Jennifer J. Raab, Hunter College President, Cordially invites you to attend a special President’s Week event,  in person and on Zoom. Jon Meacham on his new book And There Was Light: Abraham Lincoln and the American Struggle in conversation with Harold Holzer.

“In his captivating new book, Jon Meacham has given us the Lincoln for our time.”
—Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Roosevelt House is pleased to present a discussion of the new bestselling book And There Was Light: Abraham Lincoln and the American Struggle by Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer and television-news commentator Jon Meacham. In this illuminating, beautifully written chronicle of the 16th president’s life, Meacham charts how Lincoln confronted secession, threats to democracy, and the tragedy of slavery—in order to expand the possibilities of America. The author will be in conversation with Jonathan F. Fanton Director of Roosevelt House and renowned Lincoln scholar Harold Holzer.

Groundbreaking in its analysis and approach, And There Was Light delivers the story of Lincoln from his birth on the Kentucky frontier in 1809, to his leadership during the Civil War, to his tragic assassination in 1865. Included are explorations of Lincoln’s rise, his self-education, his loves, his bouts of depression, his political failures, and particularly his deepening faith. Above all is his persistent conviction that slavery must end. Meacham’s comprehensive and detailed telling of Lincoln’s life illustrates the innerworkings of politics in a democracy, the roots and durability of racism, and the capacity of conscience to shape history.

His revealing new portrait depicts a very human Lincoln—an imperfect man whose moral antislavery commitment became essential to the evolving story of justice in America.

As Harold Holzer said in a blurb for the book: “So much more than another account of Abraham Lincoln’s life, Jon Meacham’s profound new biography dives into Lincoln’s very soul, and the result is one of the most compelling and absorbing portraits ever crafted. This book instantly takes its place at the forefront of the Lincoln literature.”

Jon Meacham is a Pulitzer Prize–winning biographer whose books include: Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power;American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House; Franklin and Winston: An Intimate Portrait of an Epic Friendship; Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush; and The Soul of America: The Battle for Our Better Angels. He is a distinguished visiting professor at Vanderbilt University, a contributing writer for The New York Times Book Review, and a fellow of the Society of American Historians. He is a frequent guest on CBS This Morning, Face the Nation, MSNBC’s Morning Joe.

Harold Holzer has served since 2015 as the Jonathan F. Fanton Director of the Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute. A prolific author with more than 50 books to his credit, he won the 2015 Gilder Lehrman Prize for his Lincoln and the Power of the Press: The War for Public Opinion, and earlier earned a 2008 National Humanities Medal and co-chaired the U. S. Lincoln Bicentennial Commission. His most recent book is The Presidents vs. the Press: The Endless Battle Between the White House and the Media, from the Founding Fathers to Fake News.

Jon Meacham — And There Was Light: Abraham Lincoln and the American Struggle | Posted on February 2nd, 2023 | Book Discussions, Public Programs