A century and a half after Confederate forces fired on Fort Sumter to ignite the Civil War, leading historians examine the causes of the conflict.
Michael Korda, Henry Kissinger and Adam Gopnik discuss the life of T. E. Lawrence—separating fact from legend—and examine the impact of Lawrence’s activities on modern politics in the Middle East and on world history.
In his State of the Union Address on January 6, 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt looked forward to a world in which everyone enjoyed four essention freedoms: freedom of speech and expression, freedom of worship, freedom from want and freedom from fear. These values were central to both Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, who made it her personal mission to codify those rights in the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Experts discuss the speech and its far-reaching influence, and also delve into this extraordinary couple's influence on one another.
William E. Leuchtenburg is a professor emeritus at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a former Bancroft Prize winner and the author of six books on FDR. Hazel Rowley is the author of several books, including Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: An Extraordinary Marriage. William J. vanden Heuvel is Chairman of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park, LLC, as well as Founder and Chair Emeritus of the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute. Douglas Brinkley (Moderador) is a professor of history at Rice University and a fellow in history at the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy. He is a member of the board of the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute.
He was a fierce advocate for workers' rights, a pioneer in pro bono work by attorneys and one of the most distinguished justices in the history of the United States Supreme Court. Louis D. Brandeis is a giant figure in American history and his influence can be felt beyond the ralm of law. As a young lawyer and reformer, he was instrumental in the battles against monopolies and for minimum wage/maximum hour regulations for laborers, and was co-author of "The Right to Privacy," one of the most important law articles in history. As Associate Supreme Court Justice, he was a powerful—though often minority—voice in defense of civil liberties and his dissents paved the way for many future reforms. In this program, two speakers discuss Brandeis's continued relevance and the impact of his life and work.
Jeffrey Rosen is a professor of law at The George Washington University and the legal affairs editor of The New Republic. His most recent book is The Supreme Court: The Personalities and Rivalries that Defined America. Frederick M. Lawrence (Moderator) is the new president of Brandeis University, former Dean of The George Washington University Law School and the author of Punishing Hate: Bias Crimes Under American Law.
Andrew Johnson never expected to be president, but just six weeks after becoming Abraham Lincoln's vice president, he was thrust into the nation's highest office. Johnson faced a nearly impossible task—to succeed America's greatest chief executive and to bind the nation's wounds after the Civil War. Annette Gordon-Reed shows how ill-suited Johnson was for this daunting task. His vision of reconciliation abandoned the millions of former slaves and antagonized congressional leaders, who tried to limit his powers and eventually impeached him.
Annette Gordon-Reed is the Pulitzer Prize-winnin author of Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings: An American Controversy and The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family. She is Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, Professor of History in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University and the Carol K. Pforzheimer Professor at the Radcliffe Institute at Harvard University. Her latest book is Andrew Johnson, in the American Presidents Series.