Learn more about Jon Meacham and The Art of Leadership: Lessons from the American Presidency, which kicks off the 2017–18 Winter Park Institute speaker series on September 12.
This article originally appeared in Winter Park Magazine’s summer 2017 issue. It is republished here with permission.
Jon Meacham has earned critical kudos for his carefully researched but highly readable works on American history. His specialty is presidential leadership, and he is frequently called upon by television network news programs to provide commentary on national political developments.
Nobody is more qualified to discuss presidential leadership—and to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of our assorted commanders in chief—than Jon Meacham, a Pulitzer Prize-winning presidential historian. In fact, as the decidedly unconventional Trump presidency unfolds, Meacham has been called upon more frequently than ever to do just that through appearances in national publications and on television programs.
But even before Trump’s ascendancy, Meacham was one of the leading public intellectuals in the U.S., writing award-winning books and providing historical context for issues related to politics, religion, and world affairs.
His most recent presidential biography, Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush, debuted at No. 1 on The New York Times bestseller list. The book, according to the Times, “reflects the qualities of both subject and biographer: judicious, balanced, deliberative, with a deep appreciation of history and the personalities who shape it.”
The courtly, Chattanooga-born Meacham’s previous bestsellers include Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power and American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House, which won the Pulitzer Prize for biography.
Franklin and Winston: An Intimate Portrait of an Epic Friendship explores the complex relationship between President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Prime Minister Winston Churchill during World War II, while American Gospel: God, the Founding Fathers, and the Making of a Nation analyzes the role of religious belief in early American governance.
Meacham, a former editor of Newsweek, is a contributing editor at Time and a columnist for The New York Times Book Review. He’s a mainstay on numerous national news programs, and is a distinguished visiting professor of history at the University of the South, as well as a visiting professor of history at Vanderbilt University.
A trustee of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation and the Andrew Jackson Foundation, Meacham also chairs the National Advisory Council of the John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics at Washington University in St. Louis.
The Anti-Defamation League awarded Meacham its Hubert H. Humphrey First Amendment Prize in 2006, and the Historical Society of Pennsylvania presented him with its Founder’s Award in 2013. Meacham received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from the Berkeley Divinity School at Yale University in 2005, and holds several other honorary doctorates. He’s currently at work on a biography of James and Dolley Madison.
The Art of Leadership: Lessons from the American Presidency
Tuesday, September 12, 7:30 p.m.
Knowles Memorial Chapel
Ticket prices: $40, $30, $20
Rollins faculty, staff, and students receive free admission to Winter Park Institute events. Faculty and staff members can request two free tickets, and Rollins students can request one free ticket. To reserve your tickets, contact the Rollins box office at BoxOffice@rollins.edu or 407-646-2145.