Book Breaks

Gilder Lehrman Book Breaks features the most exciting history scholars in America discussing their books live with Book Breaks hosts followed by a Q&A with home audiences.

Please log in or register to begin the Book Breaks subscription process. A Book Breaks subscription gives you access to both our weekly live book talks and an archive of over eighteen months of past events on our website. Once you have created a Gilder Lehrman Institute online account, you can subscribe to Book Breaks and sign up for individual Book Breaks sessions.

To ensure that Book Breaks remains free for K–12 teachers and students everywhere, Book Breaks is a subscription service. A one-year $25 subscription includes full access to the weekly live program and our ever-expanding Book Breaks archive, featuring more than eighty sessions with the nation’s leading historians. Our guests have included David Blight, Eric Foner, Annette Gordon-Reed, Peniel Joseph, Elizabeth Varon, and more. 

Access to Book Breaks will continue to be free for K–12 teachers and students.

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Every Sunday at 2 p.m. ET (11 a.m. PT)


Coming Soon

January 23 - Alan Taylor on American Republics: A Continental History of the United States, 1783–1850

January 30 - Susan Nagel on Patriotism and Profit: Washington, Hamilton, Schuyler & the Rivalry for America’s Capital City

February 6 - Akhil Reed Amar on The Words That Made Us: America’s Constitutional Conversation, 1760–1840

February 13 - Jia Lynn Yang on One Mighty and Irresistible Tide: The Epic Struggle over American Immigration, 19241965

February 20 - Jonathan W. White on A House Built by Slaves: African American Visitors to the Lincoln White House

February 27 - Daina Ramey Berry and Kali Nicole Gross on A Black Womens History of the US

March 6 - Woody Holton on Liberty is Sweet: The Hidden History of the American Revolution

March 13 - Jeanne Theoharis on The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks 


Student Question Submission Competition

Middle and high school students (age 13 and up), submit your questions for one of the historians being featured on Book Breaks! If your question is chosen, it will be announced live on the program and both you and your teacher will win a $50 gift certificate to the Gilder Lehrman Gift Shop. Your question can be about the book or the topic in general. Please, only one submission per program.

Submit your question here.

The deadline to submit a question for the upcoming Book Breaks is Thursday.


Book Breaks Archive

The Book Breaks archive contains over eighteen months of past programs from historians such as David Blight, Eric Foner, Annette Gordon-Reed, Peniel Joseph, Elizabeth Varon, and more. Still deciding whether to subscribe? You can watch David Blight’s talk on Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom below to help make up your mind.

View the full archive of past sessions