iPad and all e-readers. The only thing obscene about this book is its low price. (Otherwise, very high literary standards. Oprah and her magazine loved it, and so did the NY Times.)
Forty years ago, Masters and Johnson published their second book in 1970 that revolutionized sex therapy for married couples in America and turned them into the most talked-about couple in the land. The Atlantic Magazine ran this profile of them and here's a little snippet about Virginia Johnson.

Gini Johnson, wearing a black and white patterned overblouse and white uniform pants, is now on her way to the Foundation in an open convertible. She is an attractive forty-five-year-old who could, if she dedicated time to herself instead of her work, be ravishing. In the publicity pictures shot for their second book, Gini was made up by George Masters (no relative) and benefited greatly by eyeliner, eye-shadow, false eyelashes that wisp up quickly at the end, and lipstick applied by brush; but she usually wears her hair swept back from her face into a ponytail or covered by a fall that is a shade off from her own auburn. She smiles more readily than Masters, but keeps her lower jaw set, which prevents her from making full-fledged cheek-wrinkling grins.
Since the beginning of this year, when word began to circulate that Masters and Johnson were ready to publish their second book, they have made themselves available, within reason, to the print media, particularly the women's magazines, which they consider a vital conduit for their information.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

New Miniseries Isn't "The Kennedys"; Read The Book Instead!

Will "The Kennedys" -- the upcoming miniseries for the History Channel -- look anything like my history "The Kennedys"? And even more important to me and my lawyer, will there anything be lifted from my recent book? Mmmmm........
Earlier this year, a plethora of Kennedy historians condemned this new mini-series after they got a look at the early drafts of scripts. Supposedly, they claimed, this miniseries will be a hit job by its conservative producer. Looks to me, if anything is afoul, that this new miniseries will resemble those old ABC TV Movie of The Week productions, where Jack, Jackie, Bobby and the gang would be better played by marionettes. More so, I'm afraid that, in this time of Obama, the essential minority status of the Kennedys as Irish Catholics looking to grab the brass ring of the White House will be whitewashed. Instead, we'll get another American Camelot production, with Kinnear wearing Ray-Bans and Jackie in pearls as the major insight.
Anyway, kids, to get the real insight on the Kennedys pick up my version, "The Kennedys: America's Emerald Kings", still available on Kindle, IPad, paperback and hardcover from Basic Books. This book has the real scoop about Jackie's reaction after the assassination, the ties of the Kennedys to the Vatican and even the story of the Kennedys in Ireland. The Boston Globe said it the best book about the rise of the Kennedys in Boston, and Publishers Weekly said it should replace Doris Kearns Goodwin's tome on the family. So as Honey Fitz used to say, 'Vote for 'The Kennedys' The Book and don't accept any substitutes!"

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Oprah's Summer Reading List Includes "Masters of Sex" -- One of Its Top 10 books about Sex -- Now in PAPERBACK!

Here's what "O" magazine says ...

Sex with her boss was understood to be part of the job description for Virginia Johnson, an attractive divorced single mother, yet when Masters finally left his wife for her, their marriage was a chilly professional partnership, sadly devoid of love—a mystery their experiments had left unexplored. Perhaps influenced by its steamy subject matter, Masters of Sex, Thomas Maier's new book about the couple's career, may strike some readers as unusually graphic for a biography, but this unsettling story of sex and science in theory and practice is ultimately more cautionary than titillating.
— Francine Prose

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Paperback Version of "Masters of Sex", the Biography of Masters and Johnson, Arrives Aug. 3

Description from Basic Books Catalogue:
Before Sex and the City and Viagra, America relied on William Masters and Virginia Johnson to teach us everything we needed to know about what goes on in the bedroom. Over the course of more than forty years, Masters and Johnson convinced hundreds of men and women to copulate in the name of science—over 10,000 sexual acts in all. They quickly became the nation’s experts on love and intimacy. Revealing and beautifully told, Masters of Sex sheds light on the eternal mysteries of intimacy and the American psyche.

From Preface
What is this thing called love?"
—Cole Porter.
Sex, in all its glorious expressions, has been an integral part of the American experience in my four biographies—respectively, about Si Newhouse, Benjamin Spock, the Kennedys, and now Masters and Johnson. As Dr. Spock, the best-selling expert who raised America’s baby-boom generation, once told me with disarming honesty, “Everything is about sex!” Indeed, at its most powerful and transcendent, sex is about the progression of the species, the origin of self-identity, and the most intimate form of expression between adults.
The story of William Masters and Virginia Johnson, as perhaps none other, deals directly with the eternal mysteries of sex and love. Their public life provides an unparalleled window into America’s “sexual revolution” and its historic cultural changes still with us today, while their private relationship mirrors many of the most basic desires, tensions, and contradictions between men and women. I first interviewed Dr. Masters when he retired in December 1994, already showing symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, that which would lead to his death in 2001. After several false starts, I gained the complete cooperation of Virginia Johnson in 2005, conducting many hours of interviews, including a lengthy visit to her St. Louis home. Despite worldwide fame, “we were absolutely the two most secretive people on the face of the eEarth,” Johnson confided. “There’s simply no one who knew us well. People have a lot of speculation, but they don’t know.”
For years, the work of Masters and Johnson remained shrouded in strict confidentiality as a result of their own desire to avoid public scrutiny. Only now–—with the willingness of many to be interviewed and access to their letters, internal documents, and Masters’s own unpublished memoir—can we fully consider their remarkable life and times. For all of the clinical knowledge they gained from America’s biggest sex experiment–—involving hundreds of women and men and more than 10,000 ten thousand orgasms—their story is very much about the elusiveness and indefinable aspects of human intimacy. As many today still ask themselves, “What is this thing called love?”
Long Island, New York,

Sunday, March 28, 2010

National Headliners Award for "Fallout' Series and Documentary

Here's the story from Newsday:
A Newsday reporter and photographer have won a first place award for environmental reporting in the National Headliner Awards.
Thomas Maier and John Paraskevas won the award in the print category of the annual contest for "Fallout: The Legacy of Brookhaven Lab in the Pacific."
In addition to the stories in the newspaper, a 30- minute, nine-part Internet documentary ran on its Web site in August.
The multimedia package was about the role of Brookhaven National Laboratory in treating and studying the effects of radiation on the residents of the Marshall Islands. The residents were exposed to radiation when the United States dropped Bravo, its largest-ever hydrogen bomb, on the territory in 1954.
The journalists traveled to the islands, halfway between Hawaii and Australia, in the summer of 2007.
The annual contest is sponsored by the Press Club of Atlantic City. It recognizes excellence in newspapers, radio, television, photography, magazines and online in areas including beat reporting, series, education, sports and editorial writing.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Chicago Tribune Picks "Masters of Sex" as one of its "Favorite Non-Fiction Books of 2009"!

The Chicago Tribune has selected "Masters of Sex" as one its favorite non-fiction books of 2009. Sorry to be a wiseacre, but I can't help thinking -- 'Finally, a pleasant surprise from Sam Zell!' This little diddy about sex researchers Masters and Johnson joins other top books of the year by authors such as Tracy Kidder, Dave Eggers, Mary Karr, Christopher Buckley, Ken Auletta, Taylor Branch, Kati Marton, Frank Bruni and my former Newsday colleague D.D. Guttenplan with his superb bio of I.F. Stone. Last summer, I was invited to the Trib's annual Printers Row Book Fair and really enjoyed myself. For a guy who used to work for the Sun-Times, it was very nice to be treated so nicely by the Trib!

Before the Paperback, there's the Apps!

My new book, "Masters of Sex" is now available as an Apps for your IPhone etc. It was nice to see, and it looks like it will beat the paperback version of the book coming out this summer.
I looked down the list of authors offered on Apps by the same publisher, including favorites like David McCullough, Don DeLillo and Malcolm Gladwell. But I particularly was amused by the App version of works by Mark Twain, Edgar Allen Poe and Gustave Flaubert's "Madame Bovary."
I wonder what they would think of being read on a Kindle or an IPhone! I'm sure Madame Bovary would have had one in her purse!

Authors Night in Hamptons Features MAFIA SPIES

Alec Baldwin and Thomas Maier. This year's Authors Night for the East Hampton Library promises to be as much fun as in years pas...