Videos of our past events are available to view on the pages listed below, Vimeo, and YouTube.


Anointed with Oil: How Christianity and Crude Made Modern America

February 10, 2020

Anointed with Oil places religion and oil at the center of American history. As prize-winning historian Darren Dochuk reveals, from the earliest discovery of oil in America during the Civil War, citizens saw oil as the nation’s special blessing and its peculiar burden, the source of its prophetic mission in the world…


Lady First: The World of First Lady Sarah Polk

January 22, 2020

While the Woman’s Rights convention was taking place at Seneca Falls in 1848, First Lady Sarah Childress Polk was wielding influence unprecedented for a woman in Washington, D.C. Yet, while history remembers the women of the convention, it has all but forgotten Sarah Polk…


Enduring Alliance: A History of NATO and the Postwar Global Order

December 10, 2019

Born from necessity, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) has always seemed on the verge of collapse. At this moment of incipient strategic crisis, Timothy A. Sayle offers a sweeping history of the most critical alliance in the post-World War II era…


Chinese Exclusion and the Making of the Alien in America

December 5, 2019

Beth Lew-Williams is an associate professor of history and Philip and Beulah Rollins Bicentennial Preceptor at Princeton University. She is a historian of race and migration in the United States, specializing in Asian American history…


Losing Earth: The Decade We Almost Stopped Climate Change

November 20, 2019

By 1979, we knew all that we know now about the science of climate change – what was happening, why it was happening, and how to stop it. Over the next ten years, we had the very real opportunity to stop it. Obviously, we failed…


THIRD RAIL SERIES: Does the Middle East Still Matter?

November 6, 2019

Oil tanker attacks. Invasions and civil wars. Daily headlines from the Middle East paint a picture of instability, while Middle East oil is being quickly replaced by American shale. The President has made it clear he wants out…but is it that simple?


Doing History Amidst History: An Army Historian’s Work to Document the War on Terror

October 30, 2019

A trained historian and career officer, in 2009-10, Lt. Col and Dr. Brian DeToy served as the Command Historian for the main coalition warfighting element in Iraq, overseeing the collection, preservation and dissemination of historical documents and senior command interviews to “tell” the story of America’s military in Operation Iraqi Freedom…


The Last Card in the Deck: Inside George W. Bush’s Decision to Surge in Iraq

October 22, 2019

This is the real story of how George W. Bush came to double-down on Iraq in the highest stakes gamble of his entire presidency. Drawing on extensive interviews with nearly thirty senior officials, including President Bush himself…


Alien Chinese Railroad Workers and American National History

October 3, 2019

Gordon H. Chang is a Professor of History and Senior Associate Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education at Stanford University. He has written extensively on the histories of America-China relations, U.S. diplomacy, and Asian-American History…


Double Crossed: The Missionaries Who Spied for the United States During the Second World War

September 26, 2019

What makes a good missionary makes a good spy. Or so thought “Wild” Bill Donovan when he launched a secret new program under the Office of Strategic Services. His recruits, in turn, believed an American victory would help them protect their foreign ministries and expand the kingdom of God…


The Matriarch: Barbara Bush and the Making of an American Dynasty

September 11, 2019

Barbara Pierce Bush was one of the country’s most popular and powerful figures, yet her full story has never been told. The Matriarch tells the riveting tale of a woman who helped define two American presidencies and an entire political era….


Moral Combat: How Sex Divided American Christians and Fractured American Politics

April 10, 2019

Gay marriage, transgender rights, birth control–sex is at the heart of many of the most divisive political issues of our age. The origins of these conflicts, historian R. Marie Griffith argues, lie in sharp disagreements that emerged among American Christians a century ago…


How to Hide an Empire: A History of the Greater United States

March 27, 2019

We are familiar with maps that outline all fifty states. And we are also familiar with the idea that the United States is an “empire,” exercising power around the world. But what about the actual territories…


LBJ’s 1968: Power, Politics, and the Presidency in America’s Year of Upheaval

March 21, 2019

1968 was an unprecedented year in terms of upheaval on numerous scales: political, military, economic, social, cultural. In the United States, perhaps no one was more undone by the events of 1968 than President Lyndon Baines Johnson…


Impeachment: An American History

February 20, 2019

Four experts on the American presidency examine the three times impeachment has been invoked—against Andrew Johnson, Richard Nixon, and Bill Clinton—and explain what it means today…


Never Caught: The Washingtons’ Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave, Ona Judge

February 18, 2019

A startling and eye-opening look into America’s First Family, Never Caught is the powerful narrative of Ona Judge, George and Martha Washington’s runaway slave who risked everything to escape the nation’s capital and reach freedom…


The Improbable Wendell Willkie: The Businessman Who Saved the Republican Party and His Country, and Conceived a New World Order

January 9, 2019

In the wake of one of the most tumultuous Republican conventions ever, the party of Lincoln nominated in 1940 a prominent businessman and former Democrat who could have saved America’s sclerotic political system. Although Wendell Lewis Willkie would lose to FDR…


Power Without Victory: Woodrow Wilson and the American Internationalist Experiment

November 13, 2018

For decades, Woodrow Wilson has been remembered as either a paternalistic liberal or reactionary conservative at home and as a naïve idealist or cynical imperialist abroad. Historians’ harsh judgments of Wilson are understandable. He won two elections by promising a deliberative democratic process that would ensure justice and political empowerment for all…


Field of Blood: Violence in Congress and the Road to Civil War

November 2, 2018

In The Field of Blood, Joanne B. Freeman recovers the long-lost story of physical violence on the floor of the U.S. Congress. Drawing on an extraordinary range of sources, she shows that the Capitol was rife with conflict in the decades before the Civil War. Legislative sessions were often punctuated by mortal threats, canings, flipped desks, and all-out slugfests…


Believe Me: The Evangelical Road to Donald Trump

October 11, 2018

“Believe me” may be the most commonly used phrase in Donald Trump’s lexicon. Whether about building a wall or protecting a Christian heritage, the refrain has been constant. And to the surprise of many, a good 80 percent of white evangelicals have believed Trump—at least enough to help propel him into the White House…


The Age of Eisenhower: America and the World of the 1950s

September 20, 2018

An original and penetrating assessment of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, showing Ike’s enormous influence on modern America, the Cold War, and on the presidency itself. In a 2017 survey, presidential historians ranked Dwight D. Eisenhower fifth on the list of great presidents…


God Save Texas: A Journey Into the Soul of the Lone Star State

September 5, 2018

God Save Texas is a journey through the most controversial state in America. It is a red state in the heart of Trumpland that hasn’t elected a Democrat to a statewide office in more than twenty years; but it is also a state in which minorities already form a majority (including the largest number of Muslims)…