About the National Archives

Welcome Remarks for "Presidents of War"

Good evening, and welcome to the William G. McGowan Theater. I’m David Ferriero, Archivist of the United States, and I’m pleased you could be with us today, whether you are here in the theater or joining us through Facebook or YouTube.

Before we hear from Michael Beschloss about his new book, Presidents of War, I’d like to tell you about two other programs happening next week in the McGowan Theater.

On Tuesday, December 4th at noon, award-winning author Stephen Hess will tell us about his experiences working with several Presidents from Eisenhower to Reagan, which he has recorded in his recent memoir, Bit Player: My Life with Presidents and Ideas.

Then on Thursday, December 6th at 7 p.m., we will look ahead to the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment and the opening of our “Rightfully Hers” exhibition in March 2019, with a panel discussion on “Women and the Vote: Opposition to Women’s Equality, from Suffrage to the ERA.”

Check our website, Archives.gov, or sign up at the table outside the theater to get email updates. You’ll also find information about other National Archives programs and activities.

Another way to get more involved with the National Archives is to become a member of the National Archives Foundation. The Foundation supports the work of the agency, especially its education and outreach programs. Visit its website—archivesfoundation.org—to learn more about the Foundation and join online.

Michael Beschloss’s new book, Presidents of War, tells the epic story of the American Presidents who have waged our major wars—from the early 19th century through the Vietnam War. A recent review in the Washington Post, by Matthew Dallek, called Presidents of War “a significant feat of historical synthesis” and praised Beschloss as “a deft researcher and a first-rate storyteller.”

Jay Winik, writing in the New York Times, remarked that “There are fascinating nuggets on virtually every page of ‘Presidents of War.’ It is a superb and important book, superbly rendered.”

Michael has long been a great friend of the National Archives and serves as a Vice President of the Board of Directors of the National Archives Foundation.

He is an award-winning historian, bestselling author, and Emmy winner, and has been a New York Times contributing columnist. He is the NBC News Presidential Historian and a contributor to the PBS NewsHour.

And he has the largest Twitter following of any American historian—with more than 315,000 followers at last count. His account appears on Time magazine’s list of the world’s top Twitter feeds. He is an alumnus of Andover and Williams College and the Harvard Business School, where he studied leadership in both the private and public sectors. He has served as a historian at the Smithsonian, a resident scholar at Oxford University, and a senior fellow of the Annenberg Foundation.

Michael holds six honorary doctorates from several colleges and universities and has been awarded the State of Illinois’s Order of Lincoln, the Ambassador Book Prize, the Harry S. Truman Public Service Award, the Founders Award of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, the New York State Archives Award, and the Rutgers University Living History Award. In addition to his work with the National Archives Foundation, he is a trustee of the White House Historical Association and former trustee of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation.

Another long-time friend and supporter of the Archives is Cokie Roberts.

She is a political commentator for ABC News and NPR. In her more than 50 years in broadcasting, she has won countless awards, including three Emmys. She was inducted into the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame, and cited by the American Women in Radio and Television as one of the 50 greatest women in the history of broadcasting. She and her husband, Steven, write a weekly column syndicated in newspapers around the country, and she has written six New York Times best-sellers, most dealing with the roles of women in U.S. history.Her best-selling books about women in American history include We Are Our Mothers’ Daughters, Founding Mothers, Ladies of Liberty, and Capital Dames.

Cokie Roberts serves on the boards of several nonprofit institutions. President George W. Bush appointed her to his Commission on Service and Civic Participation. In 2008 the Library of Congress named her a “Living Legend,” one of the very few Americans to have attained that honor.

Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Cokie Roberts.