The Dovetail Cultural Resource Group Lecture
Jonathan Alter tells the epic story of an enigmatic man of faith and his improbable journey from barefoot boy to global icon. Alter paints an intimate and surprising portrait of the only president since Thomas Jefferson who can fairly be called a Renaissance Man, a complex figure—ridiculed and later revered—with a piercing intelligence, prickly intensity, and biting wit beneath the patented smile. Here is a moral exemplar for our times, a flawed but underrated president of decency and vision who was committed to telling the truth to the American people.
Speaker: Jonathan Alter
A specialist in the American presidency, Alter has interviewed President Richard M. Nixon, President Gerald R. Ford, President Jimmy Carter, President George H.W. Bush, President Bill Clinton, President George W. Bush and President Barack Obama, as well as many other heads of state.
The 2020 campaign marks the tenth presidential election Alter has covered in print, on television and the internet. On MSNBC and in the Daily Beast, he brings broad historical knowledge to analyzing politics and to holding President Trump to account. He has covered Trump on and off since the early 1990s, when Trump threatened to sue him.
He has written three New York Times bestsellers: The Defining Moment: FDR’s Hundred Days and the Triumph of Hope (2006) (Also a New York Times “Notable Book of the Year”); The Promise: President Obama, Year One (2010); and The Center Holds: Obama and His Enemies (2013). Alter’s latest book His Very Best: Jimmy Carter, A Life was published in 2020.
A Chicago native, Alter received his B.A. in history with honors from Harvard in 1979. Besides The Center Holds, The Promise and The Defining Moment, Alter is the author of Between the Lines: A View Inside American Politics, Media and Culture (a collection of 20 years of his Newsweek columns), and the coeditor of Inside the System (a collection of Washington Monthly articles).
He is married to Emily Lazar and they live in New Jersey.