(January 22, 2008) — New College of Florida is pleased to welcome noted historian and author James F. Simon to campus for a free public talk on Monday, February 4 at 4:30 p.m. in College Hall. The talk is part of New College’s second annual President’s Month Speaker series, featuring talks and discussions by some of the nation’s leading scholars and historians on the lives of U.S. presidents George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.  james_f_simon2.jpg
Simon, who is Dean Emeritus at New York Law School and a former contributing editor for Time magazine, is the author of the best-seller What Kind of Nation: Thomas Jefferson, John Marshall, and the Epic Struggle to Create a United States (Simon and Schuster, 2002). That book was hailed by Arthur Schlesinger Jr. as “exciting and notable” and by Lincoln scholar Harold Holzer as “a riveting, accessible, and ingenious study.” Pulitzer Prize-winning author Joseph J. Ellis called What Kind of Nation “a major contribution” to American thought in his review of the book for the New York Times Book Review in March 2002.
The subject for Simon’s talk at New College will be his latest book, Lincoln and Chief Justice Taney: Slavery, Secession, and the President’s War Powers, also published by Simon and Schuster. Released in 2007, Lincoln and Chief Justice Taney draws from Simon’s in-depth exploration of Supreme Court cases while serving as a contributing editor and specialist in legal affairs for Time magazine. The book has received widespread praise for its discussion and analysis of the use of a presidential powers during war time.
“It is a privilege for New College to host one of the country’s most knowledgeable and best-recognized historians for this special talk,” said New College President Mike Michalson in announcing Simon’s visit. “Dr. Simon’s discussion could not be more timely given current debate over the appropriate use of presidential powers during times of war and other national crises.”
A faculty member at New York Law School since 1975, Simon served as dean of the law school from 1983-1992. He also has served on the Board of Trustees at New York Law School and Hobart and William Smith Colleges. His numerous academic awards and honors include a Ford Foundation Africa-Asia Fellowship to work and study in India; a year as a Harvard Fellow in Law and the Humanities; and an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from New York Law School in 1992. He has received a New York Times’s “Notable Book” mention, a Certificate of Merit and the 1974 Silver Gavel Award from the American Bar Association, and the 1981 Scribes Book Award from the American Society of Writers on Legal Subjects.
For more information, please contact the New College of Florida Office of Public Affairs at (941) 487-4155 or email publicaffairs@ncf.edu. A live simulcast of Simon’s talk also will be available on the day of the event. To view the simulcast, go to the New College web site www.ncf.edu and follow the link at the top of the page.