Michael Richard Beschloss (born November 30, 1955) is an American historian specializing in the United States presidency. He is the author of nine books, the most recent of which, Presidents of War, was published by Crown/Penguin Random House in 2018.
Beschloss at the LBJ Presidential Library in 2018
|Born||Michael Richard Beschloss|
30 November 1955
|Alma mater||Williams College|
|Subject||United States presidency|
|Spouse||Afsaneh Mashayekhi Beschloss|
Bill Gates included Presidents of War in his summer 2019 "five best books" list, saying, "Beschloss’s broad scope lets you draw important cross-cutting lessons about presidential leadership."
Beschloss was born in Chicago, grew up in Flossmoor, Illinois, and was educated at Eaglebrook School, Andover, Williams College and Harvard University. He majored in political science, working under James MacGregor Burns at Williams, from which he graduated with Highest Honors, and earned an MBA at Harvard Business School, with the original intention of writing history while serving as a foundation executive.
Beschloss has been a frequent commentator on the PBS NewsHour and is the NBC News Presidential Historian. He is a trustee of the White House Historical Association and the National Archives Foundation and he also sits on the board of the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History. He has been a trustee of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation (Monticello), the Urban Institute, the University of Virginia's Miller Center of Public Affairs and the PEN/Faulkner Foundation. He also sits on the advisory board to the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission and was a member of the President's Commission on White House Fellowships. He has held appointments in history at the Smithsonian Institution, a Senior Associate Member at St. Antony's College (University of Oxford), a Visiting Scholar at the Harvard University Russian Research Center, a Senior Fellow of the Annenberg Foundation, and a Montgomery Fellow and Dorsett Fellow at Dartmouth College.
He started a Twitter account, @BeschlossDC, in October 2012. It appears on Time magazine's list of "Best Twitter Feeds of 2013". He also has contributed columns on history under the title HistorySource to The New York Times.
Beschloss received a 2005 News & Documentary Emmy Award for the Discovery Channel's Decisions That Shook the World, of which he was the host; the category was "Outstanding Individual Achievement in a Craft: Research". He has also received the Williams College Bicentennial Medal, the State of Illinois's Order of Lincoln (the State's Highest Honor), the Harry S. Truman Public Service Award, the Ambassador Book Award, the Rutgers University Living History Award, the New York State Archives History Award, the Founders Award of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania and the Andover Alumni Award of Distinction. He has received honorary doctorates from Lafayette College, Williams College, St. Mary's College of Maryland, Saint Peter's College, Governors State University and Allegheny College.
Michael Beschloss was inducted as a Laureate of The Lincoln Academy of Illinois and awarded the Order of Lincoln (the State’s highest honor) by the Governor of Illinois in 2004 in the area of Communications and Education.
Beschloss is married to Iranian-born Afsaneh Mashayekhi Beschloss, who is President and CEO of the Rock Creek Group, a Washington, D.C. hedge fund, former treasurer and chief investment officer of the World Bank, and a current trustee of the Ford Foundation and the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. The couple are advisory board members of Resources for Inner City Children. Beschloss and his wife were guests of President and Mrs. Clinton at the White House dinner for British Prime Minister Tony Blair on February 5, 1998. They also attended the Clinton White House dinner celebrating the 200th anniversary of the White House on November 9, 2000. They were guests of President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush at the White House dinner for Charles, Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall on November 2, 2005.
- Kennedy and Roosevelt: The Uneasy Alliance (1980); started as Beschloss's senior honors thesis at Williams College
- Mayday: Eisenhower, Khrushchev and the U-2 Affair (1986)
- Eisenhower: A Centennial Life (1990)
- The Crisis Years: Kennedy and Khrushchev, 1960–1963 (1991)
- At the Highest Levels: The Inside Story of the End of the Cold War (1993); with Strobe Talbott.
- Taking Charge (1997) and Reaching for Glory (2001), edited transcriptions of Lyndon B. Johnson's conversations, as captured by his taping system, with historical annotation and commentary. A third Johnson volume is forthcoming.
- The Conquerors: Roosevelt, Truman and the Destruction of Hitler's Germany, 1941-1945 (2002) was a New York Times bestseller for several months and was Amazon's bestselling history book of the year.
- Presidential Courage: Brave Leaders and How They Changed America, 1789-1989 (2007) was a New York Times bestseller for several months and was a #1 Washington Post bestseller.
- Jacqueline Kennedy: Historic Conversations on Life with John F. Kennedy (2011), introduced and annotated by Beschloss, was a #1 New York Times bestseller.
- Presidents of War (2018) ISBN 9780307409607; was a New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller.
President Bill Clinton told People in December 1997 that the first audiobook he ever listened to was Taking Charge by Michael Beschloss. In Bob Woodward's Plan of Attack, President George W. Bush is quoted as telling the author Elie Wiesel in February 2003, "I read your views on Auschwitz in Michael Beschloss' book", referring to The Conquerors. Bush also refers to Beschloss' book "Presidential Courage" in his 2010 memoir Decision Points.
- "Michael Beschloss". illinoisauthors.org. Illinois Center for the Book/Illinois State Library. Retrieved 2011-08-31.
- "Michael Beschloss". Biography.com.
- Laws, Mike (30 January 2013). "Apology to Michael Beschloss".
- "Presidents of War by Michael Beschloss | PenguinRandomHouse.com". PenguinRandomhouse.com. Retrieved 2018-08-27.
- New York Times, January 28, 1987, and July 25, 1991.
- "James MacGregor Burns with Michael Beschloss". C-SPAN.org.
- C-SPAN, "Booknotes", June 21, 1991.
- "Character Above All: MICHAEL R. BESCHLOSS". www.pbs.org.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2005-09-21. Retrieved 2012-02-20.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
- @BeschlossDC, Twitter.
- Beard, David; Beard, David (25 April 2013). "Historian Michael Beschloss takes to Twitter and offers multimedia tweets" – via washingtonpost.com.
- "Not Found - Tech". Archived from the original on 2013-03-30 – via techland.time.com.
- AP, November 20, 2013
- "Michael Beschloss, Class of 1977".
- "Laureates by Year - The Lincoln Academy of Illinois". The Lincoln Academy of Illinois. Retrieved 2016-03-07.
- "Supporters, Partners, Board". Resources for Inner City Children. Archived from the original on 2011-07-27. Retrieved 2011-08-31.
- Washington Post, February 6, 1998.
- Washington Post, November 10, 2000.
- Washington Post, November 3, 2005.
- People, December 29, 1997.
- Bob Woodward, Plan of Attack (Simon and Schuster, 2004), p. 320
- George W Bush, Decision Points, pp. 121-122.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Michael Beschloss.|
- Michael Beschloss on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, May 9, 2007
- Michael Beschloss on IMDb
- Michael Beschloss on Twitter
- Appearances on C-SPAN
- Booknotes: Interview with Beschloss on The Crisis Years: Kennedy and Khrushchev, 1960-1963, July 14, 1991
- C-SPAN, In Depth: Interview with Beschloss, September 2, 2012