The Society of the Four Arts announces a new lecture series featuring nationally recognized historians Joseph Ellis, Gordon Wood, Ron Chernow, David McCullough and Lynne Cheney. The program, entitled “The Founders and Us: The Relevance of Our Origins,” begins January 5, 2017. Tickets are $250 for the five-part series, and will be available for purchase September 21 for Four Arts members and September 28 for the general public. To purchase the series call (561) 805-8562 or visit the box office at 2 Four Arts Plaza, Palm Beach, FL 33480. Seating is limited and advance reservations are required.

“The Founders and Us: The Relevance of our Origins” was the inspiration of Four Arts member and trustee, Gay Hart Gaines. “I believe in the absolute necessity of twenty-first century Americans learning about our country’s founding fathers, present at America’s creation,” said Gaines. “I wanted to address the ever widening gaps in our knowledge of America’s unique history and what it means to be an American.”

Each program will include a one-hour lecture followed by an interactive Q&A led by Dr. Robert Watson, an author and Lynn University professor who is a nationally recognized expert on the American presidency. Watson is a frequent media commentator on CNN, Fox’s “Special Report with Brit Hume,” MSNBC, USA Today, The New York Times and the BBC.

“The Founders and Us: The Relevance of our Origins” is generously sponsored by MorseLife. “It is a privilege and an honor for two cherished community resources, MorseLife Health System and The Society of the Four Artsto partner in bringing these renowned authors to our community,” said Mary Alice Pappas, senior vice president of the MorseLife Foundation. “Our missions are complementary– the first dedicated to healing the body and the second dedicated to inspiring the soul.”

The schedule is as follows:

Joseph J. Ellis

Thursday, January 5, 2017 at 10 a.m.

The author of 11 books, Joseph J. Ellis received the Pulitzer Prize for “Founding Brothers: the Revolutionary Generation” and won the National Book Award for “American Sphinx, a biography of Thomas Jefferson.” His in-depth chronicle of the life of our first president, “His Excellency: George Washington,” was a New York Times’ best-seller. Ellis’s newest book, “The Quartet: Orchestrating the Second American Revolution, 1783-1789,” was released in spring 2015.

Gordon Wood

Thursday, January 12, 2017 at 10 a.m.

Gordon S. Wood is Alva O. Way University Professor Emeritus at Brown University. He received his bachelor’s degree from Tufts University and his doctorate from Harvard University. He taught at Harvard and the University of Michigan before joining the faculty at Brown in 1969. He is the author of many works, including: “The Creation of the American Republic, 1776-1787” (1969), which won the Bancroft Prize and the John H. Dunning Prize in 1970; “The Radicalism of the American Revolution” (1992), which won the Pulitzer Prize for History and the Ralph Waldo Emerson Prize in 1993; and  “The Americanization of Benjamin Franklin” (2004) which was awarded the Julia Ward Howe Prize by the Boston Authors Club in 2005. His book “Revolutionary Characters: What Made the Founders Different” was published in 2006, and “The Purpose of the Past: Reflections on the Uses of History” was published in 2008. His volume in the Oxford History of the United States entitled “Empire of Liberty: A History of the Early Republic, 1789-1815” (2009) was given the Association of American Publishers Award for History and Biography in 2009, the American History Book Prize by the New-York Historical Society in 2010, and the Society of the Cincinnati History Prize in 2010.

Ron Chernow

Thursday, February 9, 2017 at 10 a.m.

Ron Chernow has been hailed as “one of the preeminent biographers of his generation” (The St. Louis Post-Dispatch) and “America’s best business biographer” (Fortune magazine). “The House of Morgan” won the National Book Award as the best nonfiction book of 1990 and is considered a modern classic, while “The Warburgs” won the prestigious George S. Eccles Prize for the best business book of 1993 and was cited by the American Library Association as one of the year’s ten best works. Chernow’s biographies of John D. Rockefeller (“Titan,” 1998), Alexander Hamilton (“Alexander Hamilton,” 2004) and George Washington (“Washington: A Life,” 2010) have all been met with tremendous praise and numerous awards, including the Pulitzer Prize and the American History Book Prize for “Washington,” endowing him with the honorary title of American Historian Laureate. Chernow was the historical adviser to the Tony-award winning musical “Hamilton” musical, which was inspired by his best-selling biography.

David McCullough

Thursday, March 9, 2017 at 10 a.m.

David McCullough is twice winner of the Pulitzer Prize, twice winner of the National Book Award, and has received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian award.

His most recent book, the widely praised “The Wright Brothers,” was a #1 New York Times best-seller and his “1776” has been acclaimed “a classic,” while “John Adams,” published in 2001, remains one of the most praised and widely read American biographies of all time.

Lynne Cheney

Tuesday, April 11, 2017 at 10 a.m.

Lynne Cheney, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, has spent much of her professional life writing and speaking about the importance of knowing American history and teaching it well. Cheney has worked to bring tales of the American past to a wide audience, writing articles about history for numerous publications on topics ranging from women’s suffrage in the West to the way Americans celebrated the country’s centennial. Her most recent book — an in-depth biography titled “James Madison: A Life Reconsidered” (Viking, 2014) — is a New York Times’ bestseller.



The Society of the Four Arts was founded in 1936 to offer quality cultural programming to the growing community of Palm Beach. Each season, The Four Arts offers a dynamic lineup of cultural programing, including notable speakers, concerts, films, educational programs, and art exhibitions. The campus is home to beautiful sculpture and botanical gardens, a library and children’s library, and a state-of-the art educational facility. The Four Arts is a 501(c)3 nonprofit charity and all programs are open to the public. To learn more, visit



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3/22/12 Amherst, MA -- Portrait of Author Joseph J. Ellis March 22, 2012.  Photo by Erik Jacobs
3/22/12 Amherst, MA — Portrait of Author Joseph J. Ellis March 22, 2012. Photo by Erik Jacobs



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