The Books That Shaped the American Presidency with Dr. Joseph Luzzi

The Books That Shaped the American Presidency with Dr. Joseph Luzzi


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Award-winning Literature Professor Joseph Luzzi will guide audiences through a fascinating “Presidents’ Library,” as we explore the books that shaped six of the most powerful men ever to sit in the Oval Office.

We will discuss why George Washington was obsessed with a play about a Roman freedom fighter who opposed Julius Caesar; how Thomas Jefferson came to have the largest personal library in the country; what drew Abraham Lincoln to Shakespeare so obsessively (and which Shakespeare play he loved most); which British poet Franklin Delano Roosevelt memorized as a child and read throughout his life; why John F. Kennedy was devoted to a spy novelist whose books would create one of the greatest film franchises in history; and how Barack Obama came to understand his American identity and spirit through two favorite authors.

Together, we will see how presidential action and presidential reading are intimately linked, as we explore the momentous events in these presidents’ lives in light of the books that inspired their thoughts and guided their actions. Professor Luzzi will also summarize his “ALL” (American Library List) detailing the sometimes surprising books and literature, which influenced many other U. S. leaders.

Led by an expert on literature, Professor Joseph Luzzi, this interactive seminar will discuss the works of literature which have shaped some of the Presidents of the United States. Designed to inform curiosity as well as educate, participants will come away with an increased understanding of the influence of literature on these world leaders.

Joseph Luzzi received his PhD from Yale University and is Professor of Comparative Literature and Faculty Member in Italian Studies at Bard College, where he has taught since 2002 after being a visiting faculty member at the University of Pennsylvania. A frequent contributor to publications including the New York Times, TLS, and Chronicle of Higher Education, he is the author of 5 books, including My Two Italies, a New York Times Editors’ Choice selection and In a Dark Wood: What Dante Taught Me About Grief, Healing, and the Mysteries of Love, a Vanity Fair “Must-Read” selection. His work has been translated into multiple languages and his many awards include a Yale College Teaching Prize, Dante Society of America Essay Prize, and Wallace Fellowship at Villa I Tatti, Harvard’s Center for Italian Renaissance Studies. In 2017 he was named Cittadino Onorario/Honorary Citizen in Acri, Calabria, his Italian parents’ birthplace. His next book is Botticelli’s Secret: The Lost Drawings and the Rediscovery of the Renaissance, which will be published by W. W. Norton. Professor Luzzi is the founder of the Virtual Book Club, an online community of readers dedicated to exploring some of the best books ever written. Learn more at JosephLuzzi.com.

This conversation is suitable for all ages

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

Customer Reviews

Based on 3 reviews
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K
K.K.
Shaping American Presidents

Dr. Luzzi was organized and passionate in his presentation. This 90 minutes of facts and insightfulness is a great way to expand the list of your must read books. Dr. Luzzi also renewed my interest in great speeches.

M
M.P.
An Amazing Class

This class was absolutely fantastic. Dr. Luzzi was engaging and informative, the pacing was perfect, the information delivered was fascinating, and the questions from the audience were excellent at expanding on the key features of the class. I would definitely recommend this class to anyone interested in literature, politics, or history.

A
A.

Guest did not leave comment

Customer Reviews

Based on 3 reviews
100%
(3)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
K
K.K.
Shaping American Presidents

Dr. Luzzi was organized and passionate in his presentation. This 90 minutes of facts and insightfulness is a great way to expand the list of your must read books. Dr. Luzzi also renewed my interest in great speeches.

M
M.P.
An Amazing Class

This class was absolutely fantastic. Dr. Luzzi was engaging and informative, the pacing was perfect, the information delivered was fascinating, and the questions from the audience were excellent at expanding on the key features of the class. I would definitely recommend this class to anyone interested in literature, politics, or history.

A
A.

Guest did not leave comment