Book Breaks

Gilder Lehrman Book Breaks is a new program that features the most exciting history scholars in America discussing their books live with host William Roka, followed by a Q&A with home audiences.

Programs will take place on Sunday afternoons at 2 p.m. ET.


Upcoming Book Breaks


Register for the Sunday, May 31 Book Breaks with Richard Stengel here and find the Book Break books for sale here.

May 31, 2020 - Richard Stengel discusses his 2019 book Information Wars

"As a celebrated journalist who moved into the frontlines of this fight, Richard Stengel sheds new light on how bad actors leverage technology to undermine trust, and helps us better understand what must be done to protect our democracy.”—Madeleine K. Albright

Richard Stengel was the Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs from 2013 to 2016. Before working at the State Department, he was the editor of TIME for seven years. He collaborated with Nelson Mandela on the South African leader’s autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom. Stengel later wrote Mandela’s Way, a New York Times best-seller, on his experience working with Mandela. He is the author of several other books, including January Sun, about life in a small South African town, as well as You’re Too Kind: A Brief History of Flattery. He is an NBC/MSNBC analyst and lives in New York City.

 

Order Information Wars at the Gilder Lehrman Institute's Bookshop Store.

Register for the Sunday, June 7 Book Breaks with Peniel Joseph here and find the Book Break books for sale here.

June 7, 2020 - Peniel Joseph discusses The Sword and the Shield 

Professor Peniel Joseph, LBJ School of Public Affairs and the History Department in the College of Liberal Arts at The University of Texas at AustinIn Fall 2015, Dr. Peniel E. Joseph joined the University of Texas at Austin as Founding Director of the Center for the Study of Race and Democracy. He received a joint professorship appointment at the LBJ School of Public Affairs as the Barbara Jordan Chair in Ethics and Political Values and at the History Department in the College of Liberal Arts. Dr. Joseph was a professor at Tufts University where he founded the school’s Center for the Study of Race and Democracy to promote engaged research and scholarship, focused on the ways issues of race and democracy impact the lives of global citizens. He is a frequent national commentator on issues of race, democracy and civil rights, and has authored award-winning books Waiting ‘Til the Midnight Hour: A Narrative History of Black Power in America and Dark Days, Bright Nights: From Black Power to Barack Obama.

Order The Sword and the Shield at the Gilder Lehrman Institute's Bookshop Store.

Register for the Sunday, June 14 Book Breaks with Elizabeth Varon here and find the Book Break books for sale here.

June 14, 2020 - Elizabeth Varon discusses her 2019 book Armies of Deliverance 

"Elizabeth R. Varon's highly original and sweeping new study [is] one of the few histories of the war...that deserve to be ranked as essential reading. Had Ms. Varon devoted a smaller book to her case, she would undoubtedly have produced a valuable academic resource. But she has bravely aimed for something bigger, not only inviting us to reconsider the motivation but providing a thorough, highly readable history of the war itself.”—The Wall Street Journal

Elizabeth R. Varon is Langbourne M. Williams Professor of American History at the University of Virginia and serves on the Executive Council of the John L. Nau III Center for Civil War History. A specialist in the Civil War era and 19th-century South, Varon is the author of We Mean to be Counted: White Women and Politics in Antebellum Virginia (1998); Southern Lady, Yankee Spy: The True Story of Elizabeth Van Lew, A Union Agent in the Heart of the Confederacy (2003), Disunion!: The Coming of the American Civil War, 1789-1859 (2008) and Appomattox: Victory, Defeat and Freedom at the End of the Civil War (2013). Varon's most recent book, Armies of Deliverance: A New History of the Civil War (Oxford, 2019), was named one of the Wall Street Journal's Ten Best Nonfiction Books of 2019, and won the Gilder-Lehrman Lincoln Prize.

Order Armies of Deliverance at the Gilder Lehrman Institute's Bookshop Store.

Register for the Sunday, June 21 Book Breaks with Edward Widmer here and find the Book Break books for sale here.

June 21, 2020 - Edward Widmer discusses Lincoln on the Verge

Distinguished Lecturer at the Macaulay Honors College of the City University of New York Ted WidmerTed Widmer is Distinguished Lecturer at the Macaulay Honors College of the City University of New York, and the author or editor of ten books on U.S. history. Between 1997 and 2001, he worked in the Clinton White House as a foreign policy speechwriter.   In addition to CUNY, he has taught at Harvard, Brown and Washington College, where he, with the Gilder Lehrman Institute and Mount Vernon, helped to conceive the George Washington Book Prize.

Order Lincoln on the Verge at the Gilder Lehrman Institute's Bookshop Store.


Coming soon

Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Stony the Road: Reconstruction, White Supremacy, and the Rise of Jim Crow

David Blight, Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom

Allen Guelzo, Gettysburg: The Last Invasion

 


Past Book Breaks


May 10, 2020 - Eric Foner discussed his 2019 book, The Second Founding: How the Civil War and Reconstruction Remade the Constitution.

Order The Second Founding at the Gilder Lehrman Institute's Bookshop Store.


May 17, 2020 - Annette Gordon-Reed discussed her Pulitzer Prize–winning book The Hemingses of Monticello.

Order The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family at the Gilder Lehrman Institute's Bookshop Store.


May 24, 2020 - John M. Barry discussed his book The Great Influenza

Order The Great Influenza at the Gilder Lehrman Institute's Bookshop Store.

 


Gilder Lehrman Institute Education Coordinator William RokaDiscussion moderator William Roka is an independent researcher focusing on the history of travel and ocean liners in the early twentieth century. He has presented at conferences in the UK, Argentina, Australia, and across the US. He was the historian and public programs manager at the South Street Seaport Museum from 2016 to 2018, and curated the exhibition Millions: Migrants and Millionaires aboard the Great Liners, 1900–1914. His paper on ocean liners and travel in the early twentieth century was published in the inaugural edition of the Yearbook of Transnational History in 2018. He currently is an education coordinator for the Hamilton Education Program at the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. He studied history at University College London and international relations at King’s College London.