Ron Chernow

Beowulf Sheehan

Ron Chernow

Past Event: Wednesday, October 18, 2017

At Benaroya Hall — S. Mark Taper Foundation Auditorium

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Literary Arts

Since winning the Pulitzer Prize for his biography, Washington: A Life, Ron Chernow has continued to be one of America’s most distinguished commentators on politics, history, and finance. He spoke on his  biography, Grant – a portrait of one of our most compelling generals and presidents.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch has hailed Chernow as “one of the pre-eminent biographers of his generation” and, as a 2015 National Humanities Medal recipient, he has been praised by the National Endowment for the Humanities for “bringing our Nation’s story to life. Through his examination of America’s successful giants and titans, [Chernow] invites his readers to discover their failures and foibles, uncovering enduring lessons that inform our modern era.”

Chernow’s first book, The House of Morgan, about the trajectory of the J.P. Morgan empire, won the National Book Award as the best nonfiction book of 1990 and is considered a modern classic. His second book, The Warburgs, won the prestigious George S. Eccles Prize for the best business book of 1993 and was cited by the American Library Association as one of the year’s ten best works. In reviewing his 1997 collection of essays, The Death of the Banker, the New York Times called Mr. Chernow “as elegant an architect of monumental histories as we’ve seen in decades.” His 1998 biography of John D. Rockefeller, entitled Titan, was nominated for a National Book Critics Circle Award for Biography and remained on the New York Times bestseller list for sixteen weeks. Both the Times and TIME magazine voted it one of the ten best books of the year, while The Times of London praised it as “one of the great American biographies.”

Since 2009, Chernow has been the historical consultant to the Pulitzer Prize-winning musical Hamilton, inspired by his bestselling biography of the same title, which the New York Times called “moving and masterly […] by far the best biography ever written about the man.” In May 2015, as a member of the show’s creative team, Chernow was a recipient of the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Musical.

A frequent contributor to the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, Chernow is a familiar figure on national radio and television shows, and has appeared in numerous documentaries. He has served as president of PEN American Center, the country’s pre-eminent organization of authors. He also sits on the executive board of the Society of American Historians and is a fellow of the New York Academy of History. He recently joined the board of trustees of Humanity in Action, a global human rights organization that educates and connects young people seeking to become leaders on human and minority rights. In recent years, he has received honorary doctorates from Marymount Manhattan College, Hamilton College, Long Island University, Washington College, Skidmore College, and Muhlenberg College in Pennsylvania.

Chernow lives in Brooklyn, New York.

 

 

Selected Works

The House of Morgan: An American Banking Dynasty and the Rise of Modern Finance (1990)
The Warburgs: The Twentieth-Century Odyssey of a Remarkable Jewish Family (1994)
The Death of the Banker: The Decline and Fall of the Great Financial Dynasties and the Triumph of the Small Investor (1997)
Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr. (2004)
Alexander Hamilton (2004)
Washington: A Life (2010)
Grant (forthcoming 2017)

 

Margaret O’Mara, Q&A Moderator

Margaret O’Mara is Professor of History at the University of Washington. She writes and teaches about the history of U.S. politics, the growth of the high-tech economy, and the connections between the two. She is the author of Cities of Knowledge (Princeton, 2005), Pivotal Tuesdays (Penn Press, 2015), and is currently working on a history of the modern high-tech revolution and its relationship with the worlds of politics and finance. O’Mara is a Distinguished Lecturer of the Organization of American Historians and a past fellow of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the National Forum on the Future of Liberal Education. She received her MA/PhD from the University of Pennsylvania and her BA from Northwestern University. Prior to her academic career, she worked in the Clinton White House and served as a contributing researcher at the Brookings Institution. She lives in the Seattle area with her husband Jeff and their two daughters. 

Event Details

Benaroya Hall — S. Mark Taper Foundation Auditorium

200 University Street
Seattle, WA 98101

View directions.

Know Before You Go

  • All Literary Arts Series subscribers, except Student and Balcony, will receive a copy of Grant, Chernow’s new book.
  • The Q&A discussion following Chernow’s lecture will be moderated by Margaret O’Mara, Associate Professor of History at the University of Washington.

 

Transportation & Parking

This event will be held in the S. Mark Taper Foundation Auditorium, the largest event space at Benaroya Hall. 

Benaroya Hall is located at 200 University Street, directly across Second Avenue from the Seattle Art Museum. The public entrance to Benaroya Hall is along Third Avenue.

  • From Southbound I-5
    Take the Union Street exit (#165B). Continue onto Union Street and proceed approximately five blocks to Second Avenue. Turn left onto Second Avenue. The Benaroya Hall parking garage will be on your immediate left. The garage entrance is on Second Avenue, just south of Union Street.
  • From Northbound I-5
    Exit left onto Seneca Street (exit #165). Proceed two blocks and turn right onto Fourth Avenue. Continue two blocks. Turn left onto Union Street. Continue two blocks. Turn left onto Second Avenue. The Benaroya Hall parking garage will be on your immediate left. The garage entrance is on Second Avenue, just south of Union Street.
  • From Northbound Highway 99 (Aurora Avenue)
    Take the Seneca Street exit and move into the left lane. Turn left onto First Avenue and proceed one block. Take the next right (at the Hammering Man sculpture) onto University Street. Continue up the hill two blocks to Third Avenue. Turn left onto Third Avenue. Continue to the next block and turn left onto Union Street. Make the next left onto Second Avenue. The Benaroya Hall parking garage will be on your immediate left. The garage entrance is on Second Avenue, just south of Union Street.
  • From Southbound Highway 99 (Aurora Avenue)
    Take the Denny Way/Downtown exit. Keep right and cross over Denny Way onto Wall Street. Proceed approximately five blocks and turn left onto Second Avenue. Continue south on Second Avenue approximately eight blocks. The Benaroya Hall parking garage will be on your left. The garage entrance is on Second Avenue, just south of Union Street.

By Bus
Benaroya Hall is served by numerous bus routes. Digital reader boards along Third Avenue display real-time bus arrival information. For details and trip planning tools, call Metro Rider Information at 206.553.3000 (voice) or 206.684.1739 (TDD), or visit Metro online. The Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel, served by bus and light rail, has a stop just below the Hall (University Street Station).

Parking
The 430-car underground garage at Benaroya Hall provides direct access from the enclosed parking area into the Hall via elevators leading to The Boeing Company Gallery. Enter the garage on Second Avenue, just south of Union Street. Maximum vehicle height is 6’8″. Blink charging stations are available for electric vehicles. The event rate is $16.

Parking is also available at:

  • The Cobb Building (enter on University Street between Third and Fourth avenues).
  • The Russell Investments Center (enter on Union Street between First and Second avenues).
  • There are many other garages within a one-block radius of Benaroya Hall, along with numerous on-street parking options.

Accessibility

All of our venues have accessible seating and listening devices available. Please contact us at sal@lectures.org or 206.621.2230 x10 for more details and to let us know you’re coming so we can better accommodate your needs.