John Dickerson is a correspondent for 60 Minutes. 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

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 […]

Read the Full Post

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 […]

Read the Full Post

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 […]

Read the Full Post

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” […]

Read the Full Post

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, […]

Read the Full Post

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 […]

Read the Full Post

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 […]

Read the Full Post

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.

Read the Full Post

John Prine Songs

The CBS This Morning piece on John Prine is not online, but my entire sit-down with him 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 […]

Read the Full Post

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 […]

Read the Full Post

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:  

Read the Full Post

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 […]

Read the Full Post

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:

Read the Full Post

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.”

Read the Full Post

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 […]

Read the Full Post

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.

Read the Full Post

Russian Leaders Joking with American Presidents About Electing Them

Khrushchev to Kennedy, 1961:  

Read the Full Post

An Old Scrap of Dialogue with my Son

Thomas the Train videocassette: Narrated by Alec Baldwin Him, age 3: Did you hear him say Aled Baldwin? Me: That’s Alec Baldwin Him: Is he good or no? Me: He’s a fine narrator Him: Will he eat someone and chew their bones? Me: No, I don’t think so. Him: I wouldn’t like him if he […]

Read the Full Post

Dave Matthews on CBS This Morning

Dave Matthews flashes impish in this great picture taken by CBS This Morning Senior Producer Adam Verdugo. It’s just one of the emotions in the stew-pot we stirred when we talked to Matthews in Charlottesville at the end of his last tour. We talked about that city– where I went to school and first saw him […]

Read the Full Post

Friendship and Collaboration

I like this line from Emerson about friendship: “There is a power in love to divine another’s destiny better than that other can, and, by heroic encouragements, hold him to his task.” It’s from the essay “Uses of Great Men.” I’ve always liked the idea that friends are there to remind us of ourselves– to […]

Read the Full Post