Leadership & Legacy

February 29, 2020

Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage at Carnegie Hall

881 7th Ave, New York, NY 10019

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Leadership & Legacy: The Future of America’s Great Experiment

“Yesterday is not ours to recover, but tomorrow is ours to win or lose.” -- Lyndon B. Johnson

Curated around the broad theme of “Leadership & Legacy” and timed to celebrate HISTORY’s 25th Anniversary, this day-long experience will feature prominent leaders and thinkers, notable historians and inspiring performances, culminating with an exclusive conversation between President Bill Clinton and President George W. Bush led by Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Doris Kearns Goodwin.

Join us for the inaugural HISTORYTalks event where you will have a first-hand view of history in-the-making with reflections on the past as well as informed insights for our future.

Performance by the West Point Band

The West Point Band, the US Army’s oldest active band which traces its roots back to the American Revolution. Musicians in the band are active-duty soldiers drawn from the finest institutions across the US.

Women Changing The Conversation

The events of the past few decades have transformed our society and our world—and women have been on the front lines every step of the way. From the legacy of Title IX to major transformations in media and entertainment to efforts to achieve equity across fields, women have made an indelible impact. Moderated by Ronan Farrow, this panel featuring three iconic American women will highlight the ways women from all backgrounds have catalyzed conversation and forged the course of recent history in sports, popular culture and beyond.

Capturing The Presidency

An intimate portrait of Presidents Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama through the lens of their official photographer Pete Souza.

Pete Souza

The Alchemy of Leadership

Are great leaders born or made? And what balance of traits separates the good from the great? History provides examples from across a wide range of backgrounds and fields – from business moguls to artists, journalists to politicians; many of whom challenge our preconceived notions and thinking about who we choose to emulate. We’ll explore notable examples of leadership with Susan Rice, General Stanley McChrystal, Professor Elizabeth Samet, and moderator Walter Isaacson.

A Conversation with Ta-Nehisi Coates

Carlos Watson, Co-Founder & CEO of OZY Media, interviews Ta-Nehisi Coates, the best-selling author of The Water Dancer. From the centuries-long struggle for freedom by enslaved people through the crucible of the post-Civil War civil rights efforts, Coates has created a transcendent new narrative about the legacy of enslavement in American society. His is a singular voice that has contributed greatly to the conversation about the African American experience and the future of democracy.

A Check on Power: Journalists, Late Night TV Hosts, and The Presidency

It’s been said that journalists write the first draft of history. In these times of information overload, late night television hosts have joined nightly news anchors and newsroom editors as our purveyors of truth and justice in a complicated world – cutting through the onslaught of information, exposing abuses of power and doggedly pressing for the truth. This panel discussion brings these powerful news forces together to shed light on the ever evolving power dynamic between the media and the presidency.

A Conversation with Matthew McConaughey

Matt Belloni, Editorial Director for the Hollywood Reporter, in conversation with Academy Award Winning Actor and Producer Matthew McConaughey. McConaughey will speak to Leadership & Legacy by exploring how the deeply personal choices we make impact our legacies, the “greenlights” that lead us on our life paths and what the choice of giving back has meant in his life. He will also discuss the ways his iconic roles have shaped him, how he shaped them and how they will become part of his legacy.

A Conversation with Former Presidents Bill Clinton & George W. Bush

Enjoy an illuminating conversation with two of our nation's former presidents, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, as they discuss their time in the white house and the legacies they wish to leave behind. Moderated by Pulitzer-prize winning Presidential Historian, Doris Kearns Goodwin.