In 2008, presidential candidate Barack Obama's scheduled speech to the Democratic National Convention fell on the anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s most iconic speech. While preparing, the usually composed Obama was overcome with emotion.
Barack Obama launched into our national consciousness at the 2004 Democratic National Convention and ever since, he's delivered messages of patriotism, unity, and hope through the power of words. But of all the speeches he's given, six in particular may define his legacy as, in historian Doris Kearns Goodwin's words, "one of the best writers and orators in the presidency." Interviews with eminent historians and key figures in his writing process give rare insights into these iconic speeches, as well as the Obama presidency and the man himself.
David Axelrod is a veteran of American politics and journalism and the former chief strategist and senior advisor to President Barack Obama. He currently serves as director of the University of Chicago's non-partisan Institute of Politics; senior political commentator for CNN; and host of 'The Axe Files,' a top-rated podcast jointly produced by CNN and his institute. Axelrod, a former political writer for the 'Chicago Tribune' and, later, media strategist for 150 state, local and national political campaigns, is also the author of 'The New York Times' best-selling memoir, 'Believer: My Forty Years in Politics.'
Jon Favreau is a founding partner at Fenway Strategies. He is also a co-founder of Crooked Media, and a co-host of the political podcast, Pod Save America.
From 2009 through early 2013, Favreau served as the Director of Speechwriting for President Barack Obama, a role he also played for the President during the 2008 presidential campaign. Favreau began writing with President Obama in 2005, when he started his first term as a U.S. Senator, and has had a hand in crafting nearly every major speech that the President delivered over the last 8 years.
Featured in TIME magazine as one of the '100 Most Influential People in the World' and in GQ's '50 Most Powerful People in D.C.,' Favreau is a public speaker with the Washington Speakers Bureau. Formerly, he was a columnist at both The Ringer and The Daily Beast, and taught a weekly seminar as a visiting fellow at the University of Chicago Institute of Politics.
Favreau grew up outside of Boston and graduated from the College of the Holy Cross.
Doris Kearns Goodwin is a world-renowned presidential historian, public speaker and Pulitzer Prize-winning author. She has spent five decades studying the U.S. presidency, and has written six critically acclaimed and New York Times bestselling books, including her most recent, 'The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism.' Steven Spielberg's Amblin Partners has acquired the film and television rights to the book.
Mr. Spielberg and Ms. Goodwin previously worked together on 'Lincoln,' based in part on her award-winning 'Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln,' for which Daniel Day-Lewis earned an Academy Award® for his portrayal of Lincoln.
Ms. Goodwin was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in History for 'No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II.' She also authored 'Wait Till Next Year,' 'Lyndon Johnson and the American Dream' and 'The Fitzgeralds and the Kennedys,' which was adapted into an award-winning TV miniseries. Ms. Goodwin served as an assistant to President Johnson, and later assisted him in the preparation of his memoirs.
She is well known for her appearances and commentary on television, including most recently on 'The Simpsons,' 'American Horror Story,' Ken Burns' 'The Roosevelts: An Intimate History' and 'The History of Baseball,' 'Charlie Rose,' 'The Late Late Show with Stephen Colbert,' and the major networks' and cable stations' news and documentary programs.
Ms. Goodwin and her husband Richard N. Goodwin live in Concord, Massachusetts. She was the first woman to enter the Boston Red Sox locker room, and is a devoted fan of the World Series-winning team.
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