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Michael Beschloss    

Presidential Historian, New York Times Columnist & Best-Selling Author

Award-winning Historian and Scholar of Leadership Michael Beschloss is the bestselling author of ten books, including his most recent bestseller, Presidents of War. Called “the nation's leading Presidential historian” by Newsweek, the Charlotte Observer wrote that “Michael Beschloss knows more about America’s Presidents than perhaps anyone on earth.”

Bringing to the stage his extensive and riveting knowledge of the Presidency, Beschloss delivers a behind-the-scenes look at American presidents and other towering historical figures. His brilliant analysis illuminates the leadership secrets of the men who sat in the Oval Office — particularly in times of tumult and change. With talks on leadership, America’s division and history of war, Beschloss gives context to the crucial events of our time.

A Wall Street Journal and New York Times bestseller, Presidents of War called “a superb and important book, superbly rendered” by the New York Times Book Review. According to the Financial Times, the book “looks at leadership from every angle,” and praised it as “epic” and “magisterial.” Historian Ron Chernow called it “monumental and profoundly important,” and even actor Tom Hanks said “Once again, Beschloss captures our Presidents in terms both historic and human.”

Among his earlier books are two volumes on Lyndon Johnson’s secret tapes, The Conquerors, about Franklin Roosevelt, Nazi Germany and the Holocaust, and Presidential Courage. He was also co-author (with Caroline Kennedy) of the number-one global bestseller Jacqueline Kennedy: Historic Conversations about Life with John F. Kennedy.

Beschloss appears regularly on NBC Nightly News, Meet the Press, The Today Show, and other network programs as the NBC News Presidential Historian, and as a contributor to the PBS NewsHour. He has won an Emmy for his television work and received six honorary degrees and numerous other awards. Beschloss has also been a contributing columnist to the New York Times with a monthly column on business history and a weekly column on sports history.

With the largest Twitter following of any American historian, in the neighborhood of 400,000, his Twitter account has appeared on Time Magazine’s list of the world’s top Twitter feeds. He has served as an historian at the Smithsonian, a scholar at the University of Oxford, and a senior fellow of the Annenberg Foundation.

Born in Chicago, Beschloss is an alumnus of Phillips Academy (Andover) and Williams College, and studied leadership in both the private and public sectors at the Harvard Business School. Though he planned to go into business and write history on the side, the success of his first book allowed him to pursue a career as a full-time historian.

Speech Topics


Leadership From the Board Room to the Oval Office

Drawing on his years studying leadership at the Harvard Business School and as a presidential historian, Beschloss, customizing his presentation for each audience, picks the most brilliant successes and the most lethal mistakes made in business and politics and shows what they can teach us.

Presidential Courage

What makes a great U.S. president? Michael Beschloss believes the answer is "presidential courage": the willingness to take a political risk that might end a president's career-and the wisdom to do that for reasons that later Americans will admire. In a presentation based on his book Presidential Courage: Brave Leaders and How They Changed America, 1789-1989, Beschloss describes crucial times when courageous presidents took such risks and overcame obstacles to dramatically change the future of the United States. From George Washington to Ronald Reagan, the presidents Beschloss focuses on addressed some of the most paramount, abiding issues in American history-war and peace, human rights, and the proper balance between government and business. A natural storyteller, Beschloss details the outstanding traits of these presidents, and then compares them to the current crop of presidential candidates, for in insightful glance into America's political future. He also uses what he has discovered about presidential courage to provide leadership lessons for all of us.

Jacqueline Kennedy: Historic Conversations on Life with John F. Kennedy

Great Presidents Past and Present

As a master in his field, Beschloss brings us inspiring, humorous and tragic never-before-told stories of American presidents from George Washington to George W. Bush as they struggle with war, peace and domestic crisis. He reveals the qualities that have made great presidents in history and shows how to find leaders who have them now in politics, business and civic life.

The Washington, D.C. Youre Not Hearing About

From his talks with presidents, Supreme Court justices, diplomats and members of Congress and his quarter-century in the capital, Beschloss reveals the hidden side of important personalities and behind-the-scenes developments that may soon have a major impact on your life.

How to Enjoy and Learn from Historic Sites

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