John Taylor "Ike" Williams, a founder of Kneerim & Williams, specializes in biography, history, politics, natural science, and anthropology. He represents Howard Gardner, E.O. Wilson, Tim Berners-Lee, Nigel Hamilton, the Estate of James MacGregor Burns, Lawrence Tribe, Frances Fitzgerald, the Estate of Richard Wilbur, Michael Porter, and Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot, among others. He was a member of the NEA Literary Panel, chair of the Boston Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights, co-chair of the Fine Arts Work Center, a member of the Advisory Board of The Biography Conference, and he is a former director of the Boston Book Festival. He also places dramatic rights for such feature films as The Ice Bucket Challenge (Netflix) starring Casey Affleck, based on the life of Pete and Julie Frates; True American by Anand Giridharadas (Kathryn Bigelow), Captain Phillips based on the book A Captain's Duty by Captain Richard Phillips and Stephen Talty; Public Enemies, from Vendetta by Alston Purvis; and television productions such as: the History Channel series based on Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States; Death and the Civil War (American Experience) based on Drew Gilpin Faust's This Republic of Suffering; a three part series based on E.O. Wilson's The Social Conquest of Earth; and a recent American Experience about the West Virginia mine wars, based on the book by James Green, The Devil Is Here in These Hills.
As a lawyer, Ike specializes in intellectual property and first amendment litigation, particularly in publishing, film, television, and new media. He is co-author of the widely used Perle, Williams & Fischer on Publishing Law. His legal clients include Muhammad Yunus, Jeff Kinney, and the Estates of John Hersey, Howard Zinn, and Norman Mailer. Ike is listed in The Best Lawyers in America (in every edition since 1991); The Top 100 Massachusetts Super Lawyers from 2004 - 2019 for entertainment, first amendment, and media law; Fortune Magazine's Top-Rated Lawyer in Intellectual Property Law (2010-2018); and he was selected as a "2013 Top Rated Lawyer in Intellectual Property Law" by American Lawyer Media. He is the recipient of the American Jewish Committee's 2005 Judge Learned Hand Award and Middlesex School's 2011 Henry Cabot Lodge Award for public service.
Ike is the author of The Shores of Bohemia: A Cape Cod Story 1910-1960 (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2022), a rousing account of the artists and political revolutionaries who made the Cape a hub of American culture in the early twentieth century.
The Shores of Bohemia
A Cape Cod Story, 1910-1960
by John Taylor Williams
Their names are iconic: Eugene O’Neill, Willem de Kooning, Josef and Annie Albers, Emma Goldman, Mary McCarthy, Edward Hopper, Walter Gropius—and the list goes on and on. Scorning the devastation that industrialization had wrought on the nation’s economy and culture in the early decades of the twentieth century, they gathered in the streets of Greenwich Village and on the beachfronts of Cape Cod. They began as progressives but soon turned to socialism, then communism. They founded theaters, periodicals, and art schools. They formed editorial boards that met in beach shacks and performed radical new plays in a shanty on the docks where they could see the ocean through cracks in the floor. They welcomed the tremendous wave of talent fleeing Europe in the 1930s. At the end of their era, as the postwar economy boomed, they took shelter in liberalism as the anti-capitalist movement fragmented into other causes in the 1960's.
“[A] chronique scandaleuse of bad or baddish behavior on the Cape during the first half of the 20th century.” —Christopher Irmscher, The Wall Street Journal
"The Shores of Bohemia, not only explores the unreliable boundaries between the local and the global, it marks, as well, the various intersections of historical event, human mysteries, and pure magic." —Michael Cunningham, author of The Snow Queen
"The spirit of that vanished era breathes again in Williams’s meandering, affectionate tribute." —Wendy Smith, The Boston Globe
"This wonderful book utterly beguiled me. On the surface, it is about a small portion of Cape Cod, the three final towns: Wellfleet, Truro and Provincetown. Yet it is about much more than that, and tells a beautiful story about friendship and creativity at the height of the American Century." —Ted Widmer, author of Lincoln on the Verge: Thirteen Days to Washington
"The history of the outer Cape as a bohemian mecca dates back to 1898, when the Portland Gale devastated the Provincetown fishing industry and led to a glut of cheap housing that attracted artists and freethinkers interested in a summer respite..."