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Michael  Beschloss

Michael Beschloss

Award-Winning Historian & Best-Selling Author

Michael Beschloss

Award-Winning Historian & Best-Selling Author


Michael Beschloss is an award-winning historian, scholar of leadership and bestselling author of ten books, most recently the acclaimed New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller Presidents of War. The New York Times Book Review calls Presidents of War “a superb and important book.” The Financial Times says that the book “looks at leadership from every angle” and calls it “epic” and “magisterial.” The historian Ron Chernow calls the book “monumental and profoundly important.” Tom Hanks says, “Once again, Beschloss captures our Presidents in terms both historic and human.” The Charlotte Observer says, “Michael Beschloss knows more about America’s Presidents than perhaps anyone on earth.”

Beschloss appears regularly on television as the NBC News Presidential Historian and contributor to PBS NewsHour. He has also been a contributing columnist to The New York Times. He has won an Emmy for his television work and received six honorary degrees and numerous other awards. He has the largest Twitter following of any American historian, more than half a million. His Twitter account appears on Time magazine’s list of the world’s top Twitter feeds.

Born in Chicago, Beschloss is an alumnus of Phillips Academy (Andover) and Williams College, where he studied under James MacGregor Burns, author of what remains the most classic book on leadership. At the Harvard Business School, Beschloss studied leadership in both the private and public sectors. He has served as an historian at the Smithsonian, a scholar at the University of Oxford, and a senior fellow of the Annenberg Foundation. Among his earlier books are two volumes on Lyndon Johnson’s secret tapes, The Conquerors, about Franklin Roosevelt, Nazi Germany and the Holocaust, and Presidential Courage. He was also co-author (with Caroline Kennedy) of the #1 global bestseller Jacqueline Kennedy: Historic Conversations about Life with John F. Kennedy.

Speaker Videos

Michael Beschloss on Presidential Sites

Commencement Speech

Speech Topics

Leadership from the Boardroom to the Oval Office

Drawing on his years studying leadership at the Harvard Business School and as a presidential historian, speaker Michael Beschloss picks the most brilliant successes and the most lethal mistakes made in business and politics and shows audiences what they can teach us. He customizes each presentation according to his audience.

The Washington You're Not Hearing About

Using presidents, Supreme Court justices, diplomats, and members of Congress as examples and drawing on his quarter-century in the capital, speaker Michael Beschloss reveals the hidden side of important personalities and behind-the-scenes developments that may soon have a major impact on your life.

Presidential Courage

What makes a great US president? Speaker Michael Beschloss believes the answer is "presidential courage": the willingness to take a political risk that might end a president's career and the wisdom to do that for reasons that later Americans will admire. In a presentation based on his book Presidential Courage: Brave Leaders and How They Changed America, 1789-1989, Beschloss describes crucial times when courageous presidents took such risks and overcame obstacles to dramatically change the future of the United States. From George Washington to Ronald Reagan, the presidents Beschloss focuses on addressed some of the most paramount, abiding issues in American history - war and peace, human rights, and the proper balance between government and business. A natural storyteller, Beschloss details the outstanding traits of these presidents and compares them to the current crop of presidential candidates, offering an insightful glance into America's political future. He also translates what he has discovered about presidential courage into leadership lessons for all of us.

Great Presidents Past & Present

As a master in his field, speaker Michael Beschloss brings inspiring, humorous, and tragic never-before-told stories of American presidents - from George Washington to George W. Bush - as they struggle with war, peace, and domestic crisis. He reveals the qualities that have made great presidents in history and shows how to find leaders who have them now in politics, business, and civic life.


Books & Media


Jacqueline Kennedy