Leonard Steinhorn
Book Speaker
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leonard Steinhorn

Fee Range1: $ 4000 - $8000

History and Communications Professor, Author, Political Analyst


AuthorCampaigns & ElectionsCivil RightsCurrent EventsGeneration IssuesGovernment & PoliticsHistoryHuman RightsMediaThe PresidencyThe SixtiesVietnam War


Washington, DC


Leonard Steinhorn

Leonard SteinhornHistory and Communications Professor, Author, Political Analyst

You may know Professor Leonard Steinhorn’s voice because you hear him on radio as the CBS Radio News Political Analyst. Or you may recognize him if you watched CNN’s series on the 1960s in America – or the History Channel’s documentary on superheroes or even the special feature on the Sixties generation for the final season DVD of AMC’s Mad Men. Perhaps you’ve seen him on C-SPAN, BBC, PBS or countless other outlets that have featured and interviewed him. Maybe you’ve read his articles in the Washington Post, Chicago Sun-Times, Politico, The Hill, Moyers & Company, Salon, Huffington Post, World Financial Review, History News Network, among others. Or you may have copies of his books, The Greater Generation: In Defense of the Baby Boom Legacy and By the Color of Our Skin: The Illusion of Integration and The Reality of Race.

Professor Steinhorn’s teaching, writing, and scholarship have gained widespread recognition both nationwide and around the globe. Twice voted Faculty Member of the Year at American University, he has created innovative courses on politics and recent American history that have been featured on C-SPAN, USA Today, Agence France-Presse, and The Chronicle of Higher Education. Every four years he teaches a course on the presidential election that has been covered – with cameras in the classroom – by CNN as well as the Washington, DC FOX, NBC, and CBS affiliates.

Steinhorn has delivered hundreds of speeches over the years discussing politics, the presidency, race relations, the Sixties, baby boomers, American history and culture, and the media. Venues include major non-profit and civil rights organizations, scholarly conferences, conventions, universities, book festivals, an Air Force leadership conference, and sites such as the Clinton Library in Little Rock, National Press Club, National Archives, Carnegie Corporation, Renaissance Weekend, Economic Club of Florida, U.S. Association of Former Members of Congress, Sorbonne, and Charles University in Prague. He regularly speaks to visiting Fulbright educators, the State Department has sponsored his talks in Slovenia and the Czech Republic, and he frequently lectures around the country for One Day University. He has also been a visiting Scholar at Rollins College, Philadelphia University, and St. John’s Fisher College.

Steinhorn began his career as a political speechwriter and communication strategist, working for various members of Congress including the legendary House Judiciary Committee Chair Peter W. Rodino. He is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Vassar College and earned his MA in History at Johns Hopkins University. He joined American University in 1995, served as department chair for ten years, created the school’s Political Communication MA program, and holds the titles of Professor of Communication and Affiliate Professor of History.



The Selling of the Candidate: The Art, Science and History of Political Advertising

Explore and enjoy the history of political advertising and how it influences us. This presentation looks at the origins of the 30 second spot — how they grew out of early TV advertising — and then shows how candidates from Eisenhower to Kennedy to Johnson, Nixon, Reagan and all through Obama and Trump have used the medium to capture our attention and win our votes. Prepare to like Ike, sing “High Hopes” with Sinatra, hear LBJ tell us “we must either love each other, or we must die,” watch the handiwork of Roger Ailes, wake up with Morning In America, identify with The Man From Hope, and see how candidate Barack Obama inspired the viral videos that now dominate our media ecosystem. Cultural values embedded in these ads will be examined, the role of celebrity in American politics will be discussed, and how negative advertising uses psychology, emotion and visual cues to get into our heads will also be examined.  This is a lecture that combines American history, contemporary politics, political psychology, and a fun, nostalgic ride through the jingles and images that define our recent past.


I’m Right, You’re Wrong: Understanding the Political Divide in America

In America today, we don’t merely belong to opposing political parties. We belong to opposing political tribes with different values, worldviews, and even definitions of democracy. We interpret freedom, patriotism, the American Dream, government, and even the meaning of America differently. We don’t trust each other, we ascribe the worst motives to one another, and we don’t want our sons and daughters marrying each other. This talk will attempt to ask why. It will examine the partisan divide in America, dive into the psychological, cultural, historical and political reasons behind our polarized society, and explain how we see the world so differently and why we can’t seem to understand one another. We often blame politicians for not grasping the problems we face as a society, but the larger question we must ask is this: Will we ever again find enough common ground to even agree on those problems?


From the Age of Aquarius to Donald Trump: How the 1960s Shaped American Politics Today

We may not wear bell bottoms and tie-dye t-shirts anymore, and let’s not talk about what happened to our hair. But even though almost half a century has passed since the 1960s, it’s a decade that continues to reverberate in our society, politics, culture, and institutions to this very day. In many ways, America today is a product of the Sixties. From civil rights to feminism to gay liberation to the environmental movement to the silent majority, what started back then has shaped and influenced our country ever since.

Before the Sixties, Americans trusted their government and their leaders; since the Sixties, we question almost everything they do. Before the Sixties, it was Ozzie and Harriet, Father Knows Best, and the sturdy dad with the lunchpail that symbolized our culture; since the Sixties, diversity and individuality define who we are. Whereas we once looked to executives at General Motors and General Electric to chart our economic progress, we now gain inspiration from the late hippie who invented the iPhone. To many, the presidency of Barack Obama symbolized the liberation movements of the Sixties. But it’s also important to ask how the Sixties produced the presidency of Donald Trump. To understand America today, we must understand the lessons from the 1960s.


Understanding America: The Nine Nifty Narratives that Define American Politics Today

Say you want to figure out what a politician is trying to tell you, or how they understand America. Or perhaps you want to decode a political speech or campaign ad. Or maybe you want to decipher the messages that underlie a candidacy or presidency. This talk will help you do it. Focusing on such essential political ideas as the American Dream, the Real America, Power Corrupts, He (or She) is One of Us, the Frontier, and the Mob at the Gates, among others, we will deconstruct American politics through the political, cultural, and historical narratives that define our country and our politics today. We will look at how different people interpret the American Dream, how some see the Real America one way while others see it differently. How we understand ourselves as a nation often determines who we are, how we vote, and how we see the other side. Understand these narratives and understand America better.




To book this speaker please visit www.cassidyandfishman.com or call 508.485.8996