Listen to excerpts from this event here.
View the Friends of the Knox County Public Library’s photo album from this event here.
Read Sandra Clark’s review of this event for KnoxTNToday: Meacham looks for ‘better angels’
Renowned presidential historian and Tennessee native Jon Meacham appeared in Knoxville on Sunday, July 8, at 7 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church. He discussed his new book, The Soul of America: The Battle for Our Better Angels. U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander joined the author on stage.
Friends of the Knox County Public Library joined us as a host for this special event.
In The Soul of America, Meacham helps us understand the present moment in American politics by looking back at critical times in our country’s history when hope overcame division. He tells us that what Abraham Lincoln called the “better angels of our nature” have found a way to prevail again and again during dark times throughout our country’s history.
Jon Meacham on PBS NewsHour: What history teaches us about surviving times of turmoil
Jon Meacham Talks About The Soul of America With Steve Inskeep on NPR’s Morning Edition
‘Soul Of America’ Makes Sense Of Nation’s Present By Examining Its Past
Praise for The Soul of America
“Rather than curse the darkness, Jon Meacham, with his usual eloquence and surpassing knowledge of our history, has offered us all the sublime and calming reassurance that as threatening as so much of the present moment seems, Americans have weathered such storms before and come out on the other side with fresh and progressive horizons. This is a beautifully expressed and convincing prayer to summon our own ‘better angels’ to meet the obvious challenges of today.” — Ken Burns, filmmaker
“In this beautifully written, passionate, and timely work, Jon Meacham provides a much-needed reminder that, from its very beginnings, the United States has struggled to deliver on the promise of the Declaration of Independence and to make our Union ‘more perfect.’ Race has often been at the heart of those struggles, and The Soul of America persuasively argues that the resilient spirit of those who fought throughout our history to overcome that seemingly intractable problem is still with us. It is that spirit that gives us cause to be hopeful in the face of doubts about our country’s future.” —Annette Gordon-Reed, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Hemingses of Monticello, Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings, and Andrew Johnson
About Jon Meacham
Jon Meacham is a Pulitzer Prize-winning presidential historian. A contributing writer for The New York Times Book Review and a contributing editor of Timemagazine, he is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush, Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power, American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House, American Gospel, and Franklin and Winston. Meacham lives in Nashville, Tennessee.