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Westport Library to honor Jon Meacham

Published 4:02 pm, Thursday, April 4, 2013
  • Jon Meacham, founder of Newsweek magazine Photo: File Photo / Westport News
    Jon Meacham, founder of Newsweek magazine Photo: File Photo

 

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Westport Public Library has announced that Pulitzer Prize-winning author and Random House Executive Dditor Jon Meacham will be the honoree at its signature annual "Booked for the Evening" benefit on Wednesday, May 22, at 7 p.m. in the library's Great Hall, 20 Jesup Road.

Meacham, also the former editor of Newsweek, received the Pulitzer Prize for "American Lion," his best-selling 2008 biography of Andrew Jackson. He is also the author of the New York Times best-sellers "Franklin and Winston" and "American Gospel."

He is the author most recently of "Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power," a New York Times best-seller named one of the year's best books by the New York Times Book Review, the Washington Post, Entertainment Weekly, the Seattle Times and St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Meacham is a contributing editor to Time magazine and has written for the New York Times and the Washington Post, among other publications. He is a regular contributor on "Meet the Press," "Morning Joe" and "Charlie Rose."

A Fellow of the Society of American Historians, Meacham serves on the boards of the New York Historical Society, the Churchill Centre and the McCallie School. He is a former trustee and regent of the University of the South and has served on the vestries of St. Thomas Church Fifth Avenue and Trinity Church Wall Street.

Born in Chattanooga, Tenn., in 1969, Meacham was educated at McCallie Private Boys Boarding School and Day School in Chattanooga and at the University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn., where he was salutatorian and Phi Beta Kappa. He began his career as a reporter at the Chattanooga Times. He and his wife live with their three children in Nashville, Tenn., and in Sewanee.

"I believe in the possibilities of politics and in the utility of history to help us look forward by looking back," Meacham said in an interview by David Daley of the news website Salon.

Asked if we expect too much from Thomas Jefferson and other founding fathers, he said "They were men before they were monuments. They would be totally uninteresting if they were monumental. Once you put somebody on the pedestal, they lose their capacity to teach. I don't know about you, but I learn a lot more from sinners than from saints."

Previous "Booked for the Evening" honorees include Barry Levinson, Tom Brokaw, Pete Hamill, Martin Scorsese, Arthur Mitchell, Doris Kearns Goodwin and David Halberstam, among others.

All proceeds from the event benefit the the library's programs and services.

For tickets, starting at $200, visit westportlibrary.org or contact Cindy Clark, the library's director of development, at clark@westportlibrary.org or 203-291-4824.