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Looking at the American Presidency

This Fall 2007 series aimed to engage students, faculty, and the community in examingin the presidency during the curretn election cycle -- not just with sound bites and commercials, but with thoughtful and civil discourse on what the office of the president has meant historically and how it functions today. The series feautured renowned authors, political scientists and historians from across the country.

Recent Speakers

Dr. Vernon Burton
Professor of History and Sociology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Dr. Vernon Burton, author of the new book, The Age of Lincoln, is spoke at UNCG in the spring of 2008 about Lincoln's legacy to the presidency. Burton, one of the nation’s most respected Southern historians, has authored more than 100 articles and has edited or authored seven books. He has also written and testified extensively about the issue of racial discrimination in voting. In The Age of Lincoln, Burton covers the broad sweep of the United States during the Civil war and Reconstruction, carrying the story into the 1890's. He spoke Monday, March 3, 2008at 4 p.m. in the Alexander Room in the Elliott University Center.

Theodore C. Sorensen
General Counsel and Chief Speech Writer for President John F. Kennedy

Theodore C. Sorensen spoke at UNCG Monday, Oct. 29, 2007 in the Elliot University Center Auditorium at 7 p.m. Sorensen is best known for his close association with and dedication to President Kennedy. Serving as a legislative and administrative assistant and speech writer for Senator Kennedy, Sorensen went on to play an important role in organizing the presidential campaign of 1960, especially efforts to counter anti-Catholic prejudice. He later served as Special Counsel and speech writer to President Kennedy from 1961 to 1963 and participated in the secret ExComm meetings during the Cuban missile crisis. Mr. Sorensen is the author of four books about the Kennedy years, including Kennedy (1965), and Let the Word Go Forth, a selection of the speeches, statements and writings of President Kennedy (1988). He was largely responsible for completing Robert Kennedy's Thirteen Days, based on notes left after RFK's assassination in 1968.

Dr. Larry Sabato
Political Analyst and Professor of Politics at the University of Virginia

Dubbed "the Mark McGwire of political analysts" by the Washington Post, and the "Dr. Phil of American Politics" by Washingtonian magazine, Dr. Larry Sabato, the Robert Kent Gooch Professor of Politics at the University of Virginia and director of UVA’s Center for Politics, spoke at UNCG Wed. Sept. 19, 2007. His speech, sponsored by the Department of Political Science and the Center for Legislative Studies at UNCG, will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Science Building Auditorium. Sabato, a frequent guest on TV and radio programs, will discuss his latest book, "A More Perfect Constitution: 23 Proposals to Revitalize Our Constitution and Make America a Fairer Country," due for release shortly after his visit. UNCG may be the first public forum in which Sabato outlines the 23 Constitutional reform proposals detailed in the book. His other books include "Divided States of America: The Slash and Burn Politics of the 2004 Presidential Election" and "The Six Year Itch: The Rise and Fall of the George W. Bush Presidency."

Dr. William C. Harris
Professor Emeritus of History at N.C. State

As part of the University Libraries' "Looking at the American Presidency" speaker series, Dr. William C. Harris spoke on the elections of 1864 and 1860 in a lecture to be held Thursday, Oct. 4 at 7 p.m. in the Kirkland Room of the Elliott University Center. Harris, Professor Emeritus of History at N.C. State University, is the author of the new book Lincoln's Rise to the Presidency. Copies of his book will be available for sale and signing following the lecture. The first chapter in his 2004 book, Lincoln's Last Months, dealt with the election of 1864, which Harris believes was the most important in American history, along with the election of 1860.

Dr. William Leuchtenburg
Professor Emeritus of History at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

With numerous publications on twentieth-century American history, Dr. William Leuchtenburg spoke about his new book The White House Looks South: Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman and Lyndon B. Johnson at the annual meeitng of the Greensboro Historical Museum on November 7. The Greensboro Historical Museum featured North Carolina's copy of the Bill of Rights on display Nov. 30 - Dec. 2, 2007.

Dr. Martha Kumar
Political Analyst at Towson University

Dr. Martha Kumar, political analyst at Towson University, has recently published a book from John Hopkins University Press, Managing the Presidents's Message: The White House Communications Operation. She spoke on Thursday, Nov. 15 in Cone Ballroom B of the Elliot University Center.