A ghost has inhabited the Oval Office since 1945—the ghost of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. FDR's formidable presence has cast a large shadow on the occupants of that office in the years since his death.
Niall Ferguson tells the story of Siegmund Warburg, a refugee from Hitler’s Germany who rose to become one of the dominant figures in finance in post-war Europe. He was one of the architects of European financial integration and a key advisor to governments in London, Tokyo and Jerusalem. An obsessive perfectionist with an aversion to excessive risk, Warburg came to embody the ideals of high finance and was as much a psychologist, politician, and actor-manager as he was a banker.
This program tells the story of the Hemings family, whose close blood ties to the third president of America had been systematically expunged from history until very recently. Two speakers trace the Hemingses from their origins in Virginia in the 1700s to the family's dispersal after Thomas Jefferson's death in 1826, bringing to life not only Sally Hemings and Thomas Jefferson, but the entire family and their compelling saga.
When Americans think of the founding fathers, one man is consistently overlooked by historians and the general public: Samuel Adams. Adams, "the patriarch of liberty," as Jefferson called him, was critical to independence. He was responsible for planning and instigating the Boston Tea Party; he successfully demanded the withdrawal of British troops from Boston after the Boston Massacre; he signed the Declaration of Independence; and he was a pivotal swing vote in favor of ratifying the Constitution.
He was a delegate to the Continental Congress, the Father of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, a founder of his party, and one of the first presidents of the United States.
Benno Schmidt moderates this program with historians Joseph J. Ellis and Sean Wilentz as they discuss James Madison's enormous, but often overlooked contributions in American history.
Join us for a riveting discussion of America’s preeminent first couple, whose story is equal parts biography, political history, and love story. In more than 50 years of political and personal partnership, John and Abigail Adams strategized over civic and foreign affairs as often as they discussed their children. Their remarkable connection is epitomized in words he wrote to her after his election to the presidency: “I can do nothing without you.” Joseph J.
In this program, celebrated biographer Ron Chernow sits down with Stacy Schiff and brings to life a dashing, passionate man of fiery opinions and many moods, shattering the stereotype of Washington as a stolid, unemotional man. Chernow also describes a canny political genius who shaped the new federal government and inspired a new nation.
Through the analysis of past cases, Associate United States Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer examines the Court’s role as guardian of the Constitution.
Three experts discuss the Supreme Court’s failure to protect equal rights during the pivotal years following the Civil War.