Lecture, Audio Recording     Series: Hatfield Historians Forum

Jeff Greenfield

If Kennedy Lived: The First and Second Terms of President John F. Kennedy: An Alternate History

One of America’s most respected political analysts, Jeff Greenfield has spent more than 30 years on network television, including CNN, ABC News, CBS, and as an anchor on PBS’ Need to Know. A five-time Emmy Award-winner, he is known for his quick wit and savvy insight into politics, history, the media, and current events.

Event Type: Lecture, Audio Recording

Twice he was named to TV Guide’s All-Star News “Dream Team” as best political commentator and was cited by the Washington Journalism Review as “the best in the business” for his media analysis. Greenfield has served as anchor booth analyst or floor reporter for every national political convention since 1988 and reported on virtually every important domestic political story in recent decades.

He looks at American political history “through a fictional looking glass” in his national best-seller, Then Everything Changed: Stunning Alternate Histories of American Politics—JFK, RFK, Carter, Ford, Reagan, released to great acclaim in March 2011. The New York Times called it “shrewdly written, often riveting.” A follow-up e-book, 43*: When Gore Beat Bush—A Political Fable, was published in September 2012, and his latest, If Kennedy Lived: The First and Second Terms of President John F. Kennedy: An Alternate History, was released in October 2013. 

A former speechwriter for Robert F. Kennedy, Greenfield has authored or co-authored 12 books including national best-selling novel The People's ChoiceThe Real Campaign, and Oh, Waiter! One Order of Crow!, an insider account of the contested 2000 presidential election.

From 1998-2007, Greenfield was a senior analyst for CNN, serving as lead analyst for its coverage of the primaries, conventions, presidential debates, and election nights. Prior to that, he was ABC News' political and media analyst for 14 years. He also served for five years as the host of CEO Exchange on PBS, which brought together the world's most innovative CEOs for lively discussion.

Greenfield won two Emmys for his reporting from South Africa. He also won Emmys for a profile of Ross Perot and a historic look at Robert Kennedy on the 40th anniversary of the Senator's death.

If Kennedy Lived: The First and Second Terms of President John F. Kennedy: An Alternate History 



  • Anonymous (2)
  • Arleen Barnett
  • Gerry & Meredith Brodsky
  • John & Nancy Dennis
  • William H. Kilkenny
  • Paul W. Leavens
  • Richard & Shannon Leonetti
  • Neil Kelly
  • Perkins Coie
  • Charles & Ruth Poindexter
  • John Russell & Mary Fellows
  • Leonard & Jeannie Santos
  • William & Helen Jo Whitsell

2017 Speakers

H.W. Brands

H.W. Brands

The General vs. the President: MacArthur and Truman at the Brink of Nuclear War

Henry William Brands was born in Oregon, went to college in California, sold cutlery across the American West, and earned graduate degrees in mathematics and history in Oregon and Texas. Currently the Jack S. Blanton Sr. Chair in History at the University of Texas at Austin, he writes on American history and politics, with books including his newest work, "The General vs. the President: MacArthur and Truman on the Brink of Nuclear War."

T.J. Stiles. Photo by Michael Lionstar

T.J. Stiles

Custer’s Trials: A Life on the Frontier of a New America

T. J. Stiles is the Pulitzer Prize- and National Book Award-winning author of The First Tycoon and Custer's Trials. He has served as a historical adviser and on-screen expert for American Experience programs on PBS. T. J. Stiles’s latest book, Custer’s Trials, paints a portrait of Gen. George Armstrong Custer both deeply personal and sweeping in scope, proving how much of Custer’s legacy has been ignored.

US State Department portrait of Caroline Kennedy, United States Ambassador to Japan as of 2013

An Evening with Ambassador Caroline Kennedy

In celebration of our current exhibition, High Hopes: The Journey of John F. Kennedy, the Oregon Historical Society is thrilled to welcome Ambassador Caroline Kennedy to Portland for a special lecture as the kick off to the upcoming 20th anniversary of the Mark O. Hatfield Distinguished Historians Forum.