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Richard Brookhiser

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Richard Brookhiser

Richard Brookhiser
Richard Brookhiser, 2011
Born (1955-02-23) February 23, 1955
Irondequoit New York
Occupation Journalist, author, editor, historian
Known for National Review

Richard Brookhiser (born February 23, 1955) is an George Washington.

Life and career

Brookhiser was born in Irondequoit, a suburb north of Rochester, New York.[1] His father worked for Eastman Kodak in Rochester and was a lieutenant in the Army Air Corps during World War II.[2] He has written books that deal either with the nation's founding, or the principles of America's founders, including What Would the Founders Do?, a book describing how the founding fathers would approach topical issues that generate controversy in modern-day America.

Brookhiser began writing for National Review in 1970. "My first article, on antiwar protests in my high school, was a cover story in National Review in 1970, when I was 15." [3] He earned an George H.W. Bush.

He has written for a variety of magazines and newspapers. Brookhiser's work has appeared in the "Talk of the Town" section of The New Yorker magazine as well as in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Cosmopolitan, The Atlantic Monthly, Time, and Vanity Fair. In 1987 he began a column for The New York Observer which he wrote until 2007.

Brookhiser both wrote and hosted the documentary films Rediscovering George Washington, by Michael Pack, broadcast on PBS on July 4, 2002,[3] and Rediscovering Alexander Hamilton, also by Pack, broadcast on PBS on April 11, 2011. He was historian curator of the exhibition "Alexander Hamilton: The Man Who Made Modern America", at The New-York Historical Society (2004–2005). He received an honorary doctorate degree in 2005 from Washington College.[3][4]

In 2008, President George W. Bush awarded Brookhiser the National Humanities Medal in a White House ceremony.

Cancer and marijuana use

Brookhiser became ill with testicular cancer in 1992 and smoked marijuana in order to remove the nausea that chemotherapy gave him. (Before that, he smoked marijuana in college about 10 times, he said.)[5]

"Because of the marijuana, my last two courses of chemotherapy were almost nausea-free", he said in 1996. "My cancer is gone now, I was lucky."[5]

On March 6, 1996, he testified before a Congressional committee about using marijuana, urging the committee members to support decriminalization of marijuana for medical purposes.[5]

"My support for medical marijuana is not a contradiction of my principles, but an extension of them", Brookhiser told the House Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Crime. "I am for law and order. But crime has to be fought intelligently and the law disgraces itself when it harasses the sick. I am for traditional virtues, but if carrying your beliefs to unjust ends is not moral, it is philistine."[5]


He lives in Manhattan[5] (East Village) with his wife, Jeanne Safer, a psychotherapist and author, most recently, of The Normal One.[6] They also have a home in Ulster County in the Catskills. They married September 12, 1980.[1]


  • Founders' Son: A Life of Abraham Lincoln, 376 pages (Basic Books: 2014) ISBN 9780465032945
  • James Madison, 304 pages (Basic Books: 2011) ISBN 0-465-01983-8
  • Right Time, Right Place: Coming of Age with William F. Buckley Jr. and the Conservative Movement, 272 pages (Basic Books: 2009) ISBN 978-0-465-01355-5
  • George Washington on Leadership, 269 pages (Basic Books: 2008) ISBN 978-0-465-00302-0
  • What Would the Founders Do?: Our Questions, Their Answers, 261 pages (Basic Books: 2006) ISBN 0-465-00819-4 Contents links.
  • Gentleman Revolutionary: Gouverneur Morris, the Rake Who Wrote the Constitution, 272 pages (Free Press: 2003) ISBN 0-7432-2379-9
  • Rules of Civility: The 110 Precepts That Guided Our First President in War and Peace, 90 pages (University of Virginia Press: 2003) ISBN 0-8139-2218-6
  • America's First Dynasty : The Adamses, 1735—1918, 256 pages (Free Press: 2002) ISBN 0-684-86881-4
  • George Washington: A National Treasure, 104 pages (National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution: 2002) ISBN 0-295-98236-5
  • Fighting the Good Fight: A History of the New York Conservative Party, 434 pages (St. Augustine's Press: 2002) ISBN 1-58731-251-4
  • (Contributor) Patriot Sage: George Washington and the American Political Tradition, editors Gary L. Gregg, Matthew Spalding, William J. Bennett, 355 pages (ISI Books: 1999) ISBN 1-882926-38-2
  • Alexander Hamilton, American, 240 pages (Free Press: 1999) ISBN 0-684-83919-9
  • Founding Father: Rediscovering George Washington, 240 pages (Free Press: 1996) ISBN 0-684-82291-1
  • Way of the Wasp: How It Made America, and How It Can Save It, So to Speak, 171 pages (Free Press: 1990) ISBN 0-02-904721-8
  • The Outside Story (Doubleday reissue edition: 1986) ISBN 0-385-19679-2


  1. ^ a b c Reproduced in Biography Resource Center. Farmington Hills, Mich.: Gale, 2008. Document Number: H1000111697
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b c Biography page of Mr. Brookhiser's website.
  4. ^
  5. ^ a b c d e
  6. ^ An NRO Symposium on Pat Buckley on National Review Online Jeanne Safer, "Symposium: Pat Buckley, R.I.P." Web page, April 17, 2007 at National Review Online Web site, accessed April 18, 2007

External links

  • Personal website
  • Richard Brookhiser On George Washington, transcript of conversation with David Gergen
  • Richard Brookhiser in the NRO Author Archive
  • "Hamilton, Our Founder" by Richard Brookhiser, City Journal quarterly, summer 2004
  • Appearances on C-SPAN
    • , March 224, 1991.The Way of the WASP interview with Brookhiser on Booknotes
    • interview with Brookheiser, October 7, 2001In Depth (Note: This interview was cut short due to the commencement of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.)
    • interview with Brookheiser, April 1, 2012In Depth
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