David Rubenstein-The American Story: Conversations with Master Historians
Play • 9 min

Imagine an event that brings hundreds of Members of Congress—from both chambers and parties— together for an evening to learn about and revel in American history. Not only is it true, it’s happened more than 38 times over the past six years.

In 2013, David Rubenstein, philanthropist and co-founder of The Carlyle Group, approached the Librarian of Congress with an idea for an event series in which Members of Congress could put politics aside and immerse themselves in the history of the nation. Thereafter began the Congressional Dialogue series: a dinner event held several times a year during which historic artifacts are exhibited and Rubenstein interviews bestselling and award-winning authors and historians for a Congressional audience. Now, in Rubenstein’s The American Story: Conversations with Master Historians (available October 29, 2019), these compelling conversations with the biggest names in American history are presented for all to learn and enjoy.

In this lively collection of dialogues, esteemed historians explore the subjects they intimately know and understand. There’s Ron Chernow on Alexander Hamilton, Walter Isaacson on Benjamin Franklin, Doris Kearns Goodwin on Abraham Lincoln, Taylor Branch on Martin Luther King Jr, Chief Justice John A. Roberts Jr. on the Supreme Court, and more. With encyclopedic knowledge on their respective subjects, these experts answer questions like: How close did the world come to its first nuclear war during the Cuban missile crisis? Why has John Adams long been given so much less public praise and attention than the other Founding Fathers? How did Ronald Reagan, a former B-movie actor who failed twice to get his party’s presidential nomination, become one of the most consequential presidents of the latter half of the twentieth century?

Rubenstein, a lifelong history enthusiast, has become an insightful and revealing interviewer through his role as President of the Economic Club of Washington, DC and as host of Bloomberg’s The David Rubenstein Show: Peer to Peer Conversations. He coined the phrase “patriotic philanthropy” and tirelessly advocates for causes that elevate history’s importance and accessibility in our nation. Rubenstein has purchased rare copies of historic documents like the Declaration of Independence, the Emancipation Proclamation, and Magna Carta to ensure they’re put on public display at places like the Smithsonian and the National Archives. He’s helped finance the restorations of historical landmarks like Washington Monument, Monticello, and the Lincoln Memorial so people may visit and be inspired to learn more about American history. In this vein, Rubenstein will donate all royalty revenues from sales of The American Story to the Library of Congress’s Literacy Awards.


About the author: David M. Rubenstein is a Co-Founder and Co-Executive Chairman of The Carlyle Group, one of the world’s largest and most successful investment firms. Mr. Rubenstein is Chairman of the Boards of Trustees of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Smithsonian Institution, and the Council on Foreign Relations. Mr. Rubenstein is an original signer of The Giving Pledge, and a recipient of the Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy, and the MoMA’s David Rockefeller Award, among other philanthropic awards. Mr. Rubenstein is the host of The David Rubenstein Show on Bloomberg TV and PBS. He lives in Maryland.

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