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News

Writer Jon Meacham to discuss ‘The Soul of America’ on Saturday

  • Presidential historian and best-selling author Jon Meacham will deliver the 2018 Carthage Commencement address.
    Presidential historian and best-selling author Jon Meacham will deliver the 2018 Carthage Commencement address.
    Gasper Tringale
May 15, 2018

A day before addressing the Class of 2018, Pulitzer Prize-winning presidential historian Jon Meacham will give a live interview at Carthage analyzing contemporary presidential politics and its effect on the nation’s soul.

Sponsored by the Sam and Gene Johnson Distinguished Visitors Program, this event is scheduled for 2 p.m. Saturday, May 26, in A. F. Siebert Chapel. (See campus map.) Admission is free, and the public is welcome.

Carthage professor Greg Berg, longtime host of “The Morning Show” on WGTD radio, will conduct the interview. A period will be set aside for audience members’ questions.

Meacham’s newly published book, “The Soul of America: The Battle for Our Better Angels,” grew out of his reaction to last year’s racial conflict in Charlottesville, Virginia, and today’s inflammatory political climate. Distilling past lessons with an aptitude the Washington Independent Review of Books called “bordering on the supernatural,” he points to other moments in U.S. history when hope triumphed over divisiveness.

His most recent presidential biography, “Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush,” debuted at No. 1 on the New York Times bestsellers list in 2015. Meacham gave a eulogy for Barbara Bush at the former first lady’s funeral in April.

One of his previous works, “American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House,” won a Pulitzer for biography in 2009. A regular guest on the MSNBC news show “Morning Joe,” Meacham is a contributing editor at Time magazine and a columnist in The New York Times Book Review.

Shuttles will be available to transport visitors from the parking lots to the chapel. Those who cannot attend the public interview at Carthage may watch it via live stream. Go to live.carthage.edu for links to the streaming coverage.

Mr. Meacham will address the Carthage Class of 2018 on Sunday, May 27, as this year’s commencement speaker. Tickets to the commencement are reserved for graduates and guests, but the full ceremony — including Meacham’s address — can also be viewed live online beginning at 11 a.m. May 27. 

Read more about Carthage’s Commencement Weekend