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Smithsonian Associates - Entertaining, Informative, Eclectic, Insightful

News, Politics, & Media

Lecture/Seminar
Wednesday, September 30, 2020 - 6:45 p.m. ET

Bakari Sellers, a CNN analyst and one of the youngest state representatives in South Carolina history, examines the plight of the South's dwindling rural population of black working-class men and women. Drawing on his new book My Vanishing Country, he surveys the struggles that shape their lives: gaining access to healthcare, making ends meet as factories shut down, holding on to traditions as towns erode, and forging a path forward without succumbing to despair.

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, October 1, 2020 - 6:45 p.m. ET

As civility seems to decline due to political polarization and the increasingly unfettered climate of social media, does remaining civil in social and political discourse still have value? Olúfémi O. Táíwò of Georgetown University unpacks the role of civility in today’s world and how its potential benefits—and hazzards—relate to the search for social justice.

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, October 1, 2020 - 6:45 p.m. ET

In a special evening that celebrates the late civil rights icon and longtime U.S. congressman, Smithsonian Secretary Lonnie G. Bunch III joins Jon Meacham, author of a new biography of John Lewis, to discuss the life, career, and legacy of a visionary who offers inspiration and illumination for Americans today who are working for social and political change.

Lecture/Seminar
Monday, October 5, 2020 - 6:45 p.m. ET

Drawing on his new biography Eleanor, David Michaelis delves into the inner life of Eleanor Roosevelt—one of the 20th century's greatest figures—covering her troubled childhood, complicated marriage and partnership with President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, trailblazing 12 years as first lady, and accomplishments as a diplomat, activist, and humanitarian.

Lecture/Seminar
Tuesday, October 6, 2020 - 6:45 p.m. ET

Every time activists march down Pennsylvania Avenue, protest in Lafayette Square, or carry a sign to the White House, they are literally walking in the footsteps of the suffragists. Join authors Lucinda Robb and Rebecca Boggs Roberts as they examine how the strategies of the women’s suffrage movement still find an echo today, no matter the cause.

Lecture/Seminar
Tuesday, October 13, 2020 - 6:45 p.m. ET

Drawing on his new memoir, Undaunted: My Fight Against America's Enemies, at Home and Abroad, former CIA director John Brennan recounts events that led him to the top of the American intelligence community.

Lecture/Seminar
Monday, October 19, 2020 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Though voters usually hear that the current one is “the most important ever,” some presidential elections have proven more consequential and historic than others. As the 2020 vote approaches, historian Ralph Nurnberger looks back at memorable 19th-century contests that led to landmark political shifts, the dissolution of major political parties, changes in national policies, and some unexpected losers and winners.

Lecture/Seminar
Tuesday, October 20, 2020 - 6:45 p.m. ET

He was Washington’s indispensable man: five-time presidential campaign manager, White House chief of staff, treasury secretary, secretary of state, and political consigliere. Peter Baker and Susan Glasser draw on their new biography of James Baker to offer a case study in the acquisition, exercise, and preservation of power seen through the career of one of the most significant and influential leaders in modern government never to serve as president of the United States.

Lecture/Seminar
Monday, October 26, 2020 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Though voters usually hear that the current one is “the most important ever,” some presidential elections have proven more consequential and historic than others. As the 2020 vote approaches, historian Ralph Nurnberger looks back at memorable 20th-century contests that led to landmark political shifts, the dissolution of major political parties, changes in national policies, and some unexpected losers and winners.

Lecture/Seminar
Wednesday, October 28, 2020 - 6:30 p.m. ET

Whether an afterthought or part of carefully calculated balancing act, the selection of a presidential running mate carries an undeniable impact on both a campaign and an administration. Historian Ralph Nurnberger examines the shifting criteria used to fill the number-two spot on the ticket and how some of the choices have changed the course of history.

Lecture/Seminar
Saturday, November 21, 2020 - 9:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. ET

Austerlitz, Borodino, and Waterloo are among the places most closely associated with the era of the Napoleonic Wars. But this period of nearly continuous Franco-British conflict affected nations far beyond Europe. Historian Alexander Mikaberidze analyzes the immediate and extended consequences of the political tremors that spread as far as the Americas, Africa, India, Indonesia, and the Philippines, as well as across the Atlantic and the Indian oceans.