Renowned Presidential historian, contributing writer to The New York Times Book Review, contributing editor at TIME, and Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Jon Meacham is one of America’s most prominent public intellectuals. A regular guest on cable news television, he is known as a skilled raconteur with a depth of knowledge about politics, religion, and current affairs.
His latest presidential biography, Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush, debuted at #1 on the New York Times best sellers list in November 2015. Meacham’s biography of President Bush was named one of the ten best books of the year by The Washington Post and one of the best books of the year by The New York Times Book Review, Time, National Public Radio, and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Destiny and Power was also honored for excellence in “Politics and Leadership” in 2015 by the Plutarch Committee of BIO, the Biographers International Organization.
Meacham’s #1 New York Times bestseller, Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power, was hailed as “masterful and intimate” by Fortune magazine and received the 2013 Fraunces Tavern Museum Book Award from the Fraunces Tavern Museum and the Sons of the American Revolution in the State of New York. His other national bestsellers include Franklin and Winston, American Gospel, and American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House, which won the Pulitzer Prize in 2009.
The latest book from Jon Meacham, The Soul of America: The Battle for Our Better Angels, is to be published by Random House on Monday, May 7, 2018. In this new book, Meacham helps us understand the present moment in American politics and life by looking back at critical times in our history when hope overcame division and fear.
Named a “Global Leader for Tomorrow” by the World Economic Forum, he is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and of the Society of American Historians and is a distinguished visiting professor at Vanderbilt University.
A former executive editor at Random House, he published the letters of Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., and books by, among others, Al Gore, John Danforth, Clara Bingham, Mary Soames, and Charles Peters. After serving as Managing Editor of Newsweek for eight years, Meacham was the Editor of the magazine from 2006 to 2010. The New York Times called him “one of the most influential editors in the news magazine business.” Now a contributing editor at TIME, he writes for its Ideas section. He is a former editor of The Washington Monthly and began his career at The Chattanooga Times.
He has appeared on Morning Joe, Meet The Press, The Colbert Report, and Ken Burns’ documentary series The Roosevelts: An Intimate History. Fox News produced an hour-long special about Meacham’s Destiny and Power in November 2015.
A trustee of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, The McCallie School, and The Harpeth Hall School, Meacham chairs the National Advisory Council of the John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics at Washington University. He has served on the vestries of St. Thomas Church Fifth Avenue and of Trinity Church Wall Street as well as the Board of Regents of The University of the South. The Anti-Defamation League awarded Meacham its Hubert H. Humphrey First Amendment Prize. In 2013 the Historical Society of Pennsylvania presented him with its Founder’s Award; in 2016 he was honored with the Sandra Day O’Connor Institute’s Spirit of Democracy Award. Meacham also received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from the Berkeley Divinity School at Yale University in 2005 and holds honorary doctorates from Middlebury College, Wake Forest University, the University of Tennessee, Dickinson College, Sewanee, and several other institutions.
Born in Chattanooga in 1969, Meacham was educated at St. Nicholas School, The McCallie School, and graduated from The University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee, with a degree summa cum laude in English Literature; he was salutatorian and elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He now lives in Nashville with his wife and children.