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Michael Beschloss

Michael Beschloss is NBC News' Presidential Historian.

Michael Beschloss is an award-winning historian and the author of eight books.  His most recent book was the acclaimed New York Times best-seller The Conquerors: Roosevelt, Truman and the Destruction of Hitler’s Germany, 1941-1945.

In May 2007, Simon and Schuster will publish his next book, Presidential Courage: Brave Leaders and How They Changed America, 1789-1989.

Newsweek has called Beschloss “the nation’s leading Presidential historian.”  He serves as NBC News Presidential Historian and appears on all NBC News programs.  He is also a regular on Imus in the Morning and PBS’s The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer.  In 2005, he won an Emmy for his role in the Discovery Channel series Decisions That Shook the World.

He is an alumnus of Williams College, studied leadership at the Harvard Business School and has been an historian on the staff of the Smithsonian Institution (1982-1986), a Senior Associate Member at Oxford University in England (1986-1987), and a Senior Fellow of the Annenberg Foundation in Washington, D.C. (1988-1996).

Of The Conquerors (Simon and Schuster, 2002), The New York Times Book Review said in a front-page review that the “vigorously written” book was “history as it was spoken at the time, and there is not a dull page.”

Taking Charge (Simon and Schuster, 1997) was the first volume of Beschloss’s highly praised trilogy on President Lyndon Johnson’s newly released secret tapes. The Wall Street Journal called it “sheer marvelous history,” the New York Times editorial page “an important event.” The second volume, Reaching for Glory (Simon and Schuster, 2001), was called “an incomparable portrait of a President at work” by the New York Times Book Review.

Beschloss’s first book, Kennedy and Roosevelt: The Uneasy Alliance (Norton, 1980), started as his senior honors thesis at Williams College. Mayday: Eisenhower, Khrushchev and the U-2 Affair (Harper, 1986), was called “a grand narrative. . .crowded with well-drawn portraits” by the New Yorker. The Crisis Years: Kennedy and Khrushchev, 1960-1963 (HarperCollins, 1991), won the Ambassador Book Prize and was called by the New Yorker the “definitive” history of John Kennedy and the Cold War.

Beschloss also co-wrote At the Highest Levels: The Inside Story of the End of the Cold War (Little, Brown, 1993) with Strobe Talbott. As literary executor for the late Newsweek columnist Meg Greenfield, he edited Ms. Greenfield’s posthumously published book Washington (PublicAffairs, 2001). 

Beschloss holds two honorary doctorates and is the recipient of the Order of Lincoln and the Harry S. Truman Public Service Award. He is a trustee of the White House Historical Association, the National Archives Foundation and the University of Virginia’s Miller Center of Public Affairs. He lives in Washington, D.C., with his wife and their two sons.