Jon Meacham
Editor, Newsweek

What should we be asking ourselves?

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In freedom there is strength.

Jon Meacham

Jon Meacham is the Editor of Newsweek magazine. Since starting there as a writer in 1995, he has also served as the national affairs editor and managing editor. He now supervises and occasionally contributes to Newsweek’s coverage of politics, international affairs, and breaking news. Meacham is the author of two New York Times bestsellers: American Gospel: God, the Founding Fathers, and the Making of a Nation (2006), and Franklin and Winston: An Intimate Portrait of an Epic Friendship (2003), which won the 2005 Emery Reves Award and the William H. Colby Military Writers Symposium’s Book of the Year Award.  His latest book, American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House, was published by Random House on November 11, 2008. 

Meacham has written for The New York Times Book Review, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times Book Review, and The Washington Post Book World. He is also a contributing editor for The Washington Monthly. In 2001, he edited Voices in Our Blood: America’s Best on the Civil Rights Movement (Random House), a collection of distinguished nonfiction about the mid-century struggle against Jim Crow. Born in Chattanooga in 1969, Meacham graduated from The University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee, with a degree summa cum laude in English Literature. He is also a member of the Board of Regents of The University of the South, the Vestry of Trinity Church Wall Street, the Leadership Council of the Harvard Divinity School and the Council on Foreign Relations. He received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from the Berkeley Divinity School at Yale University in 2005 and also holds three honorary doctorates.  He and his wife live in New York City with their two children.


Jon Meacham: Is there anything one can do – one’s self – to advance the idea that a culture of liberty and personal freedom is the highest human value? That in freedom there’s strength. That in . . . Not in a sort of mindless July 4th stuff, but that in point of fact, no matter what tradition one comes from – whether Islamic or Jewish or Christian or Hindu – that if we’re made in the likeness and image of God, if we live in . . . If we’re part of a divinely ordained – or at least a world in which there is a predominant myth of divinity and divine providence – how do we best play our part in that __________? And is maximizing the ability of you to do what you want or me to do what I want, as long as it doesn’t pick your pocket or break your arm, is that . . . is there something we can do to do that?


Recorded on: 7/3/07