John Kerry tells the story of his remarkable American life—from son of a diplomat to decorated Vietnam veteran, five-term United States senator, 2004 Democratic presidential nominee, and Secretary of State for four years—a revealing memoir by a witness to some of the most important events of our recent history.
Every Day Is Extra is John Kerry’s candid personal story. A Yale graduate, Kerry enlisted in the US Navy in 1966, and served in Vietnam. He returned home highly decorated but disillusioned, and testified powerfully before Congress as a young veteran opposed to the war.
Kerry served as a prosecutor in Massachusetts, then as lieutenant governor, and was elected to the Senate in 1984, eventually serving five terms. In 2004 he was the Democratic presidential nominee and came within one state—Ohio—of winning. Kerry returned to the Senate, chaired the important Foreign Relations Committee, and succeeded Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State in 2013. In that position he tried to find peace in the Middle East; dealt with the Syrian civil war while combatting ISIS; and negotiated the Iran nuclear deal and the Paris climate agreement.
Every Day Is Extra is Kerry’s passionate, insightful, sometimes funny, always moving account of his life. Kerry tells wonderful stories about colleagues Ted Kennedy and John McCain, as well as President Obama and other major figures. He writes movingly of recovering his faith while in the Senate, and deplores the hyper-partisanship that has infected Washington.
Few books convey as convincingly as this one the life of public service like that which John Kerry has lived for fifty years. Every Day Is Extra shows Kerry for the dedicated, witty, and authentic man that he is, and provides forceful testimony for the importance of diplomacy and American leadership to address the increasingly complex challenges of a more globalized world.
John Forbes Kerry is a former Secretary of State and five-term US Senator. Kerry is the author of Every Day Is Extra, A Call to Service: My Vision for a Better America, The New War, and the best-selling This Moment on Earth. He is currently a Distinguished Fellow for Global Affairs at Yale University as well as the inaugural Visiting Distinguished Statesman for the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Kerry and his wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry, have two daughters, three sons, and seven grandchildren.
"Every Day Is Extra offers a detailed record of an important life . . . it is frank, thoughtful and clearly written. . . . What lingers are not the parts but the whole; not the life, but the man. . . . A bittersweet reminder of what the country once demanded of its leaders.”
– Gideon Rose, The New York Times Book Review
“In these pages Kerry shows remarkable honesty, depth, even spirituality. . . . There is remarkable poignancy — not the usual currency of the career politician and the country’s top diplomat.”
– David M. Shribman, The Boston Globe
"The strength of Kerry’s memoir is that it draws back the curtain on a life you thought you knew, but turns out to be a bit different. . . . A surprisingly personal book."
– David Ignatius, The Washington Post
“The difference between memoir and autobiography can be fuzzy, but Every Day Is Extra . . . has both the reflective candor of the former and the painstaking, chronological detail of the latter.”
– The New Yorker
"Kerry saw U.S. power much as he saw his own privilege: as a call to service. His memoir gives a comprehensive and, in places, moving account of his response to that call. People disagree over the wisdom and effectiveness of U.S. foreign policy in the Kerry years, but there can be no serious dispute about the integrity and patriotism that Kerry brought to the job."
– Foreign Affairs
“Fine reading for politics junkies, especially those with an interest in how policy is made. . . . A smart look at not just [Kerry's] life, but also our times."
– Kirkus Reviews
“[A] fine memoir. . . . This book reveals a man of quiet, passionate patriotism, immense intelligence, and thoughtfulness.”
– Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"The war hero, senator, secretary of state and presidential candidate has plenty to write about – and to be right about."