Michael Richard Beschloss (born November 30, 1955) is an American
historian. A specialist in the
United States presidency, he is
the author of nine books. His next book, "Presidents of War," will be
published by Crown in the fall of 2018.
Michael Beschloss with Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall,
Lincoln Memorial, March 18, 2015 (British Embassy US)
1 Early life
4 Personal life
8 External links
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
Beschloss has been a frequent commentator on the
PBS NewsHour and is
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
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
Beschloss has appeared on
The Daily Show
The Daily Show in 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007,
and 2010. He was portrayed by
Chris Kattan on NBC's Saturday Night
Live on February 14, 1998.
He started a
Twitter account, @BeschlossDC, in October 2012. It
appears on Time magazine's list of "Best
Twitter Feeds of 2013".
He also contributes columns on history to The New York Times.
Beschloss is also the editor of Washington by
Meg Greenfield (2001)
and Essays in Honor of
James MacGregor Burns (with Thomas Cronin)
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 Prize, the
Rutgers University Living History Award,
New York State Archives History Award and the Founders Award of
the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. 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
George W. Bush and First Lady
Laura Bush at the
White House dinner for
Charles, Prince of Wales
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.
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.
John Frankenheimer's last film,
Path to War
Path to War (HBO, 2002), starring
Donald Sutherland and Michael Gambon, was based in part on Beschloss'
two books on Lyndon B. Johnson.
^ "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".
^ 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.
^ a b c d "Character Above All: MICHAEL R. BESCHLOSS".
^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2005-09-21. Retrieved
^ @BeschlossDC, Twitter.
^ Beard, David; Beard, David (25 April 2013). "Historian Michael
Beschloss takes to
Twitter and offers multimedia tweets" – via
^ "Not Found - Tech". Archived from the original on 2013-03-30 – via
^ 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
Plan of Attack (Simon and Schuster, 2004), p. 320
^ George W Bush, Decision Points, pp. 121-122.
Michael Beschloss on
The Daily Show
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, May 9, 2007
Michael Beschloss on IMDb
Michael Beschloss on
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
ISNI: 0000 0001 1051 4134
BNF: cb12310182m (data)