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. The book was awarded the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for History. Stiles previously won the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Biography and the 2009 National Book Award for Nonfiction for his critically acclaimed book The First Tycoon: The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt. Stiles became interested in Vanderbilt while researching and writing his historical account of another legendary figure, Jesse James: Last Rebel of the Civil War. James and Vanderbilt, he finds, led more significant and more dramatic lives than we have realized. With both subjects, Stiles combines compelling storytelling and personal detail with thoughtful explorations of their role in the making of modern America and the lasting impact of their lives and legends.
Stiles served as historical adviser and on-screen expert for Jesse James and Grand Central, two films in the PBS documentary series American Experience. He has written for The New York Times Book Review, Smithsonian, Salon, the Los Angeles Times, and other publications. A native of Benton County, Minnesota, Stiles studied history at Carleton College and Columbia University and resided in New York City for twenty years. He now lives in San Francisco with his wife and son.
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."
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.
The King Years: Historic Moments in the Civil Rights Movement
Over the course of his storied career, author and historian Taylor Branch has won the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Dayton Literary Peace Prize Lifetime Achievement Award, and a National Humanities Medal. His landmark narrative history of the Civil Rights Era, America in the King Years, has been compared with other epic histories such as Shelby Foote’s The Civil War and Robert Caro’s multi-volume biography of Lyndon Johnson. The King-era trilogy required more than twenty-four years of intensive research as Branch sought to illuminate not only the life of the man, but also the times in which he lived.
The Last of the President’s Men
Bob Woodward is an associate editor of The Washington Post, where he has worked since 1971. He has shared in two Pulitzer Prizes, first in 1973 for the coverage of the Watergate scandal with Carl Bernstein, and second in 2002 as the lead reporter for coverage of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. He is the author of 18 national best-selling books, with twelve of them number one best-sellers. In his latest book, The Last of the President’s Men, Woodward reveals the untold story of Alexander Butterfield, the Nixon aide who disclosed the secret White House taping system that changed history and led to Nixon’s resignation.
Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush
Presidential historian, Pulitzer Prize-winner, and contributor to TIME and The New York Times Book Review, Jon Meacham is one of America's most prominent public intellectuals. A regular guest on Morning Joe, he is known as a skilled raconteur with a depth of knowledge about politics, religion, and current affairs. Meacham’s latest biography, Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush, debuted at number one on The New York Times best-sellers list. Meacham is a Distinguished Visiting Professor of History at The University of the South and a Visiting Distinguished Professor at Vanderbilt.
Most Blessed of the Patriarchs: Thomas Jefferson and the Empire of the Imagination
Annette Gordon-Reed is the Charles Warren Professor of American Legal History at Harvard Law School and a professor of history in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University. She won the Pulitzer Prize in History in 2009 for The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family. Her most recently published book (with Peter S. Onuf) is “Most Blessed of the Patriarchs”: Thomas Jefferson and the Empire of the Imagination. Her honors include a Guggenheim Fellowship in the humanities, a MacArthur Fellowship, the National Humanities Medal, and the National Book Award, among others.