Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Jon Meacham explores what 21st-century leaders in different fields of endeavor can learn from the greatest moments of our common past. This presentation — non-partisan in content and tone — ranges from Jefferson’s pragmatism and JFK’s capacity to recover from his own mistakes to the management of conflicting egos as shown by Reagan and FDR and how George HW Bush dealt with the end of his presidency. Meacham discusses how history can inform the decisions all of us make everyday in positions that demand creative and innovative solutions.
Presidential historian and contributor to TIME and The New York Times Book Review, Jon Meacham is one of America's most prominent public intellectuals. A regular guest on Morning Joe, he is known as a skilled raconteur with a depth of knowledge about politics, religion, and current affairs. He understands how issues and events impact our lives and why historical context matters.
Meacham’s presidential biography, Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush, debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestsellers list in November 2015. The Times said, “Destiny and Power reflects the qualities of both subject and biographer: judicious, balanced, deliberative, with a deep appreciation of history and the personalities who shape it.”
His #1 New York Times bestseller, Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power, was hailed as "masterful and intimate" by Fortune magazine. His other national bestsellers include Franklin and Winston, American Gospel, and American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House, which won the Pulitzer Prize in 2009.
A contributing editor at TIME, Meacham writes for the magazine’s Ideas section. He also pens “The Long View” column in The New York Times Book Review in which he “looks back at books that speak to our current historical and cultural moment.” He served as Newsweek's managing editor from 1998 to 2006 and editor from 2006 to 2010. The New York Times called him “one of the most influential editors in the news magazine business.”
He has appeared on Meet The Press, Face the Nation, The Colbert Report, and Ken Burns’ documentary series The Roosevelts: An Intimate History. Named a “Global Leader for Tomorrow” by the World Economic Forum, he is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a fellow of the Society of American Historians, and chairs the National Advisory Board of the John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics at Washington University. Meacham is a Distinguished Visiting Professor of History at The University of the South and a Visiting Distinguished Professor at Vanderbilt. He is currently at work on a biography of James and Dolley Madison.
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The past speakers have included Mayor-elect Michael Nutter (2007), Gov. Ed Rendell and Sen. Arlen Specter (2008), Vice President Joe Biden (2009), Gov. Chris Christie (2010), political consultant James Carville (2011), and political journalists “Morning Joe” Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski (2012). Senators Bob Casey and Pat Toomey (2014). Political commentators Mark Halperin and John Heilemann joined us for a moderated discussion by Kristen Welker (2015) and John Dickerson joined us last year.