The Chancellor’s Village Lecture
Before Stephen Colbert, Jon Stewart, and even before “Doonesbury,” there was Art Buchwald. For over fifty years his Pulitzer Prize winning column of political satire and biting wit made him one of the most widely read American humorists of his age. At the height of his career his column — published three times a week — was syndicated in 550 newspapers in 100 different countries. The power of his wit was legendary, some describing him as “Will Rogers with chutzpah.” Much like Mark Twain, James Thurber, and H.L Mencken, Buchwald was an American original. For over five decades it seemed as if everyone began their day by reading him as he satirized political scoundrels, lampooned the powerful and the pompous, and over his long career poked fun at ten different Presidents of the United States. Michael Hill is currently at work on a book based on the life, letters and political satire of Art Buchwald. In his “Great Lives” lecture, Hill will not only explore the genius of Buchwald’s satire and humor, but also provide a colorful and lively portrait of the man and the humorist.
Speaker: Michael Hill
Michael Hill received his BA in political science from Kent State University, followed by a JD degree from the same institution. He subsequently earned a master's in public administration from Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. He is currently a freelance author and historical researcher based in Fredericksburg.
As a historical researcher he has assisted such authors as: David McCullough, Jon Meacham, Sebastian Junger, Nathaniel Philbrick, Evan Thomas, Michael Korda, Senator John McCain, James Bradley, and Michael Beschloss. He won an Emmy for his work as a co-producer on the Ken Burns, "Civil War" series on PBS. He also served as a historical consultant on both the HBO mini-series, "John Adams" produced by Tom Hanks and the ABC-TV mini-series, "Challenger" about the space shuttle disaster.
Hill is the author of Elihu Washburne: The Diary and Letters of America's Minister to France During the Siege and Commune of Paris, published in 2013 by Simon and Schuster, with a foreword by historian David McCullough, and War Poet: The Life of Alan Seeger and His Rendezvous With Death, which was described by the Wall Street Journal as “a painfully touching biography” and a “worthy addition to the canon of that war, one that emphasizes less its futility than its heartbreak in a worthy cause.”
Hill is currently completing a book about the life, letters, and humor of political commentator Art Buchwald to be published in 2021 by Random House.