Above / Pulitzer Prize-Winner Jon Meacham returns to Naperville for special Anderson’s Bookshop event at the Wentz Science Center on the North Central College. (PN File Photo of Science Center dedication from October 2017)

UPDATE May 17, 2018 / Alert! The event venue has changed since the original post in early April. Now Jon Meacham will speak in the Dr. Myron Wentz Science Center.


Jon Meacham

Anderson’s Bookshop in Naperville will present a special book signing with celebrated New York Times bestselling biographer Jon Meacham beginning at 2:30PM Sun., May 27. Meacham comes to share his timely new book, The Soul of America: The Battle for Our Better Angels. 

The current tide of divisiveness in our political life is nothing new. And Meacham explores other points in our nation’s history that had similar upheaval. The Soul of America offers some encouragement and thoughtful analysis of the bumpy road we face.

Fans can meet Meacham Sunday afternoon, May 27, at Ratio Hall in the Wentz Science Center, 131 S. Loomis, on the campus of North Central College, just steps from downtown Naperville.

The event is presented by Anderson’s Bookshop, 123 W. Jefferson Avenue. Event tickets are available at www.andersonsbookshop.com, in our store or via phone at (630) 355-2665.

The Soul of America: The Battle for Our Better Angels

Pulitzer Prize–winning author Jon Meacham helps us understand the present moment in American politics and life by looking back at critical times in our history when hope overcame division and fear.

Our current climate of partisan fury is not new, and in The Soul of America Meacham shows us how what Abraham Lincoln called the “better angels of our nature” have repeatedly won the day. Painting surprising portraits of Lincoln and other presidents, including Ulysses S. Grant, Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, and Lyndon B. Johnson, and illuminating the courage of such influential citizen activists as Martin Luther King, Jr., early suffragettes Alice Paul and Carrie Chapman Catt, civil rights pioneers Rosa Parks and John Lewis, First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, and Army-McCarthy hearings lawyer Joseph N. Welch, Meacham brings vividly to life turning points in American history. He writes about the Civil War, Reconstruction, and the birth of the Lost Cause; the backlash against immigrants in the First World War and the resurgence of the Klu Klux Klan in the 1920s; the fight for women’s rights; the demagoguery of Huey Long and Father Coughlin and the isolationist work of America First in the years before World War II; the anti-Communist witch-hunts led by Senator Joseph McCarthy; and Lyndon Johnson’s crusade against Jim Crow. Each of these dramatic hours in our national life have been shaped by the contest to lead the country to look forward rather than back, to assert hope over fear—a struggle that continues even now.

While the American story has not always—or even often—been heroic, we have been sustained by a belief in progress even in the gloomiest of times. In this inspiring book, Meacham reassures us, “The good news is that we have come through such darkness before”—as, time and again, Lincoln’s better angels have found a way to prevail.

Jon Meacham

Jon Meacham is a Pulitzer Prize–winning biographer. The author of the New York Times bestsellers Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power, American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House, Franklin and Winston,and Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush, he is a distinguished visiting professor at Vanderbilt University, a contributing writer for The New York Times Book Review, and a fellow of the Society of American Historians. Meacham lives in Nashville and in Sewanee with his wife and children.

Anderson’s Bookshops

Jon Meacham’s upcoming visit is part of Anderson’s Bookshops’ calendar of special author events. Anderson’s Bookshops specialize in book sales, author events, book signings, and building a sense of community, learning and fun. The store has been helping Naperville readers for six generations. Based in downtown Naperville, the store has grown with the community for more than 50 years. Other Anderson’s Bookshop locations include Downers Grove, at 5112 Main Street, (630) 963-2665, and La Grange, at 26 S. La Grange Rd., (708) 582-6353.