The Ph.D. Program in History

at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York

GC Events

12/7 – Stacy Schiff on Samuel Adams (LLCB event)

Thomas Jefferson asserted that if there was any leader of the Revolution, “Samuel Adams was the man.” A singular figure at a singular moment, Adams packaged and amplified the Boston Massacre. He helped to mastermind the Boston Tea Party. He employed every tool in an innovative arsenal to rally a town, a colony, and eventually a band of colonies behind him, creating the cause that created a country. For his efforts he became the most wanted man in America: When Paul Revere rode to Lexington in 1775, it was to warn Samuel Adams that he was about to be arrested for treason.

In The Revolutionary: Samuel Adams, Pulitzer Prize–winning biographer Stacy Schiff brings her masterful skills to Adams’s improbable life, illuminating his transformation from aimless son of a well-off family to tireless, beguiling radical who mobilized the colonies. Arresting, original, and deliriously dramatic, this is a long-overdue chapter in the history of our nation.

Stacy Schiff on Samuel Adams

in conversation with Kai Bird
Wednesday, December 7, Elebash Recital Hall, 6:30 pm

Stacy Schiff has garnered universal acclaim for her style and scholarship in biographies of such figures as Cleopatra, Ben Franklin and Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. Her life of Véra (Mrs. Vladimir Nabokov), won the Pulitzer Prize; Saint-Exupéry, was a Pulitzer Prize finalist; and A Great Improvisation: Franklin, France, and the Birth of America, won the George Washington Book Prize and the Ambassador Book Award.  A number one bestseller, Cleopatra: A Life appeared on most end of year best books lists, including the New York Times’sTop Ten Books of 2010, and won the PEN/Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award for biography. Her most recent book was the number one bestseller, The Witches: Salem, 1692 which The New York Times hailed as “an almost novelistic, thriller-like narrative.” A NYPL Library Lion, a Boston Public Library Literary Light, a recipient of an Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and a Newberry Library Award winner, she was named a Chevalier of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Government.

Kai Bird co-authored with Martin J. Sherwin the Pulitzer Prize-winning biography American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer (Knopf, 2005). A major motion picture based on this biography is scheduled to appear in 2023. He has also written biographies of John J. McCloy and McGeorge Bundy—and a memoir, Crossing Mandelbaum Gate: Coming of Age Between the Arabs and Israelis (Scribner, 2010). The Good Spy: The Life and Death of Robert Ames appeared in 2014. His biography of President Jimmy Carter, The Outlier: the Unfinished Presidency of Jimmy Carter, was published in June of 2021 by Crown Books.

Register for this in-person event here:

​​​Register for the Zoom Livestream here:

Need help with the Commons? Visit our
help page
Send us a message