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Michael Beschloss

Michael BeschlossBorn: 30-Nov-1955
Birthplace: Chicago, IL

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Historian

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: The Conquerors

Called by Jay Leno "the handsomest political historian I've ever seen" and by Newsweek the "nation's leading presidential historian", Beschloss is criticized by historians on three general grounds. First his credentials -- he only has a Bachelor of Arts degree, and not a doctorate. What this argument has to do with his scholarship is anyone's guess. (Of course, a doctorate was not enough for Stephen E. Ambrose to duck allegations of plagiarism, no matter how deserved or undeserved those accusations were. Ambrose, to his credit, is no James Mackay). Secondly, his being articulate coupled with Leno's observation, and the fact that he tries to write books that both appeal to scholars and the popular audience makes him seem a "lightweight." Beschloss may not produce the most unique scholarship, but scholarship is there and he does his own, original research. Finally, Beschloss writes histories that concentrate more on politics and less on the "History of Ideas." Someone has to write the history of politics.

Wife: Afsaneh M. Beschloss (investment executive, two sons)

    High School: Phillips Academy Andover (1973)
    University: Williams College
    University: Harvard University

    President's Commission on White House Fellowships
    Smithsonian Institution Historian (1982-86)
    Annenberg Foundation Senior Fellow (1988-96)
    American Historical Association
    Foreign Affairs Board Member

    PBS NewsHour Regular Contributor

Author of books:
Kennedy and Roosevelt: The Uneasy Alliance (1980, biography)
Mayday: Eisenhower, Khrushchev and the U-2 Affair (1986, history)
Eisenhower: A Centennial Life (1990, biography)
The Crisis Years: Kennedy and Khrushchev, 1960-1963 (1991, history)
Reaching for Glory: Lyndon Johnson's Secret White House Tapes, 1964-1965 (2001)
The Conquerors: Roosevelt, Truman and the Destruction of Hitler's Germany, 1941-1945 (2002, history)
Presidential Courage: Brave Leaders and How They Changed America, 1789-1989 (2007, politics)

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