Jon Meacham, C’91, returns to teach at Sewanee this semester

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Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Jon Meacham, C’91, H’10, is actively involved on the Sewanee campus this semester, teaching a history course and giving talks open to the general public.

Meacham, executive editor and executive vice president at Random House, was awarded the Pulitzer for American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House. His most recent book, Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power, celebrates Jefferson’s skills as a practical politician and was a No. 1 New York Times bestseller. Meacham is a contributing editor to Time and a former editor of Newsweek.

Meacham will give a Presidents’ Day talk at noon Monday, Feb. 17, in Guerry Auditorium. “The Presidents on the Presidents: How They Judge One Another” will examine how presidents have spoken of those who came before. The public is welcome to attend.

“I am delighted that Jon is teaching at Sewanee this spring and that he will be sharing his expertise not only with those students enrolled in his class but also with a wider audience in several public lectures,” said Vice-Chancellor John McCardell. “Jon's publications have made history come alive for a wide readership. He will, I am certain, have that same effect in the classroom. Sewanee is pleased to welcome this distinguished graduate ‘home’.”

As Distinguished Visiting Professor of History, Meacham is teaching a course on Hours of Crisis in U.S. History. The course examines key moments of crisis in American political, military and cultural history, from the Second Continental Congress’s decision to declare independence in 1776 to the wars with Iraq in 1991 and 2003.

Meacham is a fellow of the Society of American Historians, a trustee of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation at Monticello, chairs the National Advisory Board of the John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics at Washington University, and is a scholar-trustee of the New-York Historical Society.

Meacham’s award-winning and best-selling books include Franklin and Winston, about the relationship between Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill, and American Gospel, about religion and American politics. He is also the editor of Voices in Our Blood: America’s Best on the Civil Rights Movement, a collection of distinguished nonfiction about the struggle against Jim Crow. He began his career reporting for the Chattanooga Times and has written for The New York Times, The New York Times Book Review and the Washington Post, among other publications.

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