Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Michael Richard Beschloss  

Pen Name: None


Audience: Adult;

Born: November 30, 1955 in Chicago, Illinois.

-- Michael R. Beschloss on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

Beschloss was born in Chicago and raised in Flossmoor, Illinois.

Biographical and Professional Information

Michael Beschloss is a regular commentator on PBS' The News Hour with Jim Lehrer and a contributor to ABC News. He now lives in Washington, D.C..

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

Kennedy and Roosevelt: The Uneasy Alliance
ISBN: 0060970952

HarperCollins. 1987

Explores the uneven relationship between Roosevelt and his longtime friend, advisor, and ambassador, Joseph Kennedy

Mayday: The U-2 Affair- The Untold Story of the Greatest US- USSR Spy Scandal
ISBN: 0060914076

HarperCollins. 1987

Uncovers the story of Francis Gary Powers's flight in a CIA U-2 spy plane into Soviet airspace two weeks before a vital Paris summit meeting in 1960 between Eisenhower and Khrushchev

Eisenhower: A Centennial Life
ISBN: 0060164182

Harpercollins. 1990

Draws on previously unavailable diaries, letters, and photographs to chronicle Eisenhower's private life and military and political career

The Crisis Years: Kennedy and Khrushchev, 1960-1963
ISBN: 0060164549

HarperCollins. 1991

Analyzes the relationship between the superpower leaders

At the Highest Levels: The Inside Story of the End of the Cold War
ISBN: 0316092827

Little Brown & Co. 1994

This is a story that you did not read in the newspapers. At the Highest Levels reveals a hitherto secret dimension of the most momentous event of our time: the end of the Cold War. Beschloss and Talbott show us the vital transactions that George Bush and Mikhail Gorbachev made and concealed from the world: Bush's pledge not to press Gorbachev for Baltic independence, the manipulations for German unification, how the Soviet Union joined the Gulf War Coalition, Bush's private warnings to Gorbachev that he was about to be overthrown, and the U.S. president's secret efforts to prevent the breakup of the Soviet Union and keep Gorbachev in power.

Presidents, television, and foreign crises
ISBN: B0006F3AM4

Annenberg Washington Program, Communications Policy Studies, Northwestern University. 1993

The Conquerors: Roosevelt, Truman and the Destruction of Hitler's Germany, 1941-1945
ISBN: 0743244540

Simon & Schuster. 2003

A New York Times bestseller, The Conquerors reveals how Franklin Roosevelt's and Harry Truman's private struggles with their aides and Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin affected the unfolding of the Holocaust and the fate of vanquished Nazi Germany.

With monumental fairness and balance, The Conquerors shows how Roosevelt privately refused desperate pleas to speak out directly against the Holocaust, to save Jewish refugees and to explore the possible bombing of Auschwitz to stop the killing. The book also shows FDR's fierce will to ensure that Germany would never threaten the world again. Near the end of World War II, he abruptly endorsed the secret plan of his friend, Treasury Secretary Henry Morgenthau, to reduce the Germans to a primitive existence -- despite Churchill's fear that crushing postwar Germany would let the Soviets conquer the continent. The book finally shows how, after FDR's death, President Truman rebelled against Roosevelt's tough approach and adopted the Marshall Plan and other more conciliatory policies that culminated in today's democratic, united Europe.

Presidential Courage: Brave Leaders and How They Changed America 1789-1989

Simon & Schuster. 2007

From the acclaimed bestselling author of The Conquerors

Michael Beschloss has brought us a brilliantly readable and inspiring saga about crucial times in America's history when a courageous President dramatically changed the future of the United States.

With surprising new sources and a dazzling command of history and human character, Beschloss brings to life these flawed, complex men -- and their wives, families, friends and foes. Never have we had a more intimate, behind-the-scenes view of Presidents coping with the supreme dilemmas of their lives.

You will be in the room with the private George Washington, braving threats of impeachment and assassination to make peace with England. John Adams, incurring his party's "unrelenting hatred" by refusing to fight France and warning his enemies, "Great is the guilt of an unnecessary war." Andrew Jackson, in a death struggle against the corrupt Bank of the United States. Abraham Lincoln, risking his Presidency to insist that slaves be freed.

Beschloss also shows us Theodore Roosevelt, taunting J. P. Morgan and the Wall Street leaders who dominated his party. Franklin Roosevelt, defying the isolationists -- and maybe the law -- to stop Adolf Hitler. Harry Truman, risking a walkout by top officials to recognize a Jewish state. John Kennedy, the belated champion of civil rights, complaining that he has cost himself a second term. And finally, two hundred years after Washington, Ronald Reagan, irking some of his oldest backers to seek an end to the Cold War.

As Beschloss shows in this gripping and important book, none of these Presidents was eager to incur ridicule, vilification or threats of political destruction and even assassination. But in the end, bolstered by friends and family, hidden private beliefs and, sometimes, religious faith, each ultimately proved himself to be, in Andrew Jackson's words, "born for the storm."



Speaking Engagements

Speaking Engagement Availability (Yes)

Contact Agent at

Russell and Volkening 50 W. 29th St. New York, NY 10001