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Award-Winning Historian Visits Greenville

Last updated April 4, 2016

By News administrator

Historian and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Joseph J. Ellis will present a talk about the connections between the political leadership of America’s Founding Fathers and modern electoral politics on Thursday, April 14 at 7 p.m. at The Poinsett Club in downtown Greenville.

The lecture is part of the American History Book Club’s year-long series “Power, Politics, and Character: The Election of the American President.”

Ellis will also attend a 5:30 p.m. reception and book-signing before his talk, “What’s the Fuss about the Founders?”

Attendees must be members of the Upcountry History Museum-Furman. The cost for the reception is $100 per person, and the cost for attending the address is $50 per person.

Reservations are required.  To make a reservation, contact Gayle Warth at or 864-294-2186.  For information about becoming a member of the Upcountry History Museum-Furman, call 864-467-3100 or

Ellis was awarded the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for History for Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation, just four years after he came to national attention with his fourth book, American Sphinx: The Character of Thomas Jefferson, which won a National Book Award.

His most recent book and subject of his talk is The Quartet: Orchestrating the Second American Revolution (Random House, 2015). It describes the relationship among George Washington, James Madison, John Jay and Alexander Hamilton as they worked to advance the Constitution in the aftermath of the failed Articles of Confederation.

Ellis posits that this political alliance skillfully (and sometimes forcefully) diagnosed the problems with the Articles and led to both the convening and the proceedings of the Constitutional Convention, which eventually produced the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

Ellis writes, “If I am right, this was arguably the most creative and consequential act of political leadership in American history.”

Ellis’ essays and book reviews appear regularly in national publications such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The New Yorker. His commentaries have been featured on CBS, CSPAN, CNN, and the PBS’s The News Hour with Jim Lehrer, and he has appeared in several PBS documentaries on early America, including “John and Abigail [Adams]” for PBS’s The American Experience.

The American History Book Club is a program of the Upcountry History Museum-Furman University. The 2015-16 Presidential Election series includes public appearances by national and regional historians, and will conclude in October with author and The New York Times columnist David Brooks addressing Presidential character.

For more information, contact the Furman University News and Media Relations Office at (864) 294-3107.

 About The American History Book Club & Forum

Founded in 2008 for members of the Upcountry History Museum-Furman University, the American History Book Club & Forum provides opportunities for the intellectually curious to explore their passion for American History through the written and spoken presentations of great writers and historians. The Club is dedicated to creating interest in the nation’s cultural, economic and political history, to inspiring appreciation for enlightened traditions of the American experience and to advancing the United States’ distinctive leadership role in the world community.

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