John Dickerson is co-host of CBS this morning. He is also a Contributing Editor to The Atlantic and the host of the Whistlestop podcast and co-host of the Slate Political Gabfest.

John Dickerson's Blog

Moody George Washington

George Washington wrote a 73 page draft of his inaugural address that was never delivered. It wound up being torn to pieces by Jared Sparks who handed out bits to people who wanted a scrap of Washington’s actual handwriting. It has been pieced together (for some time now this has been the case; I’m just […]

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Presidential Abuse of Power

As you know, I’ve spent a lot of time reading about the Constitutional Convention recently. (What? You’re not listening to the Whistlestop podcast?) Reading the framing debates, it’s so clear the framers didn’t need evidence of abuse of power to worry for the state of the republic. If a norm or separation of power was […]

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How life changed after 9/11 for those who protect us

There are so many ways in which life after 9/11 has changed. Here’s one that struck me from Andrew McCabe’s book: “When I moved over to counter-terrorism, it marked a permanent change in how I lived my life. Working in counter-terrorism means approaching every holiday with an overwhelming sense of dread. Christmas is the Christmas […]

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Thoughts about Social Media Posts #1

In order to avoid misunderstandings, we should come up with a system for social media– and Twitter in particular– that alerts people to the point you’re making quickly. For example, this Tweet does an important service calling out despicable behavior spreading lies. This lie/conspiracy theory is appearing on fringe sites. It’s spun from the fact […]

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What is the point of knowing history?

I was fascinated, like everyone else, by the findings that Americans have trouble passing the citizenship test: Woodrow Wilson Foundation Finds Only One State Can Pass U.S. Citizenship Exam I’m curious about the questions people missed. It’s harder for me to understand why it is important that people know there are 27 amendments to the […]

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Machiavelli Describes His Day

Letter from Machiavelli to Francesco Vettori [I don’t know why I find this so fascinating, but I do. It feels patient and controlled, even though his life is in total turmoil. Also, I wish I could carry a book in my pocket instead of an iPhone.] 10 December 1513 Magnificent Ambassador: I am living on […]

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Marble Mouthed Founders

The founders would have been even more productive if they wrote clear sentences. George Washington recommending aide de camp David Humphreys wrote this:“I persuade myself you will find no confidence which you may think proper to repose in him, misplaced.” Can you imagine how a fellow who wrote a backwards-running sentence like this called out “charge” […]

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Some extra John Prine

When I was doing my research, this article was a great help. There were some particular passages that stood out: Jim James (lead singer of My Morning Jacket): … John is a master at helping us see everyday things in life in greater detail, and I really believe he’s helped us appreciate life, savor its details, […]

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Being allowed to change your mind in politics

I am a devotee of Clinton Rossiter’s enthusiastic view that the Constitutional Convention is one of the greatest deliberative moments in world history. “There has been no greater happening in American history,” he writes, “there have not been many greater, certainly of a political nature in the history of the world.” President John Adams thought […]

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Two and Two Make Five

Creativity comes from building something entirely new, but also from combining two previous things in a new way. We know this from Emerson, West Side Story and, of course, Hamilton. Emerson: June 18, 1838: “The art of writing consists in putting two things together that are unlike and that belong together, like a horse and […]

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Eggs and Baseball

With an assist from Pantz: I spent years driving my son to baseball and hurrying him out the door. Now I find him in the kitchen making bacon and eggs better than I do before. He makes his own way there.

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John Prine Songs

The CBS This Morning piece can be found here. The quite extended dance cut of the interview can be found here. There are other pieces up on YouTube too, including one about how John Prine anticipates his silverware needs. Another post has some clippings from a good read on him. I first heard John Prine […]

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Lost Revelation

Has this ever happened to you? You read something and it really moves you. When you search for the sparking passage again, though, it eludes you. Emerson writes about this frustration: “I suppose every old scholar has had the experience of reading something in a book which was significant to him, but which he could […]

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A Hut to Write In

“You get into a sort of nest. You get really comfortable, and then you’re away.”         My hut today 2/9/2019:  

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Where Art Takes Place: Harry Potter Edition

Here I am on my favorite topic (which I’ve written about here and here) with Noma Dumezweni and Jamie Parker from “Harry Potter an the Cursed Child.”   JD: Noma tell me then– both of you weigh in on this. Where does a play take place? Is it you all creating this moment of revelation […]

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Don’t Take the Bait

“The value of a thing sometimes lies not in what one attains with it, but in what one pays for it – what it costs us.” ― Friedrich Nietzsche From The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene:

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Plato on Gaslighting

From the Republic: “the last thing anyone will accept is being deceived in his soul about how things really are. To have been deceived, and be ignorant, with the falsehood lodged there in the soul, is when people hate it the most.”

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The Space Where Art and Religion Happen

I wrote recently about director Barry Jenkins leaving in silence in the movie If Beale Street Could Talk to allow active audience participation in the creation of Art. Father James Martin describes a similar phenomenon with faith. He quotes Scripture scholar C.H. Dodd who says a parable arrests “the hearer by its vividness or strangeness…leaving the mind in sufficient doubt about […]

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Where Does the Joy Come from in Music– a Dave Matthews Outtake

Here’s a meditation on where the joy comes from in music: The original piece that aired can be found here.

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Russian Leaders Joking with American Presidents About Electing Them

Khrushchev to Kennedy, 1961:  

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