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Best of the National Book Festival: Jon Meacham, 2018

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Welcome to our ongoing celebration of the Library of Congress National Book Festival. Each weekday, we will feature a video presentation from among the thousands of authors who have appeared at the National Book Festival and as part of our new year-long series, National Book Festival Presents. Mondays will feature topical nonfiction; Tuesday: poetry or literary fiction; Wednesday: history, biography, memoir; Thursday: popular fiction; and Friday: authors who write for children and teens. Please enjoy, and make sure to explore our full National Book Festival video collection!

Our National Book Festival video series continues with Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Jon Meacham discussing his inspirational 2018 book, “The Soul of America: The Battle for Our Better Angels,” on the Main Stage at the 2018 National Book Festival in D.C. In the book and in his presentation, Meacham tells how, in Lincoln’s eloquent phrase, the “better angels of our nature” have always won the day; that the partisan bickering and division we see today is not new to America.

New York Times nonfiction book critic Jennifer Szalai introduces Meacham, who begins his discussion at 4:17. Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden thanks Meacham and closes the program at 58:45 by bringing to the stage National Book Festival co-chair David M. Rubenstein, the festival’s major donor.


  1. I so appreciate listening to this presentation from Mr Meacham…I value his insights into how to untangle my emotional reactions from our current political fiasco and appreciate being able to open my mind to more constructive thoughts and ideas about our Country.

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