Historian Bios

Theodore C. Sorensen, former Special Counsel, Adviser, and primary speechwriter to President John F. Kennedy and a widely published author on the presidency and foreign affairs, practiced international law for more than 36 years as a senior partner and is now of counsel at the prominent U.S. law firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP. He is also the author of the books Kennedy, The Kennedy Legacy, and Let the Word Go Forth: The Speeches, Statements and Writings of John F. Kennedy, 1947-1963.

In 2002, Mr. Sorensen was a fellow at the Institute of Politics at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. Mr. Sorensen is on the advisory board of the Foreign Policy Leadership Council, a director of the Council on Foreign Relations (until 2004) and the Century Foundation, a member of the advisory board of the Partnership for a Secure America and an honorary co-chair of the ABA Commission on the Renaissance of Idealism in the Legal Profession. Mr. Sorensen is the author of the 1965 international best seller Kennedy, seven other books on the presidency, politics or foreign policy and numerous articles on those subjects in Foreign Affairs, The New York Times and other publications. As an active figure in the Democratic Party, he has participated in 10 of the last 12 Democratic Party National Conventions and served in a number of governmental, political and civic posts. Appointed by President Bill Clinton, he served on the boards of the Central Asian-American Enterprise Fund (covering Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan) and the Commission on White House Fellows. He is experienced in the ways of Washington, the United Nations and the multilateral (World Bank, IFC, etc.) and U.S. (AID, OPIC, etc.) financing institutions.

Mr. Sorensen was born in Lincoln, Nebraska in 1928. He is father of three sons, one daughter and is married to Gillian Martin Sorensen, a former New York City commissioner, a former United Nations under-secretary general and current senior advisor and national advocate at the United Nations Foundation.

Mr. Sorensen's memoirs, Counselor: A Life at the Edge of History, were published by HarperCollins in May of 2008.


David Nasaw is an author, biographer, and the Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. Professor of American History at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, where he is also chairman of the Center for the Humanities. He received his PhD from Columbia University. He is also the author of The Chief: The Life of William Randolph Hearst, which won the Bancroft Prize and the J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. His other books include Andrew Carnegie, Going Out: The Rise and Fall of Public Amusements, Children of the City: At Work and at Play, and Schooled to Order: A Social History of Public Schooling in the United States. Professor Nasaw has also written for Slate, Daily Beast, The New Yorker, The Nation, The Guardian, The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and others.


Nigel Hamilton has published twenty works of biography and history, including Monty, the official 3-volume official biography of World War II general, Field Marshal Montgomery - which won the Whitbread Award for Biography and the Templer Medal for Military History. He is also author of JFK: Reckless Youth, which was a New York Times Bestseller, and was dramatized for ABC TV as a mini-series, starring Patrick Dempsey. He has written two volumes of a trilogy on the life of the 42nd President, Bill Clinton: An American Journey and Bill Clinton: Mastering the Presidency, as well as two works on the history and practice of biography: Biography: A Brief History, and How To Do Biography: A Primer. His latest work, a historical biography of the last twelve presidents, American Caesars: Lives of the Presidents, From Franklin D. Roosevelt to George W. Bush, will be published in July, 2010 (Random UK). He is a Senior Fellow in the McCormack Graduate School of Policy Studies, University of Massachusetts Boston.

Source: (Nigel wrote this bio himself)

Rick Perlstein is the author of the New York Times bestseller Nixonland: The Rise of a President and the Fracturing of America (Scribner). Nixonland has been named one of the three best books of the year by the editors at Amazon.com and a New York Times notable book for 2008, and has been named on year-end "best of" lists by over a dozen publications.

His first book, Before The Storm: Barry Goldwater and the Unmaking of the American Consensus, won the 2001 Los Angeles Times Book Award for history and is newly available in paperback from Nation Books. It appeared on the best books lists that year of the New York Times, Washington Post, and Chicago Tribune, and also achieved the status, in the wake of the Clinton Wars and the 2000 Florida recount, as one of the very rare books to receive glowing reviews in both left-wing and right-wing publications. From the summer of 2003 until 2005 he covered the presidential campaigns as chief national political correspondent for the Village Voice. He has also published "The Stock Ticker and the Superjumbo: How the Democrats Can Once Again Become America's Dominant Political Party", an essay with responses from commentators including Robert Reich, Elaine Kamarck, and Ruy Teixeira. In 2006 and 2007 he wrote a biweekly column for The New Republic Online; his Nation article "All Aboard the McCain Express" was featured in Best American Political Writing 2008. He is now at work on a third and final volume in his Backlash Trilogy, covering the years 1973 to 1980.

From March, 2007 to March 2009, Perlstein was senior fellow at the Campaign for America's Future, for whom he wrote the blog The Big Con. He is now at work on a third and final volume in his Backlash Trilogy, covering the years 1973 to 1980. He received a B.A. in history from the University of Chicago in 1992, where his cultural criticism was published in the Baffler, and spent two years in the PhD program in American culture at the University of Michigan. Moving to New York, he worked for two years as an editor at Lingua Franca: The Review of Academic Life. Perlstein's articles have appeared in publications including Newsweek, Slate, the Village Voice, Newsday, The Nation, The New York Times, The New York Observer, The Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, Los Angeles Times, Arizona Republic, the London Review of Books, Newsday, Columbia Journalism Review and The New Yorker.