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Nationally Acclaimed Authors and Historians to Offer Teach-In on America's Founding at OU

Gregg Garn


CONTACT: OU Public Affairs, (405) 325-1701

NORMAN – Pulitzer Prize-winning historians and authors David McCullough and Gordon Wood will headline the University of Oklahoma’s inaugural “Teach-In, A Day with Some of the Greatest Teachers in America.”  They will be joined by four additional leading and nationally known historians who will share their perspectives on America’s founding during a daylong Teach-In on OU’s Norman campus on Monday, Feb. 27.  

“No university in America has brought together so many of the nation’s most outstanding historians in a single day to lead a conversation about America’s founding years and Constitutional heritage,” said OU President David L. Boren. “It is a unique opportunity to learn about the roots of our greatness as a nation.”

McCullough has been widely acclaimed as a “master of the art of narrative history” and “a matchless writer.” He a two-time recipient of the Pulitzer Prize and of the National Book Award, and has received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian award.

His books have been praised for their scholarship, their understanding of American life, their “vibrant prose,” and their insight into individual character. He won the Pulitzer Prize for his books Truman and John Adams, the latter of which remains one of the most critically acclaimed and widely read American biographies of all time. McCullough’s book 1776 was No. 1 on the New York Times national bestseller list. His work has been published in 10 languages and more than 9 million copies of his books are in print. None of his books has ever been out of print.

Wood is the author of The Radicalism of the American Revolution, for which he won the 1993 Pulitzer Prize for History and the Ralph Waldo Emerson Prize. His most recent work, Empire of Liberty: A History of the Early Republic, 1789-1815, was a finalist for the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for History. Wood also is the author of The Creation of the American Republic, 1776-1787, which garnered the Bancroft Prize and the John H. Dunning Prize, and The Americanization of Benjamin Franklin, among others.

The Teach-In will begin at 9:30 a.m. in the Paul F. Sharp Concert Hall in Catlett Music Center, 500 W. Boyd St., with the first talk, “Thomas Jefferson’s Founding,” given by Peter Onuf, Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation Professor at the University of Virginia, followed by a 10:30 a.m. talk, “George Washington’s Gift,” given by Professor David Hackett Fisher, Distinguished Professor of History at Brandeis University. The luncheon address, “What Made the Founders Different,” scheduled for noon, will be presented by Wood at the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History. 

The afternoon sessions will begin at 2 p.m. and feature Rosemarie Zagarri, professor of history at George Mason University, who will talk on “Founding Mothers: How Women Shaped the Founding,” followed by a 3 p.m. talk on “Our Jacksonian Constitution” by Akhil Reed Amar, Sterling Professor of Law and Political Science at Yale University. A panel discussion featuring all the speakers, including McCullough and Wood, is scheduled for 4 p.m. The event will conclude with a dinner at the Embassy Suites Norman featuring an address by David McCullough on “Adams and America’s Founding.”

For reservations for any of these events, more information and accommodations on the basis of disability, please call the OU Office of Special Events at (405) 325-3784 or email For information regarding the Teach-In and a complete schedule of events, please visit the website at

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