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An Evening with Ron Chernow

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17 Tue Oct 2017

An Evening with Ron Chernow

An Evening with Ron Chernow

Tuesday, October 17, 2017 at 6:30pm
Marines' Memorial Theatre, Second Floor
609 Sutter Street, San Francisco

This program is part of our Good Lit series, underwritten by the Bernard Osher Foundation.

Celebrated historian Ron Chernow’s 2004 biography of founding father Alexander Hamilton inspired Lin-Manuel Miranda’s wildly popular “Hamilton.” Now America’s preeminent biographer turns his attention to the Civil War and Reconstruction with a new biography of one of history’s most compelling presidents, Ulysses S. Grant. Grant has one of the most complicated legacies of any Civil War hero. Though a famously successful general, he was a failure of a businessman and a notoriously corrupt president. Moreover, according to Frederick Douglass, Grant was “the vigilant, firm, impartial, and wise protector of my race.” But he was also a virulent anti-Semite. He vanquished the Confederacy, and yet he was continually defeated by his own alcoholism. Join us for a nuanced psychological portrait of the man Walt Whitman called “nothing heroic ... and yet the greatest hero.” 

Ron Chernow’s work captures the complexity of monumental chapters of history, from the nation’s founding to the upheavals of the Gilded Age, through the lens of great individuals. His landmark biographies of J.P. Morgan, John D. Rockefeller, Alexander Hamilton and George Washington earned him a dizzying array of awards and nominations in American nonfiction literature. He is the recipient of a National Book Award, the Pulitzer Prize, and the National Humanities Medal, awarded by President Barack Obama in 2015.

Chernow photo © Beowulf Sheehan

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