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Kennedy Library Forums are a series of public affairs programs offered by the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum to foster public discussion on a diverse range of historical, political and cultural topics reflecting the legacy of President and Mrs. Kennedy's White House years. They are conducted as conversations rather than lectures.
 
When President Lyndon Baines Johnson dedicated his presidential library in 1971, he declared, "It's all here, the story of our time—with the bark off." Since then, in keeping with his vision, the LBJ Library has been a forum for the biggest names and best minds of our day to address the issues of our time. This podcast brings those conversations straight to you, featuring new interviews as well as recent "best of" live programming from the LBJ Library. Insightful, revealing conversations—"wi ...
 
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show series
 
Jeff Shesol is a historian, former speechwriter for President Bill Clinton, and the creator of the comic strip “Thatch.” He is the author of three books including “Mutual Contempt: Lyndon Johnson, Robert Kennedy, and the Feud That Defined a Decade” and “Supreme Power: Franklin Roosevelt vs. The Supreme Court.” His latest book, “Mercury Rising” chro…
 
Lisa Napoli’s new book, Susan, Linda, Nina & Cokie is the story of the “founding mothers” of NPR – Susan Stamberg, Linda Wertheimer, Nina Totenberg, and Cokie Roberts – wrapped around the emergence of public radio and second-wave feminism in the seventies. She talks about the friendship between these remarkable women, how they overcame gender barri…
 
Julia Sweig, award-winning author and nonresident senior research fellow at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas-Austin, discusses her new book Lady Bird Johnson: Hiding in Plain Sight, which draws on the largely unknown and overlooked audio diaries that Mrs. Johnson kept during her years in the White House. Ellen Fitzpatrick…
 
Ronald C. White’s latest book, Lincoln in Private, explores the lesser-known and most personal aspects of President Abraham Lincoln, using 111 notes that Lincoln made to himself over the years. White discusses why Lincoln should be considered our greatest President, personifying the American Dream, while reflecting on how the notes reveal Lincoln’s…
 
Peter Coleman, Columbia professor of psychology and education and author of the forthcoming "The Way Out: How To Overcome Toxic Polarization"; Archon Fung, professor of citizenship and self-government at the Harvard Kennedy School; the Reverend Irene Monroe, theologian, syndicated columnist, and co-host of GBH’s "All Rev’d Up" podcast; Amanda Riple…
 
Along with her partner Ken Burns, director and producer Lynn Novick has set the standard for documentary film. She has created more than 80 hours of PBS programming with Burns, including The Vietnam War, Baseball, Jazz, and The War, which together have garnered 19 Emmy nominations. Their latest collaboration, Hemingway, takes a hard look at one of …
 
Karen Tumulty, political columnist for The Washington Post, discusses her forthcoming book, "The Triumph of Nancy Reagan," which draws on archives, letters, memoirs, White House records, and four years of interviews with people close to the Reagans to reveal new details of the multifaceted character of the First Lady. Eileen McNamara, Pulitzer Priz…
 
Reginald Dwayne Betts, poet, memoirist and teacher; Tracie Keesee, co-founder, Center for Policing Equity; Khalil Gibran Muhammad, Harvard professor of history, race, and public policy; and Chuck Wexler, executive director of the Police Executive Research Forum, discuss current issues in police and justice reform with Errin Haines, Editor-at-Large,…
 
Chuck Robb has spent most of his life “in the arena,” as Theodore Roosevelt called it, engaged in military and public service. As an officer in the Marine Corps, he became a White House social aide, where he met and soon married Lynda Bird Johnson, the daughter of his Commander-in-chief, Lyndon Johnson. Soon after their spectacular White House wedd…
 
Author Walter Isaacson has spent years chronicling the lives of the world’s most innovative minds. The former editor of TIME Magazine, Chairman of CNN, and CEO of the Aspen Institute has written bestselling works on Leonardo da Vinci, Benjamin Franklin, Steve Jobs and others. In his latest book The Code Breaker, he explores the life and work of Jen…
 
Theresa Cardinal Brown, Bipartisan Policy Center director of immigration and cross-border policy; Roberto Gonzales, Harvard professor of education and director of the Immigration Initiative at Harvard; Marcelo Suárez-Orozco, UMass Boston Chancellor; Daniel Tichenor, University of Oregon chair of social science and Program for Democratic Governance …
 
Anthea Butler, professor of religious studies and Africana Studies at the University of Pennsylvania; EJ Dionne, The Washington Post columnist and visiting professor at the Harvard Divinity School; Patrick Lacroix, author of John F. Kennedy and the Politics of Faith; Emmett Price, professor of worship, church, and culture at the Gordon-Conwell Theo…
 
In her new book “Lady Bird Johnson: Hiding in Plain Sight,” and her complementary ABC News podcast, “In Plain Sight: Lady Bird Johnson,” author Julia Sweig takes a very different look at the former first lady. Relying heavily on rarely heard oral diaries that Mrs. Johnson made throughout her time in the White House, she depicts a Lady Bird Johnson …
 
Julián Castro rose from a low-income household in his native San Antonio, Texas, to become the city’s mayor at the age of 34. He would go on to serve as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development under Barack Obama, becoming President Obama’s youngest Cabinet secretary. A one-time summer intern for the Bill Clinton White House, he ran for the presi…
 
David O. Stewart is the bestselling author of eight books on American history and historical nonfiction. His latest book, George Washington: The Political Rise of America’s Founding Father, examines the George Washington we may not know—not the imposing, distantly formidable Washington on Mt. Rushmore but a flesh and blood younger Washington who ma…
 
Lucinda Robb and Rebecca Boggs Roberts, whose friendship goes back generations - to their grandmothers, Lady Bird Johnson and Lindy Boggs, and their mothers, Lynda Robb and Cokie Roberts - wrote The Suffragist Playbook: Your Guide to Changing the World in recognition of the centennial of the 19th Amendment. The authors discuss the women, many unher…
 
Hank Aaron, who died on January 22 at age 86, was one of baseball’s greatest heroes. His legendary career spanned 23 seasons, including 21 in which he was named an All-Star. When he broke Babe Ruth’s hallowed career homerun record in 1974, it was one of baseball’s most glorious moments. But, in many ways, it was also a painful one for Aaron, who wa…
 
Ben Barnes was a political protégé of Lyndon Johnson. Elected to the Texas legislature in 1960, he became the Speaker of the Texas House at age 26, making him the youngest House Speaker in a state legislature in 95 years. He went on to become Lieutenant Governor of Texas in 1969, a post he held for 4 years. As a politician, political strategist or …
 
Panelists including Lisa Lerer, reporter at The New York Times, and Julian Zelizer, professor of history and public affairs at Princeton University and CNN Political Analyst, discuss opportunities and challenges for the incoming administration, as well as reflect on the significance of the Biden-Harris victory in the 2020 elections. NBC News corres…
 
James A. Baker, III was one of the most consequential statesmen of the latter half of the 20th century. A power broker in Washington during the Ford, Reagan, and George H.W. Bush administrations, Secretary Baker held three different cabinet positions, twice served in the role of Chief of Staff, and ran five presidential campaigns. As Secretary of S…
 
During the 8 years of the Obama presidency, Valerie Jarrett was one of the most powerful people in Washington. A top advisor to President Obama, she oversaw the Offices of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs and chaired the White House Council on Women and Girls. She now serves as a senior advisor to the Obama Foundation and a Senior Di…
 
Paola Ramos is a host and correspondent for VICE and VICE News, as well as a contributor to MSNBC and Telemundo News. Her new book, Finding Latinx: In Search of the Voices Redefining Latino Identity, explores an expanding definition of means to be Latino in America, and ultimately, what it means to be an American. As Stacey Abrams has said of the b…
 
Award-winning musician and Emerson College artist-in-residence Toshi Reagon and the Reverend Mariama White-Hammond, founding pastor of the New Roots AME Church and fellow with the Green Justice Coalition, discuss how the belief systems that define and maintain our societies impact the planet and influence our survival with Porsha Olayiwola, the Cit…
 
Dr. Don Carleton is founder and executive director of the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History at The University of Texas at Austin, an archive documenting key themes in U.S. and world history. The Briscoe Center’s new book, Flash of Light, Wall of Fire, provides little seen photographic documentation of the horrific human toll of the atomic b…
 
Panelists including Dan Balz, chief correspondent at The Washington Post; Jonathan Capehart, opinion columnist at The Washington Post; Maria Hinojosa, president and founder of Futuro Media and anchor and executive producer of Latino USA; and Alice Stewart, CNN commentator, NPR contributor, and Harvard Institute of Politics fellow, interpret the res…
 
Robert Dallek is one of our country’s leading presidential historians. His many books include groundbreaking works on Franklin Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, and Richard Nixon. Dallek discusses his latest book, “How Did We Get Here?: From Theodore Roosevelt to Donald Trump,” which charts how the triumphs and failures of our modern pres…
 
In this culminating keynote session of the Kennedy Library's "Expanding Democracy" conference, Judge Nancy Gertner (ret.), senior lecturer on law at Harvard Law School, and former Chief Justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Margaret Marshall deepen the conversation about the judicial role in contemporary voting rights with Barbara How…
 
In commemoration of the centennial of the 19th Amendment, this conference will explore the history of the suffrage movement and how efforts to broaden voting rights have evolved over time. Sessions will explore the origins and development of suffrage efforts as well as contemporary voting rights issues. Join University of Virginia professor of poli…
 
In commemoration of the centennial of the 19th Amendment, this conference will explore the history of the suffrage movement and how efforts to broaden voting rights have evolved over time. Sessions will explore the origins and development of suffrage efforts as well as contemporary voting rights issues. Join UCLA professor emeritus of history Ellen…
 
Molly Ball, national political correspondent for TIME and author of the new book Pelosi, and Susan Page, USA Today’s Washington bureau chief and author of the forthcoming Madam Speaker, discuss Nancy Pelosi’s career and leadership as Speaker of the House of Representatives with Nancy Cordes, chief congressional correspondent for CBS News. This was …
 
Barbara Carvalho, director of the Marist Poll; Henry Fernandez, co-founder of the African American Research Collaborative; Jill Lepore, Harvard professor of history; and Anthony Salvanto, CBS News Director of Elections and Surveys, discuss the history of and contemporary trends in political polling with longtime former ABC reporter and anchor Charl…
 
Since breaking the fateful story of Watergate in 1972, Bob Woodward has been at the top of his field, twice winning the Pulitzer Prize for Journalism and writing 18 best-selling books. Woodward’s latest book, “Rage,” his second on Donald Trump, features 18 exclusive interviews with President Trump himself. In this episode, he discusses the explosiv…
 
Gretchen Sorin, director of the Cooperstown Graduate Program of the State University of New York and author of Driving While Black: African-American Travel and the Road to Civil Rights; director Ric Burns and producer and editor Emir Lewis of the forthcoming PBS documentary Driving While Black based on her research, discuss how the automobile trans…
 
Joe Biden, the Democratic nominee for President, has been a major fixture in politics for nearly half a century, since his election to the Senate in 1972. In the fall of 2017, the former Vice President came to the LBJ Presidential Library, where he spoke about the values instilled in him by his parents and how they shaped him, why he got into polit…
 
Robert Trogdon, Kent State University professor of English and editor of the Library of America’s forthcoming “Ernest Hemingway: The Sun Also Rises & Other Writings 1918-1926,” discusses this new edition of writings from Hemingway’s earliest years in Paris with Kennedy Library Hemingway Scholar in Residence Hilary Justice. Explore more at jfklibrar…
 
In this episode, we hear from Nona Jones, author, media personality, and Head of Global Faith-Based Partnerships at Facebook. Her recent initiative “Faith and Prejudice” - a church-based effort to help white parishioners confront and dismantle racism in themselves, their churches, and their communities - has reached over 6 million viewers since its…
 
Senator Sherrod Brown discusses his new book, Desk 88: Eight Progressive Senators Who Changed America, which explores the careers of senators who have also sat at Desk 88 on the Senate floor, including Hugo Black, George McGovern, and Robert F. Kennedy. Senator Jeanne Shaheen moderates. For more info, visit jfklibrary.org/forums.…
 
Ambassador (Ret.) Nicholas Burns, Harvard professor of diplomacy and international relations; Robert Mauro, director of the Boston College Irish Institute and Global Leadership Institute; and Alexandra Vacroux, executive director of the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University, discuss US foreign policy challenges and opp…
 
Jennifer Palmieri has spent her career in Democratic politics. In 2013, she became the White House Director of Communications for Barack Obama and went on to become the Director of Communications for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential bid. After Clinton’s loss, she wrote “Dear Madam President,” a #1 New York Times bestseller. Her new book, “She Pr…
 
In today’s episode, we take a look at the upcoming presidential election that will pit President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence against Democratic challengers Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. Joining us to offer their analysis and perspectives are two prominent political analysts. Victoria DeFrancesco Soto, a contributor to MSNBC, is the As…
 
John Dickerson, correspondent for CBS’ 60 Minutes and contributing writer to The Atlantic, discusses his new book "The Hardest Job in the World: The American Presidency." Barbara Perry, professor and director of presidential studies at the University of Virginia's Miller Center, moderates. For more info, visit jfklibrary.org/forums.…
 
This month marks the centennial of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, granting women the right to vote in the United States. To mark the occasion, we bring you conversations with two iconic women, Nancy Pelosi and Condoleezza Rice. First is an interview with one of our nation’s most powerful women, Nancy Pelosi, who made history in 2007 by bec…
 
Paul Begala is one of our nation’s most talented political strategists. He came to national prominence in 1992 when he helped then-Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton win the presidency, then served as counselor to President Clinton, coordinating policy, politics and communications. A CNN contributor, he is the author of six political books, including h…
 
This episode explores how to build a meaningful social movement with two leading forces in activism today. Brittany Packnett Cunningham is an educator, writer, NBC News contributor, and co-founder of Campaign Zero, a policy platform to end police violence. Cristina Tzinztún Ramírez, a recent candidate for the U.S. Senate, is an author, community or…
 
Acclaimed author Larry Tye's latest book, "Demagogue: The Life and Long Shadow of Senator Joe McCarthy," examines the pernicious legacy of the notorious senator from Wisconsin, whose anti-Communist campaign in the 1950s—built largely on falsehoods and fabrication—led to division and disunity that seems very familiar in America today. Tye's other bo…
 
Melody Barnes served as director of the White House Domestic Policy Council under President Barack Obama, and is the host of the recent podcast "LBJ and the Great Society." Currently, she's a professor at the University of Virginia's Miller Center and co-director of the university's Democracy Initiative. In this conversation, Barnes reflects on thi…
 
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