Local Pulitzer winner to spend semester at VU

American Lion author to teach political science course, lead public events

Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Jon Meacham will teach a political science class at Vanderbilt University this fall and orchestrate two high-profile public events featuring Tom Brokaw and Joe Scarborough, among others.

Meacham, who is executive editor and executive vice president at Random House, will be a distinguished visiting professor at VU and will teach "The Fate of the Republican Party" to undergraduates. The Pulitzer winner for American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House earlier this year published New York Times bestseller Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power. He also is a contributing editor to Time and a former editor of Newsweek.

“I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to be a part of the vibrant Vanderbilt world,” said Meacham, who was born in Chattanooga and graduated from the University of the South in Sewanee. “The university seems to be in a kind of golden age — at once culturally exciting and intellectually exacting.”

During his time on campus, Meacham will moderate a Chancellor’s Lecture Series event in early November titled “Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. and the Fate of American Liberalism.” The event will coincide with the release of The Letters of Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. by television news anchor Tom Brokaw. Along with Brokaw, Schlesinger’s sons Stephen and Andrew will take part in the discussion. A second Chancellor’s Lecture Series led by Meacham will be “Whither the GOP: The Future of the Republican Party” and will feature Joe Scarborough, author of the forthcoming book The Right Path: How the GOP Once Mastered Politics—And Can Again. That event will take place in early December.

“Through his award-winning books and thoughtful commentary in the news media, Jon Meacham has influenced millions of Americans,” said VU's John Geer, Gertrude Conaway professor of political science and chair of the department. “Now with Jon’s appointment to Vanderbilt, our students will have the opportunity to interact with and learn from this highly respected public figure. We are truly fortunate that Jon Meacham has joined the Vanderbilt community.”