Stephen P. Kiernan
Author and Advocate

Stephen P. Kiernan is an award-winning journalist and the author of Authentic Patriotism: Restoring America’s Founding Ideals Through Selfless Action and Last Rights: Rescuing the End of Life from the Medical System. He speaks frequently to audiences across the country about health care, civic engagement, ethics, service learning, meaningful living, medical research, the green economy, criminal justice, race relations, the power of personal commitment, hospice, palliative care and advance directives.


Stephen’s career as a journalist at the Burlington Free Press and Boston Globe spans more than two decades. He has won 40 awards, including the Gerald Loeb Award for financial journalism, the George Polk Award for medical reporting, and the Associated Press Managing Editors’ Freedom of Information Award. Stephan has also taught at Middlebury College and the New England Young Writer’s conference.


His books address major issues in modern American life: in Last Rights, the outdated state of modern end-of-life health care; and in Authentic Patriotism, the disengagement and disconnection of the nation’s citizenship. Authentic Patriotism details stories of how 60 individuals challenged the malaise pervading the American economy, politics, and spirit through civic engagement. Last Rights also examines ways of changing the system of end-of-life care that denies dignity to too many.


Stephen currently serves on the board of the Young Writers Project and the advisory committee of the New Hampshire Palliative Care Initiative.  He lives in Charlotte, Vermont with his two sons.

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Trade Paperback
Authentic Patriotism
How to Restore America's Ideals---Without Losing Our Tempers or Our Minds
St. Martin's Griffin

A provocative, inspiring account of our neglected American ideals and the people who are living them today—and restoring our nation’s dream Patriotism has...

Trade Paperback
Last Rights
Rescuing the End of Life from the Medical System
St. Martin's Griffin

“Gripping…A superb resource for boomers dealing with their parents’ final days…as well as for health-care professionals who need to hear this story from the...

Authentic Patriotism: Kiernan discusses the big things (and little things) we can all do to help each other and improve our country.
Last Rights: Kiernan takes the audience through the compelling stories and powerful message of his book, looking at the state of end of life care in the United States and why it must change.

Praise for Authentic Patriotism "A good-hearted and hardheaded appeal."
--Kirkus Reviews

"From retiree Jack McConnell in South Carolina to Majora Carter in the South Bronx, Americans who brought real change to their communities have maintained a great nation while our institutions failed us. Authentic Patriotism is the story of those people whom you have never heard of, but who are most responsible for the greatness of America."
--Howard Dean

“Authentic Patriotism is poignant, powerful, and deeply inspiring. It reminded me of something we all tend to forget in the maelstrom of partisan politics and corporate bureaucracies: A single, ordinary person still can make a difference – and single, ordinary people are doing precisely that every day. This is an absolutely terrific book.”
--Chris Bohjalian, author of Midwives, The Double Bind, and Secrets of Eden