‘Global leader’ coming to town

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Why pass another Thursday night with the same ennui? Instead, your Sept. 7 dinner could be regaled by tales of presidents past from award-winning storyteller Jon Meacham.

If American history sounds boring, trust me; this won’t be. A fiction fan myself, I am nevertheless riveted to the Idaho Humanities Council’s Distinguished Humanities Lecture at the nonprofit’s annual dinner affair. Its nationally acclaimed author-speakers are not only intelligent, accomplished, and highly knowledgeable — they deliver with humor and an entertaining style. I always learn something. I’m always made to think anew, to perceive some part of history differently than before.

That’s just what the humanities are about — they shape us, by broadening the context of the human experience. Philosophy, religion, and history. Music and art; language and literature. How dull life would we be without them; how little we would understand ourselves beyond the borders of an individual life.

Jon Meacham is executive editor and vice president of Random House Publishing Group, and one of America’s most prominent public intellectuals. A skilled storyteller, biographer, and former Newsweek and Time magazine editor, he’s a regular on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, and has appeared on Meet the Press, the Colbert Report, PBS’s Charlie Rose, and several documentaries. His biography of George H.W. Bush held the top spot on the New York Times bestseller list.

Described by critics as masterful, balanced, and intimate, Meacham’s writings explore the lives of other presidents, examine the historical impacts of FDR and Churchill’s close friendship, and earned him spots on national and international advisory groups. The World Economic Forum named him a “Global Leader for Tomorrow.”

The list goes on (did I mention a Pulitzer?), but the gist is that Meacham is more than mere writer with the gift of gab. He has well-respected insight on how history impacts daily life, and what wisdom we may take from it.

Like Meacham, IHC speakers are generally prize-winning journalists and authors. Fiction or nonfiction, invariably they are great storytellers. The human experience is, after all, a story.

For more information about IHC and the Sept. 7 event, see Idahohumanities.org or call (888) 345-5346.

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Sholeh Patrick, J.D. is a columnist for the Hagadone News Network. Contact her at Sholeh@cdapress.com.

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