Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum


Susan Medler
PH 816.268.8245
FAX 816.268.8299

Truman Library Institute to Present Third Annual Howard & Virginia Bennett Forum on the Presidency with Arianna Huffington
and Guests at Unity Temple on the Plaza

INDEPENDENCE, MO—On Sunday, Nov. 1, the 2009 Howard & Virginia Bennett Forum on the Presidency will bring together a panel of leading thinkers and political commentators for a lively conversation on Presidential Leadership in Transformational Times.  A signature event of the Harry S. Truman Library Institute, the third annual Howard & Virginia Bennett Forum on the Presidency will be moderated by Joseph S. Nye, Jr. and feature panelists Arianna Huffington, Robert Kuttner, and Timothy Naftali. The Forum will take place at 6 p.m. at Unity Temple on the Plaza, 707 W. 47th St., Kansas City, Mo. General admission tickets for Presidential Leadership in Transformational Times are available for $18 ($10 for Truman Library Institute members) by contacting Central Ticket Office at (816) 235-6222 or umkc.edu/cto .

Important lessons can be learned from America’s transformational leaders, as well as from those who attempted great change but failed. The similarities among transformational presidents – and the strategies they employed – are startling. Join a distinguished panel of historians, writers and thinkers as they examine the characteristics of transformational presidents, including Lincoln, FDR, Truman & Johnson, and consider whether Barack Obama can fulfill his pledge to “fundamentally transform the United States of America.”

The Howard & Virginia Bennett Forum on the Presidency was created in 2006 by Michael and Mary Johnston to commemorate Howard Bennett’s role in the founding of the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum and to further the public’s understanding of the history and role of the American Presidency, a unique office in world history.

The Harry S. Truman Library Institute is the nonprofit partner of the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum, one of 13 presidential libraries administered by the National Archives and Records Administration. Together with its public partner, the Truman Library Institute is dedicated to preserving and sharing the legacy of America’s 33rd president through nationally acclaimed educational programs, world-class museum exhibitions, and timely public forums. Together we can contribute to a better tomorrow by helping adults and students alike better understand our democracy, the American presidency, and each person’s power to make a difference.

Short Biographies
Joesph S. Nye, Jr. | Moderator
Joseph S. Nye, Jr., is distinguished service professor and former dean of the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He received his bachelor's degree summa cum laude from Princeton University in 1958, did postgraduate work at Oxford University on a Rhodes Scholarship, and earned a Ph.D. in political science from Harvard. He joined the Harvard faculty in 1964. From 1977-79, Nye was deputy to the undersecretary of state for security assistance, science, and technology and chaired the National Security Council Group on Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons. In 1993-94 he chaired the National Intelligence Council which prepares intelligence estimates for the president, and in 1994-95 served as assistant secretary of defense for International Security Affairs. He won Distinguished Service medals from all three agencies. Nye is the author of numerous books and more than 150 articles in professional and policy journals. In 2004 he published Soft Power: The Means to Success in World Politics, Understanding International Conflict (5th edition), and The Power Game: A Washington Novel. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the British Academy, and the American Academy of Diplomacy. He is the recipient of Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson Award, and the Charles Merriam Award from the American Political Science Association.

Arianna Huffington | Panelist
Currently a central player in shaping the interplay between politics, the economy, the media and public policy, Arianna Huffington stands at the forefront of the new media. The driving force behind The Huffington Post, she leads one of the world’s most successful and influential news and opinion sites. Originally from Greece, she moved to England when she was 16 and graduated from Cambridge University with an M.A. in economics. At 21, she became president of the famed debating society, the Cambridge Union. Only a year after launching The Huffington Post, Huffington was named to TIME magazine’s list of the world’s 100 most influential people, and she was recently named as one of the most influential women in media by Forbes magazine. Huffington is author of 12 books including the best-seller On Becoming Fearless…in Love, Work, and Life and the very timely, Pigs at the Trough: How Corporate Greed and Political Corruption are Undermining America, re-released in 2009. She has given her honest, outspoken views on shows like The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Daily Show, Squawk Box, Real Time with Bill Maher, The Colbert Report, Today and The Tonight Show.

Robert Kuttner | Panelist
Robert Kuttner is co-founder and co-editor of The American Prospect magazine, as well as a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the think tank Demos. He was a longtime columnist for Business Week, and continues to write columns in the Boston Globe. His recent books include Obama’s Challenge: America’s Economic Crisis and the Power of a Transformative Presidency and The Squandering of America, which explores the political roots of America's narrowing prosperity and the systemic risks facing the U.S. economy. Kuttner’s best-known earlier book is Everything for Sale: The Virtues and Limits of Markets (1997). The book received a page-one review in the New York Times Book Review. Of it, the late economist Robert Heilbroner wrote, "I have never seen the market system better described, more intelligently appreciated, or more trenchantly criticized than in Everything for Sale." Robert Kuttner’s magazine writing has appeared in The New York Times Magazine and Book Review, The Atlantic, The New Republic, The New Yorker, Dissent, Columbia Journalism Review, and Harvard Business Review.
 Timothy Naftali | Panelist
Timothy Naftali is the director of the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum, part of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). Before joining NARA, Naftali taught history at several universities, including the University of Virginia, where he also served as director of the Presidential Recordings Program at the Miller Center of Public Affairs. A prolific writer for both scholarly and popular audiences, Naftali’s work has appeared on Slate.com and in The Washington Post, Foreign Affairs, and other publications. He has appeared on The History Channel, National Public Radio, and C-SPAN and is the author of four books, including Blind Spot: The Secret History of American Counterterrorism. He has co-authored two books with Aleksander Fursenko, One Hell of a Gamble: Khruschev, Castro and Kennedy and The Inside Story of an American Adversary, which received the Duke of Westminster’s Medal for Military Literature in June 2007.  

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