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Results for BRI Scholar Talks

Video

A. James Fuller: The Election of 1860 | BRI Scholar Talks

36 Min

BRI Senior Teaching Fellow Tony Williams sits down with author and University of Indianapolis professor of history James Fuller to discuss the dramatic 1860 presidential election and why it was so significant. Fuller reviews the sectionalism that divided the country and the contention that surrounded the election. What dangers threaten the national union when citizens do not trust each other? And what happens when groups of voters put their self-interest before the common good? Fuller is the author of several books on the Civil War and Reconstruction including "The Election of 1860 Reconsidered."

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Abraham Lincoln’s Political Philosophy with Lucas Morel | BRI Scholar Talks

39 Min

What constitutional principles comprised Lincoln’s political philosophy? In this Scholar Talk video, BRI Senior Teaching Fellow Tony Williams sits down with Lucas Morel, Professor of Politics at Washington & Lee University, to discuss Morel's new book, "Lincoln and the American Founding." Morel explains how the natural rights republicanism of the Declaration of Independence and the principles of the Constitution formed the foundation of Lincoln’s political philosophy. This philosophy also shaped Lincoln’s statesmanship regarding the moral evil of slavery. What is the relationship between political ideas and actions in pursuit of justice, and which civic virtues are necessary for a principled leader to rule justly?

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Allen C. Guelzo: The Lincoln-Douglas Debates | BRI Scholar Talks

52 Min

BRI Senior Teaching Fellow Tony Williams sits down with renowned historian Allen Guelzo, Director of the James Madison Program’s Initiative in Politics and Statesmanship, author of twelve bestselling books, and winner of the prestigious Lincoln Prize three times, to discuss Dr. Guelzo’s acclaimed book, "Lincoln and Douglas: The Debates that Defined America." Together, they examine the importance of civil political discourse in a democracy. They also converse about Lincoln and Douglas’ differing republican political principles and ideas about slavery. Does democracy have a higher moral purpose? What can the Lincoln-Douglas debates teach us about constitutional principles and civil discourse?

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America’s Revolutionary Mind with C. Bradley Thompson | BRI Scholar Talks

29 Min

We all know the Declaration of Independence, but do we know the philosophical and moral underpinnings behind the famous document? In this Scholar Talk video, BRI Senior Teaching Fellow, Tony Williams and C. Bradley Thompson, Professor of Political Science at Clemson University, discuss Thompson's book "America's Revolutionary Mind: A Moral History of the American Revolution and the Declaration That Defined It." How did the moral ideas of natural rights and self-government borrowed from Enlightenment thinkers like John Locke help shape the founding of the nation? In what way was the Revolution, as Adams called it, a “Revolution [that] was in the Minds and Hearts of the People?”

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Brooks Simpson: Emancipation & Reconstruction | BRI Scholar Talks

35 Min

BRI Senior Teaching Fellow Tony Williams sits down with Foundation Professor of History at Arizona State University and Civil War and Reconstruction expert, Dr. Brooks Simpson, to discuss the tumultuous period of Reconstruction and how the country addressed African American rights after the Civil War. Simpson delves into the justice and injustice of the policies and laws of Abraham Lincoln, Andrew Johnson, Ulysses S. Grant, and Congress. What successes were achieved by African Americans during Reconstruction? How were African-American rights curtailed by white supremacist violence and legalized discrimination?

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Cold War De-Escalation with Jeremi Suri | BRI Scholar Talks: Cold War & the Presidency Series #4

21 Min

What next paths did President Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger forge in American Cold War foreign policy? In this Cold War & the Presidency Scholar Talk, BRI Senior Teaching Fellow Tony Williams is joined by Jeremi Suri, Professor of History and Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin, to discuss how Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger subverted Congressional oversight to achieve their Cold War agenda. What was different about their approaches from those of previous administrations? Should Nixon have been able to use so much presidential power to achieve peace?

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Cold War Origins with Sean McMeekin | BRI Scholar Talks: Cold War & The Presidency Series

22 Min

What factors contributed to the origins of the Cold War during the presidency of Franklin Roosevelt? Join us today for the first episode of our summer Scholar Talks miniseries, “Cold War & the Presidency.” BRI Senior Teaching Fellow Tony Williams is joined by Sean McMeekin, Professor of History at Bard College, as they discuss his new book, "Stalin's War: A New History of World War II." How did FDR’s presidential unilateralism and diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union shape executive power during World War II and for his successors during the Cold War?

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From Oligarchy to Republicanism with Forrest Nabors | BRI Scholar Talks

After the Founders established a republican political regime based on the ideals of natural rights and equality, how did the South create a system of enslavement and an oligarchy with rule by the few? In this video, BRI Senior Teaching Fellow Tony Williams is joined by Forrest Nabors, Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Political Science at the University of Alaska at Anchorage, to discuss his new book, "From Oligarchy to Republicanism: The Great Task of Reconstruction." Nabors explains how the South turned away from Founding ideals and grew into a society in which few had power over many in the years leading up to the Civil War. How was Reconstruction an attempt to replace the southern oligarchical system with a free government of liberty and equality? About Forrest Nabors: Professor Forrest Nabors previously taught American government and political philosophy at Oregon State University and the University of Oregon. Prior to becoming a professor, Nabors was a high technology business executive in Portland, Oregon. "From Oligarchy to Republicanism: The Great Task of Reconstruction" won the award for best book in American Political Thought in 2017 from the American Political Science Association.

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George Washington’s Political Genius with David O. Stewart | BRI Scholar Talks

25 Min

George Washington spent a lifetime mastering politics before he was unanimously elected the nation’s first president. In this Scholar Talk video, Tony Williams and distinguished bestselling historian David O. Stewart discuss Stewart's new book, "George Washington: The Political Rise of America's Founding Father," and how George Washington demonstrated political genius in helping create the American republic. How did Washington grow from a brash and impatient young man to exercise the civic virtues of restraint and moderation? What are some of the lessons we can still learn from America's first Commander in Chief?

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JFK and Foreign Policy with Greg Schneider | BRI Scholar Talks: Cold War & The Presidency Series #3

20 Min

How did JFK respond to foreign policy crises during his presidency? In this Cold War & the Presidency Scholar Talk, BRI Senior Teaching Fellow Tony Williams is joined by Greg Schneider, Professor of History at Emporia State University, to discuss the significant role that John F. Kennedy played in the Cold War. Did JFK and his advisors experience growth in addressing Cold War conflicts? How did JFK continue Harry Truman’s approach of containment during his presidency?

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Jon Schaff: Lincoln & Civic Virtue | BRI Scholar Talks

35 Min

BRI Senior Teaching Fellow Tony Williams sits down with Jon Schaff, author and Northern State University professor of government, to discuss Lincoln's respect for civic virtues and why they are so important in a democracy. Schaff reviews the relationship between civic virtues and efficient political processes, emphasizing the importance of civil discourse. What are the dangers of passions in creating lawlessness and tyranny? And why are restraint, moderation, and prudence essential traits for a good ruler to possess? Schaff is the author of "Abraham Lincoln's Statesmanship and the Limits of Liberal Democracy" and "Age of Anxiety: Meaning, Identity, and Politics in 21st-Century Film and Literature." About Jon Schaff: Professor Schaff is a professor of government at Northern State University and specializes in the study of American political thought and institutions. He has published on the presidency and political thought of Abraham Lincoln, politics and literature, and politics and popular culture. He has been a department chair and faculty athletic representative and has received the Outstanding Faculty Award from NSU.

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Jonathan White: 1824 & Contentious Elections | BRI Scholar Talks

31 Min

BRI Senior Teaching Fellow Tony Williams sits down with Jonathan White, associate professor of American Studies at Christopher Newport University and author of several books on the Civil War, to discuss his essay on the presidential election of 1824 in our new digital history textbook, Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. Together, they piece together the historical background behind one of the most contentious elections in American history. In 1824, none of the four candidates—Andrew Jackson, John Quincy Adams, Henry Clay, or William Crawford—were able to obtain a majority of the Electoral College vote. The Twelfth Amendment required the election be sent to the U.S. House of Representatives, where John Quincy Adams was chosen as the sixth U.S. president. Can we learn any lessons about democracy from contentious elections? Was the election a crisis or a demonstration of the successful workings of constitutional principles? About Jonathan White: Jonathan White is an associate professor of American Studies at Christopher Newport University and is the author or editor of ten books, including "Abraham Lincoln and Treason in the Civil War: The Trials of John Merryman and Emancipation" and "Emancipation, the Union Army, and the Reelection of Abraham Lincoln," which was a finalist for both the Lincoln Prize and the winner of the Abraham Lincoln Institute’s 2015 book prize. He serves on the Boards of Directors of the Abraham Lincoln Institute, the Abraham Lincoln Association, the Lincoln Forum, and the John L. Nau III Center for Civil War History at the University of Virginia. His most recent books include "Lincoln on Law, Leadership and Life" and “Our Little Monitor: The Greatest Invention of the Civil War." He is presently writing a biography of a convicted slave trader named Appleton Oaksmith. Check out his website at www.jonathanwhite.org/ or follow him on Twitter at @CivilWarJon.

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Liberty & Equality in the American Founding with Carol Berkin | BRI’s #ConstitutionDayLive

30 Min

How did the Founders understand the principles of liberty and equality? Join us for Constitution Day as BRI Senior Teaching Fellow Tony Williams sits down with Professor Carol Berkin, distinguished historian, author, and expert on the American Revolution and women’s history, to explore the history of these principles during the Founding. How did the American Founding create a government and a civil society based upon the principles of liberty and equality? In what ways did the country fail to achieve the ideals and aspirations of liberty and equality for all Americans?

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Patriotism & Piety with Jonathan Den Hartog | BRI Scholar Talks

23 Min

Religion was at the heart of the founding of the American colonies, but did you know that it played a major role in political life? In this episode of Scholar Talks, BRI Senior Teaching Fellow Tony Williams is joined by Jonathan Den Hartog, Professor of History at Samford University, to discuss how religion influenced politics in the early Republic. How did religion affect the growing partisan divide between Federalists and Democratic-Republicans? What lessons can we learn from the political division of the late eighteenth-century Republic?

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Reagan & the Cold War with Stephen Knott | BRI Scholar Talks: Cold War & the Presidency Series #5

17 Min

While there were a variety of factors that led to the end of the Cold War, no one can deny that Ronald Regan played a pivotal role. For the final episode of our Cold War & the Presidency Series, BRI Staff Tony Williams is joined by Stephen F. Knott, professor of National Security Affairs at the Naval War College, as they discuss Reagan's moral vision of the Soviet Union and how it shaped his practical approach to confronting the Soviets. Why did he alter the policies of past presidents like détente and the containment doctrine? What impact did Reagan’s approach to the Cold War have on the American presidency and the end of the Cold War?

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Stephen F. Knott: Demagoguery, Restraint, and the American Presidency Part 1 | BRI Scholar Talks

32 Min

How does a constitutional presidency reflect admirable qualities and, alternatively, how can a "populist presidency" degrade the office? In a two-part series, BRI Senior Teacher Fellow Tony Williams is joined by author and professor in the National Security Affairs Department at the Naval War College, Stephen Knott, to explore these questions by looking back at the most significant presidents in American history and how they defined their times in office. In part one of their discussion, Knott explains how the "populist presidency" originated in Thomas Jefferson and re-emerged in fiery leaders like Andrew Jackson while other presidents like Abraham Lincoln sought to preserve the constitutionalism and magnanimity of the Founders’ presidency. Knott is the author of "The Lost Soul of the American Presidency: The Decline into Demagoguery and the Prospects for Renewal." About Stephen F. Knott: Stephen F. Knott is a professor in the National Security Affairs Department at the Naval War College. He co-chaired the Presidential Oral History Program at the Miller Center of Public Affairs at the University of Virginia. He has also taught teachers for many years at the graduate school program at the Ashbrook Center of Ashland University. He has written numerous books including "Washington and Hamilton: The Alliance That Forged America" and "Alexander Hamilton and the Persistence of Myth."

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Stephen F. Knott: Demagoguery, Restraint, and the American Presidency Part 2 | BRI Scholar Talks

37 Min

How does a constitutional presidency reflect admirable qualities, and, alternatively, how can a "populist presidency" degrade the office? In a two-part series, BRI Senior Teacher Fellow Tony Williams is joined by author and professor in the National Security Affairs Department at the Naval War College, Stephen Knott, to explore these questions by looking back at the most significant presidents in American history and how they defined their times in office. In Part Two of their discussion, Knott explains how "populist presidency" expanded in the 20th century with idealistic leaders like Woodrow Wilson, while presidents William Howard Taft and Dwight Eisenhower upheld a healthy balance of power and restraint. Knott is the author of "The Lost Soul of the American Presidency: The Decline into Demagoguery and the Prospects for Renewal." About Stephen F. Knott: Stephen F. Knott is a professor in the National Security Affairs Department at the Naval War College. He co-chaired the Presidential Oral History Program at the Miller Center of Public Affairs at the University of Virginia. He has taught teachers for many years at the graduate school program at the Ashbrook Center of Ashland University. He has written numerous books including "Washington and Hamilton: The Alliance That Forged America" and "Alexander Hamilton and the Persistence of Myth." He is currently at work on a book on the presidency of John F. Kennedy.

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The Baldwin-Buckley Debate with Nicholas Buccola | BRI Scholar Talks

38 Min

What timeless messages does the Baldwin-Buckley Debate teach about the discussion of race in the 1960s? In this Scholar Talk video, BRI Senior Teaching Fellow Tony Williams sits down with Nicholas Buccola, writer and expert in American political thought, to discuss Buccola's new book, "The Fire is Upon Us: James Baldwin, William F. Buckley Jr., and the Debate Over Race in America." Buccola delves into the backgrounds of both James Baldwin, the foremost literary voice of the civil rights movement, and William F. Buckley Jr., one of America's most influential conservatives and opponent of the civil rights movement, to describe their radically different views on the racial divide in America. How far have we come from this moment in 1965, and what work lies ahead of us in pursuit of true equality for all?

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The Crooked Path to Abolition with James Oakes | BRI Scholar Talks

26 Min

How were the Civil War and the question of slavery related to differing interpretations of a pro-slavery or anti-slavery Constitution? In this video, two-time Lincoln Prize winner, James Oakes, and BRI Senior Teaching Fellow Tony Williams discuss his new book, “The Crooked Path to Abolition: Abraham Lincoln and the Antislavery Constitution.” Oakes explores what role the Constitution played in abolishing slavery and how the Civil War accelerated this process. Why did Lincoln view the Constitution as an anti-slavery document? In what ways were Lincoln’s opinions different from his contemporaries? In what ways were they similar?

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The Marbleheaders & American Independence with Patrick K. O’Donnell | BRI Scholar Talks

24 Min

During the American Revolution, an elite and racially diverse group of men called the Marbleheaders played a critical role in contributing to the creation of American liberty and independence. In this Scholar Talk video, Tony Williams, BRI Senior Teaching Fellow, and historian, bestselling author, and professional speaker Patrick K. O'Donnell, discuss O'Donnell's new book, "The Indispensables: The Diverse Soldier-Mariners who Shaped the Country, Formed the Navy, and Rowed Washington Across the Delaware." How did the members of the regiment demonstrate civic virtues of courage, perseverance, and equality? How did they lay the foundation for the U.S. Navy and American self-government?

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The Politics of War Powers with Sarah Burns | BRI Scholar Talks

29 Min

How has the president been able to decide when the United States goes to war without Congress deliberating and declaring war? In this video, BRI Senior Teaching Fellow Tony Williams and Associate Professor of Political Science at Rochester Institute of Technology, Sarah Burns, discuss her new book, "The Politics of War Powers: The Theory and History of Presidential Unilateralism." What is the proper constitutional balance between the Congress and presidency when it comes to war powers? What might the remedy be for restoring the balance and the separation of powers?

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Thomas Jefferson, Confounding Father with Robert M. S. McDonald | BRI Scholar Talks

29 Min

Author of the Declaration of Independence, leader of the political opposition, and third president, Thomas Jefferson is one of the most eminent and yet most controversial historical figures in his time and today. Demonized as a demagogue and radical, Jefferson had many critics and political enemies. In this video, distinguished scholar Robert M. S. McDonald and BRI Senior Teaching Fellow Tony Williams discuss his new book, “Confounding Father: Thomas Jefferson's Image in His Own Time.” What were the concerns that Jefferson’s contemporaries had relating to his style of governance? How did his relationship with Sally Hemings affect his political endeavors?

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Truman & Containment with John Moser | BRI Scholar Talks: Cold War & The Presidency Series #2

20 Min

What was containment and how did it shape American foreign policy during the Cold War? In this Cold War & the Presidency Scholar Talk video, BRI Senior Teaching Fellow Tony Williams is joined by John Moser, Professor of History at Ashland University, to discuss the significant role that Harry Truman played in the Cold War. How did Truman's presidential unilateralism provide a precedent for his successors to fight major wars without a declaration of war? Did Truman’s expansive view of American foreign policy and global responsibilities align with constitutional principles?

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Washington’s Cabinet with Lindsay Chervinsky | BRI Scholar Talks

22 Min

Among the different constitutional traditions George Washington established as America’s first president, perhaps one of the more overlooked was the creation of the cabinet. Join us today as Dr. Lindsay Chervinsky, Scholar in Residence at the Institute for Thomas Paine Studies at Iona College, and BRI Senior Teaching Fellow Tony Williams discuss her new book, "The Cabinet: George Washington and the Creation of an American Institution." In this episode, Dr. Chervinsky explores topics such as how Washington’s military experience shaped the cabinet, how cabinet members were picked, and the famous Jefferson-Hamilton dispute of the early republic. What historical precedents did Washington establish for the American presidency related to the principles of republicanism and separation of powers?"