About the National Archives

Welcome Remarks for the American Experiment: Dialogues on a Dream

Greetings from the National Archives’ flagship building in Washington, DC, which sits on the ancestral lands of the Nacotchtank peoples. I’m David Ferriero, Archivist of the United States, and it's my pleasure to welcome you to today’s conversation with David M. Rubenstein about his new book, The American Experiment: Dialogues on a Dream.

The American Experiment is the third work in a trilogy that includes How to Lead and The American Story. It is based on conversations with some of our nation’s greatest minds—Pulitzer Prize–winning historians, diplomats, music legends, sports giants—and looks into the inspiring story of America as a grand experiment in democracy, culture, innovation, and ideas.

Before we begin, I’d like to tell you about two programs you can view later this month on our YouTube channel.

On Friday, September 17, at 1 p.m., John Kowal and Wilfred Codrington III, authors of The People’s Constitution, will discuss how generations have reshaped our founding document—the U.S. Constitution—amid some of the most colorful, contested, and controversial battles in American political life.

And on Tuesday, September 21, at 3 p.m., we will commemorate the upcoming 100th anniversary of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier with a program presented in partnership with Arlington National Cemetery. “Here Rests in Honored Glory” is a two-part look at National Archives records related to Arlington National Cemetery and the tomb. Part one will feature motion picture, cartographic, and photographic records.

David Rubenstein is a true friend of the National Archives. He knows the importance of making the documents of government available to the public so that all Americans know their rights, responsibilities, and shared history. His personal copy of the Magna Carta is the anchor of our Records of Rights exhibit housed in the David M. Rubenstein Gallery. In 2011, he received the National Archives Foundation's Records of Achievement award for giving countless Americans the opportunity to learn about our country through documents. His generosity has inspired many others to support the work of the Archives, and for that, we are grateful.

David Rubenstein is the New York Times bestselling author of How to Lead and The American Story. He is co-founder and co-executive chairman of The Carlyle Group, and Chairman of the Boards of Trustees of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the Council on Foreign Relations. 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. He is also the host of The David Rubenstein Show on Bloomberg TV and PBS.

Joining David in conversation today is author and historian Michael Beschloss, an award-winning historian, bestselling author, and Emmy winner. He is on the Board of Directors of the National Archives Foundation, a trustee of the White House Historical Association, and former trustee of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation.

Now let’s hear from David Rubenstein and Michael Beschloss. Thank you for joining us today.