Professor Joseph Ellis

Joseph J. Ellis is a renowned historian and leading scholar of American history. He is the author of the Pulitzer Prize–winning Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation and the National Book Award–winning American Sphinx, a Biography of Thomas Jefferson.

Ellis is one of the most widely read scholars of the Revolutionary period and a sought-after speaker for his unparalleled expertise on the lives of our nation’s early presidents. He fascinates crowds with detailed-filled stories of these leaders, demonstrating how their politics and characters shaped the United States. In examining the extensive contributions of each of these men, Ellis instills in his audiences a new appreciation for their presidential achievements.

His in-depth chronicle of the life of President George Washington, His Excellency: George Washington, and a joint biography of John and Abigail Adams, First Family: Abigail and John Adams, were New York Times best sellers. His latest book, Revolutionary Summer: The Birth of American Independence, was published by Knopf in June 2013.

Ellis contributes regularly to national publications, including The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, The New Republic, and The New Yorker. He has appeared on CBS, CSPAN, CNN, and in several PBS documentaries on early America. Ellis currently teaches at the Commonwealth Honors College at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He lives with his wife in Amherst, Massachusetts.

ABC News Senior Correspondent Claire Shipman

Claire Shipman serves as senior contributor for ABC News' Good Morning America, World News, and Nightline, covering politics, and other national and international news stories. She regularly conducts in-depth interviews with top news-making figures such as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, President George W. Bush, President Bill Clinton, and Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie of York.

She is the co-author, with Katty Kay, of The New York Times best seller, Womenomics: The Workplace Revolution That Will Change Your Life (2009). The book addresses how today's women's management style is ideally suited for the 21st century business world as it produces more profitable companies with happier employees. They also discuss how women can use this power to get what they really want—more time and freedom in their jobs without falling off the professional ladder. She has hosted many panel programs at the White House and State Department on women’s issues.

Prior to joining ABC News in 2001, Shipman served as White House correspondent for NBC News where she regularly reported on presidential policy and politics for NBC Nightly News and TODAY. Through her on-the-ground reporting during the 2000 presidential campaign, Shipman broke many big election stories. On TODAY, she conducted the first televised interview with then Vice President Al Gore in the wake of his decision to concede the election. She was the first to report that Gore would name Sen. Joseph Lieberman as his running mate and in December 2000, she was the first to report on the Florida Supreme Court's decision to allow a recount of contested ballots.

Before moving to NBC News, Shipman worked at CNN for a decade. During that time she gained widespread recognition for her White House press coverage. Shipman also spent five years at CNN's Moscow bureau, where she won international praise for her coverage of Boris Yeltsin's 1993 assault on the Russian Parliament building.

Shipman's Moscow reporting helped CNN earn a National Headliners Award and her coverage of the aborted Soviet coup and 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union won the network a coveted Peabody Award. She also received a Dupont Award and an Emmy as one of the key contributors to CNN's coverage of the 1989 Tiananmen Square student uprising, as well as a Dupont Award for CNN's coverage of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.

She lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband, Jay Carney, who serves as White House Press Secretary for the Obama Administration and their children. She and Katty Kay are at work on their next book, on the subject of women and confidence.


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