When Anderson Cooper’s mother, the designer and heiress Gloria Vanderbilt, reached her 91st birthday, they began a correspondence, breaking a wall of silence between them. This 2016 conversation covered life in the spotlight, suicide, money, and grieving for a parent and a child. Vanderbilt Died in June at age 95.
In this moment of political discontent, when we talk of deep divides and a growing sense that our democracy has gone off track, historians counsel us to look to our past for guidance.
Pulitzer Prize-winning author Joseph Ellis returned to the founding of our country in search of lessons for today. His takeaway? We have lost the ability to argue.
In his new book, “American Dialogue: The Founders and Us,” Ellis considers some of the major issues that divided the members of the country’s founding generation -and continue to be fought over 200 years later. He tells Diane that we may not find answers in history, but we can learn how to frame the debate.
- Joseph Ellis Historian and author of "Founding Brothers: the Revolutionary Generation," "American Sphinx," and "American Dialogue: The Founders and Us"
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