Presidential historians Beschloss, Brinkley visit SMU Feb. 5, 2013

Michael Beschloss and Douglas Brinkley
Presidential historians Michael Beschloss and Douglas Brinkley will speak in SMU’s 2012-13 Tate Distinguished Lecture Series on Tuesday, Feb. 5.

Presidential historians Michael Beschloss and Douglas Brinkley visit the Hilltop Tuesday, Feb. 5 for the 2012-13 Tate Distinguished Lecture Series. They will give the Anita and Truman Arnold Lecture at 8 p.m. in McFarlin Auditorium.

Michael Beschloss is an award-winning historian based out of Washington, D.C., focusing on presidential history for NBC News. He appears regularly on NBC programs such as Meet the Press and Today and  is a regular commentator on PBS NewsHour. Newsweek has called Beschloss “the nation’s leading presidential historian.”

In 2005 Beschloss won an Emmy for his role in creating the Discovery Channel series Decisions that Shook the World. He also served as the show’s host. In addition to his television work, Beschloss has authored nine books, including New York Times bestseller Jacqueline Kennedy: Historic Conversations on Life with John F. Kennedy, co-authored with Caroline Kennedy.

> Follow Michael Beschloss on Twitter @BeschlossDC

Douglas Brinkley is a Texas-based historian focused on American events and leaders of the 20th and 21st centuries. He has written more than 40 books, five of which have been selected as New York Times “Notable Books of the Year.” Brinkley is a contributing editor for Vanity Fair, The Lost Angeles Times Book Review and American Heritage.

Brinkley is a professor of history at Rice University and a fellow of the James Baker III Institute of Public Policy. While teaching at Hofstra University, Brinkley spearheaded the American Odyssey course, in which he took students on numerous cross-country treks where they visited historic sites and seminal figures in politics and literature. He later wrote The Majic Bus: An American Odyssey to chronicle his experiences; the book served as the progenitor to C-SPAN’s Yellow School Bus.

> Follow Douglas Brinkley on Twitter @ProfDBrinkley

Beschloss graduated from Williams College with highest honors and a degree in political science; his first book, Kennedy and Roosevelt: The Uneasy Alliance, was started as his senior honors thesis there. After Williams, he earned an M.B.A. degree Harvard Business School. He has been called “easily the most widely recognized Presidential historian in the United States.”

Brinkley received his bachelor’s degree from Ohio State University and his doctorate in U.S. diplomatic history from Georgetown University. He has been called “America’s new past master” by The Chicago Tribune.

The evening lecture is sold out, but SMU students may attend for free with their University ID if seats become available. Beschloss and Brinkley will answer questions from University community members and local high school students at 4:30 p.m. in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Ballroom.

The Forum is free, but seating is limited. SMU faculty, staff and students are encouraged to attend; RSVP online to ensure a place. To ask Beschloss and Brinkley a question via Twitter, send a tweet to @SMUTate. Student moderator Amie Kromis will ask some of these questions during the event.

> Visit the SMU Tate Distinguished Lecture Series homepage

SMU event: What memoirs reveal about the Bush Administration

Melvin Leffler
Historian Melvin Leffler will discuss the evolving story of the George W. Bush administration at SMU Friday, Feb. 1, 2013.

One of the nation’s foremost diplomatic historians will use the memoirs produced by members of George W. Bush’s administration to analyze foreign policy shaped by the 43rd president in the post-9/11 world.

Melvin Leffler, the Edward R. Stettinius Chair of Modern American History at the University of Virginia, will speak from 5-7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 1 in Jones Great Hall, Meadows Museum. The lecture is free and open to the public, but registration is required. Add your name to the waiting list.

Leffler’s lecture will focus on what the memoirs reveal about the motives, goals, and decision-making processes of the Bush administration. The event is the second produced by SMU’s new Center for Presidential History.

“As for disagreements, I shall highlight the discord in the memoirs over the basic questions of whether officials felt that Iraq was contained and whether they thought that military action made sense,” Leffler said. “Some officials felt that Saddam was contained; others felt he was a looming threat. Some felt that war against Iraq made sense; others felt that the dangers of war might exceed the benefits.”

Written by Kimberly Cobb

Learn more at the SMU Center for Presidential History homepage
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