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The Edmund Fusco Contemporary Issues Forum brings outstanding scholars, leaders, and policy-makers to the UConn campus to share their knowledge and perspectives with the community.

The program is sponsored by the Fusco family of New Haven, who created the contemporary issues forum at UConn through a philanthropic gift to celebrate their family’s 90th year in business, as well as the 90th birthday of Edmund Fusco. Through these forums, members of the UConn community are given the opportunity to challenge and expand their views on topics of profound and lasting influence. Community involvement is also integral; businesses and individuals are able to financially support this endeavor through multi-level sponsorship.

Event Information

Wednesday, April 13
Doors open at 6:15 p.m. | Lecture starts at 7:00 p.m.
Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts
This event is free and open to the public.

2016 Keynote Speaker

Award-winning Historian and Best-selling Author, Michael Beschloss

Michael BeschlossMichael Beschloss is an award-winning historian, best-selling author of nine books, New York Times columnist and Emmy-winning contributor to NBC News and the PBS NewsHour. Beschloss also has the largest Twitter following of any historian on earth (with more than 110,000 followers); his site appears on TIME magazine’s list of the world’s top Twitter feeds.

The New York Times Book Review has called Beschloss “easily the most widely recognized Presidential historian in the United States.” Albert Hunt of Bloomberg News has called him “a national treasure.” The Charlotte Observer has said, “Michael Beschloss knows more about America’s 44 presidents than perhaps anyone on earth.” Beschloss is currently working on a major history of American Presidents and wars from 1812 to the present, which will be published by Crown Publishers in 2017.

Beschloss serves as the NBC News presidential historian—the first time any major TV network created such a position; he appears on all NBC programs. In 2005, he won an “Emmy Award” for his role in creating the Discovery Channel series Decisions that Shook the World, of which he was the host.

For The New York Times, Beschloss writes a monthly business history column on Sundays and a weekly sports history column on Saturdays—the first time The New York Times has ever published a regular columnist on either of those subjects.

Beschloss was born in Chicago in 1955. An alumnus of Phillips Academy (Andover) and Williams College, he also earned a Master of Business Administration degree from the Harvard Business School, where he studied leadership and business history. He has served as an historian at the Smithsonian Institution, a resident scholar at Oxford University and a senior fellow of the Annenberg Foundation.

His 2007 book Presidential Courage—which covers nine Presidents from George Washington to Ronald Reagan—was a No. 1 Washington Post best seller, and a three-month New York Times best seller. President George W. Bush quoted from Beschloss’s book in his 2010 memoir Decision Points, in which Bush wrote, “I told Laura, if they’re still assessing George Washington’s legacy more than two centuries after he left office, this George W. doesn’t have to worry about today’s headlines.”

Beschloss’s book The Conquerors was Amazon’s best-selling history book of 2002. His book Jacqueline Kennedy: Historic Conversations, which he co-authored with Caroline Kennedy in 2011, was No. 1 on The New York Times best seller list and in many countries around the world.

Beschloss’s books Taking Charge (1997) and Reaching for Glory (2001) were the first two volumes of his projected trilogy on President Lyndon Johnson’s secret White House tapes. President Bill Clinton has told People magazine that the audio version of Taking Charge was the first book on tape he ever listened to. Actor Bryan Cranston told The New York Times that he used Beschloss’s books to prepare for his Tony-winning role as Lyndon Johnson on Broadway.

Beschloss also wrote Kennedy and Roosevelt, which started as his senior honors thesis at Williams College, Mayday: Eisenhower, Khrushchev and the U-2 Affair (1986) and The Crisis Years (1991), which The New Yorker called the “definitive” history of President John F. Kennedy and the Cold War.

Beschloss holds honorary doctorates from Williams College, St. Mary’s College of Maryland, Lafayette College, St. Peter’s College and Governors State University. He has also been awarded the State of Illinois’s “Order of Lincoln”, the “Ambassador Book Prize”, the “Harry S. Truman Public Service Award”, the “Founders Award” of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, the New York State “Archives Award” and the Rutgers University “Living History Award”.

Beschloss is a trustee of the White House Historical Association and the National Archives Foundation, and is a former trustee of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation. He lives in Washington, D.C., with his wife and their two sons.

Past Forum Speakers

Hilary Rodham Clinton
Former Secretary of State

Doris Kearns Goodwin
Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer, historian, and political commentator