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The American Story

Conversations with Master Historians

Foreword by Carla Hayden

About The Book

Co-founder of The Carlyle Group and patriotic philanthropist David M. Rubenstein takes readers on a sweeping journey across the grand arc of the American story through revealing conversations with our greatest historians.

In these lively dialogues, the biggest names in American history explore the subjects they’ve come to so intimately know and understand.

David McCullough on John Adams
Jon Meacham on Thomas Jefferson
Ron Chernow on Alexander Hamilton
Walter Isaacson on Benjamin Franklin
Doris Kearns Goodwin on Abraham Lincoln
A. Scott Berg on Charles Lindbergh
Taylor Branch on Martin Luther King
Robert Caro on Lyndon B. Johnson
Bob Woodward on Richard Nixon
And many others, including a special conversation with Chief Justice John Roberts

Through his popular program The David Rubenstein Show, David Rubenstein has established himself as one of our most thoughtful interviewers. Now, in The American Story, David captures the brilliance of our most esteemed historians, as well as the souls of their subjects. The book features introductions by Rubenstein as well a foreword by Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden, the first woman and the first African American to lead our national library. Richly illustrated with archival images from the Library of Congress, the book is destined to become a classic for serious readers of American history.

Through these captivating exchanges, these bestselling and Pulitzer Prize–winning authors offer fresh insight on pivotal moments from the Founding Era to the late 20th century.

About The Author

Photograph by Robert Severi

David M. Rubenstein is the New York Times bestselling author of How to Invest, How to Lead, The American Experiment, and The American Story. He is cofounder and cochairman of The Carlyle Group, one of the world’s largest and most successful private equity firms. Rubenstein is Chairman of the Boards of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Council on Foreign Relations, the National Gallery of Art, the Economic Club of Washington, and the University of Chicago. He is an original signer of The Giving Pledge and a recipient of the Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy and the MoMA’s David Rockefeller Award. The host of PBS’s History with David Rubenstein, Bloomberg Wealth with David Rubenstein, and The David Rubenstein Show: Peer-to-Peer Conversations on Bloomberg TV and PBS, he lives in the Washington, DC, area.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (October 29, 2019)
  • Length: 416 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781982120337

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Raves and Reviews

“With his legendary passion for American history, David Rubenstein’s conversations with scholars and authors bring our country’s story to life in a new way. The American Story illuminates the humanity, motivations, and lesser-known stories behind some of our country’s most notable leaders with lessons that are important for all of us today.”—Bill Gates

“David Rubenstein draws out compelling stories and unexpected insights in dialogues with some of the most important historians in America. For the reader who loves American history and biography, or for anyone who would like to start, this book is for you.”—Michael Beschloss, New York Times Bestselling author of Presidents of War

“Rubenstein knows in his gut that we can't know where we're going without knowing where we've been. In The American Story, one of the best interviewers I know interrogates our greatest historians to find out about critical moments in our past that speak directly to our present moment.”—Ken Burns, Director of The Vietnam War

“This book tells the story of our past, but it also can help guide our future. I hope it inspires new generations to learn about our history and defend the democratic values that have always defined what it truly means to be an American.”—The Honorable Madeleine K. Albright, Former United States Secretary of State

“David Rubenstein brilliantly captures the essence of many of our country’s most significant historic figures and the insights of their greatest living biographers. The American Story is truly fascinating—wonderfully readable, substantively compelling, and full of unexpected revelations.”—General David Petraeus, US Army (Ret.), former Director of the CIA

The American Story is yet another of David’s patriotic, philanthropic gifts to our country, its history and its citizens. It’s his enthusiasm that I admire most and that drives these important conversations.”—Mike Krzyzewski, Head Coach, Duke Men’s Basketball

“David’s boundless curiosity and lifelong interest in American history make him an ideal choice to interview our nation’s foremost historians. The lessons in The American Story are as timeless as they are timely.”—Lonnie G. Bunch III, Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution

“History matters, and these engaging and enlightening conversations show why. David Rubenstein deserves a medal—as a knowledgeable, incisive and witty interlocutor, but also as the creator of these Congressional Dialogues, which present the insights of the past to those responsible for the future.”—Drew Gilpin Faust, 28th President of Harvard University

"A joy that people will take with them and read it. It is the best Christmas present I know of." —Hugh Hewitt

"David Rubenstein’s interviews are a thrilling trip to the past and ought to be required reading for anyone who cares about America’s future." —Cal Thomas

“The American Story is a creative concept that delivers delicious bite-size bits of American history to those who haven’t had the time or inclination to read widely. I devoured every page with immense pleasure.” —Kitty Kelley, Washington Independent Review of Books

“Revealing, even surprisingly funny.” The Guardian

“[An] important gift helping to preserve our shared history.” Charleston Post Courier

“Fascinating . . . Rubenstein elicits unexpected biographical nuggets.”—Publishers Weekly

“An excellent introduction to leading historians and the books every engaged American should read.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Amiable yet informative, the interviews helpfully distill what are often massive tomes into an enjoyable collection of revelatory anecdotes, trivia, and bits of wisdom for modern legislators and citizens alike.”—Booklist

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