National Journal senior columnist Ron Fournier to appear live at The War Memorial

Fournier will discuss his new book, in which he writes about his relationship with his son, diagnosed at twelve with Asperger’s

ThisAmericana RonFournier HeadshotGROSSE POINTE FARMS, MICHIGAN — The War Memorial is proud to present National Journal Senior Political Columnist Ron Fournier live on March 30, 2017 at 7pm. Fournier will appear as part of The War Memorial’s This Americana series, which fosters conversations centered around history, culture, and the ideas that shape us as a community. Fournier’s talk will focus on his book, Love That Boy: What Two Presidents, Eight Road Trips, and My Son Taught Me About a Parent’s Expectations.

In Love That Boy, Fournier chronicles the causes and costs of parental expectations in 21st-century America through the lens of his relationship with his son Tyler. He lurches between the two poles of parenthood: what we want for our children—popularity, normalcy, achievement, genius—and what they truly need—grit, empathy, character.

At twelve years old, Fournier’s son Tyler was diagnosed with Asperger’s. His unique wiring and interests made him socially awkward, and it was difficult for Fournier to connect with him in the way he’d done with his own father: through a mutual love of sports. When Tyler was diagnosed, Fournier’s wife, Lori, insisted that Ron bond with his son and help Tyler develop social skills by taking a series of road trips together to the libraries and homes of former presidents. (Tyler shares a deep interest and love of presidential history.) Along the way, Tyler attended a White House Christmas party, where he shook hands with President Obama and got a hug from Michelle; Tyler also gained the courage to meet privately with Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush and spoke with them at length. Father and son also visited the libraries and homes of Presidents Adams, Ford, Jefferson, Kennedy, and Theodore Roosevelt.

Their journey turns the spotlight on all parents, urging us to do as Ron ultimately does: learn to love our children for who they are, not who we wish them to be. Love That Boy is a deeply personal and honest look at the universal pitfalls of modern parenting.

Fournier and Love That Boy have been featured in many popular media outlets, including the New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Detroit News, Psychology Today,, The Atlantic, USA Today, NPR’s Weekend Edition Saturday, Washington Post, Reader’s Digest, and Face The Nation.

“It is really amazing to have such powerfully moving speakers as Ron Fournier on our This Americana series,” said Brandon Faber, Director of Community Engagement at The War Memorial. “Ron’s experience and story is a powerful insight for anyone and we’re grateful for his addition to The War Memorial’s programs.”

Tickets to the event are $10, and can be purchased at or 313.881.7511. The War Memorial is located at 32 Lake Shore Drive in Grosse Pointe Farms.

About Ron Fournier

Ron Fournier is the Senior Political Columnist for National Journal. He began his family and career in Arkansas, covering then Governor Bill Clinton before moving to Washington in 1993, where he covered politics and the presidency during the administrations of Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama. Fournier also served as a fellow at the Harvard Institute of Politics, where he co-wrote the New York Times bestseller Applebee’s America. He holds the Society of Professional Journalists’ Sigma Delta Chi Award for coverage of the 2000 elections, and he is a four-time winner of the prestigious White House Correspondents’ Association Merriman Smith Memorial Award.

About The War Memorial

The War Memorial, located on the shores of Lake Saint Clair in Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan, is a legacy-filled institution with a reenergized determination to emerge as a regional driver of arts, learning, patriotism, hospitality and connectivity. Situated on the grounds of the historic Alger Estate, The War Memorial serves an estimated 200,000 individuals with over 2,000 functions annually, including programs to honor veterans, engagement experiences for adults and children, community events and celebrations, and premier hospitality services. With new programming and innovative leadership, The War Memorial is a unique, dynamic and forward-thinking hub for southeast Michigan with a mission to be a patriotic, cultural, and community leader.

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