Crossing the Aisle

Foreword by Pulitzer Prize-Winning Presidential Historian, Jon Meacham

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Pulitzer Prize-winning presidential historian Jon Meacham is currently a Visiting Professor of Political Science at Vanderbilt University. Meacham wrote the forward to Keel Hunt’s Crossing the Aisle, as a energetic supporter of the subject matter, engaged political scientist, historian, lover of Tennessee and friend of the author.

Meacham is a former Executive Editor and Executive Vice President at Random House, he is a contributing writer to The New York Times Book Review, a contributing editor to Time magazine, and a former Editor-in-Chief of Newsweek. He is the author of several books. He won the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography for American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House. His latest work is The Soul of America: The Battle for Our Better Angels.



In his foreword, Pulitzer Prize–winning author Jon Meacham observes striking examples of bipartisan cooperation on many policy fronts—and a mode of governing that provides lessons for America in this frustrating era of partisan stalemate

“I grew up on Missionary Ridge, the Civil War battlefield overlooking Chattanooga; in my childhood we could still find minie balls from the battle in which a young Union soldier, Arthur MacArthur, the father of Douglas, received the Congressional Medal of Honor. The war’s relics were real and tangible—I still have a few on my desk as I write—as was much of the complex American story. Braxton Bragg had been headquartered a few hundred yards from my house, and as children we would play baseball on the grounds of his camp. A few miles in the other direction sat the house of Chief John Ross of the Cherokee Nation. My contemporaries and I were sometimes taken to feed the ducks in a small pond there.

         For Tennesseans, therefore, as for so many other Southerners, history is neither clinical nor remote, but real and present. And not just the ancient history: Chattanooga, like the state itself, reinvented itself in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, building first an industrial economy and then, as the world changed, created an ethos that enabled it to thrive in the Information Age. Old times here may not be totally forgot, but they have also never been constricting…” [READ MORE]