Skip to Main Content

About The Book

In revealing conversations with our greatest historians, cofounder of The Carlyle Group and patriotic philanthropist David M. Rubenstein takes listeners on a sweeping journey across the grand arc of the American story.

These lively dialogues present some of the biggest names in American history exploring the subjects they intimately know and understand. You’ll hear live recordings of:

David McCullough on John Adams
Ron Chernow on Alexander Hamilton
Walter Isaacson on Benjamin Franklin
Cokie Roberts on Founding Mothers
Doris Kearns Goodwin on Abraham Lincoln
A. Scott Berg on Charles Lindbergh
Jay Winik on Franklin D. Roosevelt and 1944
Jean Edward Smith on Dwight D. Eisenhower
Taylor Branch on Martin Luther King
Bob Woodward on Richard Nixon
H.W. Brands on Ronald Reagan
And a special conversation with Chief Justice John Roberts

Through his popular program The David Rubenstein Show, David Rubenstein has established himself as one of today’s most thoughtful interviewers. Now, in The American Story, David shares almost a dozen interviews that capture the brilliance of today’s most esteemed historians, as well as the souls of their subjects. The audiobook presents archival recordings of these interviews and features new introductions by Rubenstein as well as a foreword by Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden, the first woman and the first African American to lead our national library.

Through these captivating exchanges, these bestselling and Pulitzer Prize–winning authors offer fresh insight on pivotal moments from the Founding Era to the late 20th century.

About The Author

Photograph by Robert Severi

David M. Rubenstein is the New York Times bestselling author of How to Invest, How to Lead, The American Experiment, and The American Story. He is cofounder and cochairman of The Carlyle Group, one of the world’s largest and most successful private equity firms. Rubenstein is Chairman of the Boards of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Council on Foreign Relations, the National Gallery of Art, the Economic Club of Washington, and the University of Chicago. He is an original signer of The Giving Pledge and a recipient of the Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy and the MoMA’s David Rockefeller Award. The host of PBS’s History with David Rubenstein, Bloomberg Wealth with David Rubenstein, and The David Rubenstein Show: Peer-to-Peer Conversations on Bloomberg TV and PBS, he lives in the Washington, DC, area.

About The Readers

Photograph by Robert Severi

David M. Rubenstein is the New York Times bestselling author of How to Invest, How to Lead, The American Experiment, and The American Story. He is cofounder and cochairman of The Carlyle Group, one of the world’s largest and most successful private equity firms. Rubenstein is Chairman of the Boards of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Council on Foreign Relations, the National Gallery of Art, the Economic Club of Washington, and the University of Chicago. He is an original signer of The Giving Pledge and a recipient of the Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy and the MoMA’s David Rockefeller Award. The host of PBS’s History with David Rubenstein, Bloomberg Wealth with David Rubenstein, and The David Rubenstein Show: Peer-to-Peer Conversations on Bloomberg TV and PBS, he lives in the Washington, DC, area.

Photograph by William B. McCullough

David McCullough (1933–2022) twice received the Pulitzer Prize, for Truman and John Adams, and twice received the National Book Award, for The Path Between the Seas and Mornings on Horseback. His other acclaimed books include The Johnstown Flood, The Great Bridge, Brave Companions, 1776, The Greater JourneyThe American SpiritThe Wright Brothers, and The Pioneers. He was the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian award. Visit DavidMcCullough.com.

No credit

Walter Isaacson is the bestselling author of biographies of Jennifer Doudna, Leonardo da Vinci, Steve Jobs, Benjamin Franklin, and Albert Einstein. He is a professor of history at Tulane and was CEO of the Aspen Institute, chair of CNN, and editor of Time. He was awarded the National Humanities Medal in 2023. Visit him at Isaacson.Tulane.edu.

© Annie Leibovitz 2018

Doris Kearns Goodwin’s work for President Johnson inspired her career as a presidential historian. Her first book was Lyndon Johnson and the American Dream. She followed up with the Pulitzer Prize–winning No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Homefront in World War II. She earned the Lincoln Prize for Team of Rivals, in part the basis for Steven Spielberg’s film Lincoln, and the Carnegie Medal for The Bully Pulpit, about the friendship between Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft. Her bestselling Leadership: In Turbulent Times was the inspiration for the History Channel docuseries on Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, and Franklin Roosevelt, which she executive produced. Her most recent book, An Unfinished Love Story: A Personal History of the 1960s, provides a front-row seat to the pivotal people—JFK, LBJ, RFK and MLK—and events of this momentous decade.

Photo Credit: J.Brough Schamp

Taylor Branch is the bestselling author of Parting the Waters: America in the King Years, 1954-63; Pillar of Fire: America in the King Years, 1963-65; At Canaan’s Edge: America in the King Years, 1965-1968; and The Clinton Tapes. He has won the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award.

A. Scott Berg is the author of four bestselling biographies: Max Perkins: Editor of Genius, winner of the National Book Award; Goldwyn; Lindbergh, winner of the Pulitzer Prize; and Kate Remembered. He lives in Los Angeles.

The author of the #1 and New York Times bestselling April 1865 and the New York Times bestseller The Great Upheaval, Jay Winik is renowned for his creative approaches to history. The Baltimore Sun called him “one of our nation’s leading public historians.” He is a popular public speaker and a frequent television and radio guest. He has been a regular contributor to The Wall Street Journal book review section, as well as to The New York Times. His many national media appearances include the Today show, Good Morning America, World News Tonight, and NPR, and he covered both of Obama’s historic inaugurations as a FOX News presidential historian. He is a former board member of the National Endowment for the Humanities and was a historical advisor to National Geographic Networks.

Photograph by Christine Smith

Jean Edward Smith taught at the University of Toronto for thirty-five years, and at Marshall University for twelve. He was also a visiting scholar at Columbia, Princeton, and Georgetown. He is the author of Bush, a biography of the 43rd president; Eisenhower in War and PeaceFDR, winner of the 2008 Francis Parkman Prize of the Society of American Historians; Grant, a 2002 Pulitzer Prize finalist; John Marshall: Definer of a Nation; and The Liberation of Paris.

Lisa Berg

Bob Woodward is an associate editor at The Washington Post, where he has worked for more than 50 years. He has shared in two Pulitzer Prizes, one for his Watergate coverage and the other for coverage of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. He has authored 21 bestselling books, 15 of which have been #1 New York Times bestsellers.

H.W. Brands taught at Texas A&M University for sixteen years before joing the faculty at the University of Texas at Austin, where he is the Dickson Allen Anderson Centennial Professor of History. He is a two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist and the author of multiple books.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio (October 29, 2019)
  • Runtime: 9 hours and 52 minutes
  • ISBN13: 9781797105956

Browse Related Books

Resources and Downloads

High Resolution Images

More books from this author: David M. Rubenstein

More books in this series: Gift for History Buffs