Richard B. Morris (1904 - 1989) was an American historian who focused on the constitutional, diplomatic, and political history of the American Revolution and the making of the U.S. Constitution. He was the Gouverneur Morris Professor of History at Columbia University and the author of many books.
In 1966 Morris won the Bancroft Prize in History for his book on the diplomacy of the American Revolution, The Peacemakers: The Great Powers and American Independence (1965). He edited the papers of John Jay and published a biography, John Jay, the Nation, and the Court, focusing on Jay's work as a diplomat and as the first Chief Justice of the United States.
Morris's 1966 book The American Revolution Reconsidered, which he followed in 1970 with his The Emerging Nations and the American Revolution. In 1973, preparing for the impending bicentennial of the American Revolution, he published a collection of biographical essays in Seven Who Shaped Our Destiny: The Founding Fathers as Revolutionaries.
Prof. Morris also co-chaired Project ’87, a group of historians, political scientists, and jurists formed to encourage a thorough examination of the Constitution for its bicentennial year.
The framers of the Constitution were proud of what they had done but might be astonished that their words still carry so much weight. A distinguished scholar tells us how the great charter has survived and flourished.
President Washington appointed John Jay to be Chief Justice because the eloquent partisan of the Constitution shared a desire to strengthen the machinery of the central government and to bring about conformity to treaty obligations among the states.
Dean Acheson (1893-1971) was an attorney and statesman who served as Secretary of State from 1949 to 1953 under President Harry Truman. A key architect of the Truman Doctrine and the Marshall Plan, Acheson stressed the importance of multilateral organizations in the fight against totalitarianism. Prior to his service in the Truman Administration, Acheson clerked for Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, worked at Washington law firm Covington & Burling, and served as Undersecretary of the Treasury for one year under President Franklin Roosevelt.
Stephen E. Ambrose (1936-2002) was a historian and professor who wrote on military history, presidential history, and American expansion and foreign policy. Ambrose has been praised for his biographies of Presidents Eisenhower and Nixon, and for helping to galvanize interest in World War II.
Elizabeth Becker is an award-winning journalist and the author of several books. Her history When The War Was Over: Cambodia and the Khmer Rouge won accolades from the Robert F. Kennedy book award, while her recent biography of female conflict journalists You Don’t Belong Here: How Three Women Rewrote the Story of War won the 2022 Sperber Book Prize and Harvard’s Goldsmith Book Prize. She is also the author of America’s Vietnam War: A Narrative History for young adults.
David W. Blight is the Class of 1954 Professor of American History and Director of the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance & Abolition at Yale University. Recently, Blight has written A Slave No More: Two Men Who Escaped to Freedom, Including Their Narratives of Emancipation, and Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory, which won the Bancroft Prize, the Abraham Lincoln Prize, and the Frederick Douglass Prize.
Douglas Brinkley, a distinguished professor of history at Rice University and Contributing Editor of American Heritage, has written more than 20 books, most recently The Wilderness Warrior: Theodore Roosevelt and the Crusade for America (Harper 2009) and The Reagan Diaries (HarperCollins 2007).
Brinkley earned his B.A from Ohio State University University in 1982, and his Ph.D. from Georgetown University in 1989.