Historian and editor Jon Meacham in residence at Vanderbilt during fall semester

Jon Meacham
Jon Meacham (Gaspar Triangle)

Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Jon Meacham will be a dynamic presence at Vanderbilt University during the fall 2013 semester, teaching a political science course and leading two events open to the general public.

“I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to be a part of the vibrant Vanderbilt world,” Meacham. “The university seems to be in a kind of golden age–at once culturally exciting and intellectually exacting.”

Meacham, executive editor and executive vice president at Random House, was awarded the Pulitzer for American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House. His most recent book, Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power, was a No. 1 New York Times bestseller and made many critics’ “best of the year” lists. Meacham is a contributing editor to Time and a former editor of Newsweek. A fellow of the Society of American Historians, he is a trustee of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation at Monticello, chairs the National Advisory Board of the John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics at Washington University, and is a scholar-trustee of the New-York Historical Society.

“Jon’s extraordinary scholarship and teaching present a tremendous opportunity for learning and discovery–not only for Vanderbilt students but for the wider community,” said Vanderbilt Chancellor Nicholas S. Zeppos. “His exciting vision for the Chancellor’s Lecture Series will bring together the Vanderbilt community and our greater Nashville neighbors with society’s history shapers and policy makers to spark thought-provoking conversations in ways that will deepen and enrich our intellectual discourse as a society.”

Meacham will moderate a Chancellor’s Lecture Series event at 5:30 p.m. Nov. 5 on “Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. and the Fate of American Liberalism,” coinciding with the release of the book The Letters of Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. Television newsman and author Tom Brokaw and Schlesinger’s sons Stephen and Andrew Schlesinger will participate in the discussion in Ingram Hall at Blair School of Music, which will be free and open to the public.

Meacham will preside over a second Chancellor’s Lecture Series lecture titled “Whither the GOP: The Future of the Republican Party” featuring Joe Scarborough, author of the forthcoming book The Right Path: How the GOP Once Mastered Politics—And Can Again, in early December. That event is also free and open to the public. More details will be released later.

As a Distinguished Visiting Professor, Meacham will teach an undergraduate political science course on The Fate of the Republican Party.

“Through his award-winning books and thoughtful commentary in the news media, Jon Meacham has influenced millions of Americans,” said John Geer, Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Professor of Political Science and chair of the department. “Now with Jon’s appointment to Vanderbilt, our students will have the opportunity to interact with and learn from this highly respected public figure. [rquote]We are truly fortunate that Jon Meacham has joined the Vanderbilt community.”[/rquote]

Based in Nashville with his wife and three children, Meacham grew up in Chattanooga and graduated from The University of the South, where he was salutatorian and has since served as a member of Sewanee’s Board of Trustees and Board of Regents. He began his career reporting for The Chattanooga Times and has written for The New York Times, The New York Times Book Review, and The Washington Post, among other publications.

Meacham’s award-winning and best-selling books include Franklin and Winston, about the relationship between Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill, and American Gospel, about religion and American politics. He is also the editor of Voices in Our Blood: America’s Best on the Civil Rights Movement, a collection of distinguished nonfiction about the struggle against Jim Crow.