Historian and Cultural Critic
Thaddeus Russell has re-written the story of America with A Renegade History of the United States. Media outlets and college campuses are buzzing about the Amazon.com best seller, and business and government leaders have found in Russell’s “thrillingly original” history a guide to forecasting economic and political trends, both in the United States and globally.
Known for his provocative and laser-sharp speeches, Russell stuns his audiences with what one eminent Harvard historian calls a “helter-skelter tour through the American past” that “will make you gasp and make you question the writing of ‘history as usual.’” On Fox Business Network, John Stossel reported that Russell’s “fascinating ideas make my head spin.”
A Renegade History shows that the lowest orders of society made America the land of the free. Drunkards, laggards, prostitutes, and pirates were the real heroes of the American Revolution. Slaves created a culture that liberated puritan America. Prostitutes, not feminists, pioneered most of the freedoms that women now take for granted. Organized criminals helped establish Hollywood, birth control, Las Vegas, labor unions, legal alcohol, and gay rights. African Americans who rioted in the streets, not peaceful and respectable civil rights protestors, desegregated the South. And zoot-suiters and rock-and-rollers, not generals or the Air Force, brought down the Soviet Union.
Business leaders have found in Russell’s history a guide to locating emerging consumer markets. He traces the origins of many of the largest and most important contemporary consumer markets to the styles pioneered by American renegades, such as cosmetics (first worn by prostitutes); the popular music and film industries (co-founded by organized crime syndicates); and blue jeans and sneakers (popularized by juvenile delinquents). Russell also points to current, unexamined subcultures on the streets that will produce tomorrow’s hottest consumer styles.
Thanks to Russell’s examination of the Cold War, American foreign-policy makers now know that the popular culture and consumer items produced by American business brought down the Soviet Union. He also shows that we can win the War on Terror, just as we won the Cold War, without firing a shot. Today, most of the top-40 songs in the Middle East are American or Arabic hip-hop. American TV shows are raining down from satellites onto Muslim households across the region. Every day, more young Muslims wear Western styles than the day before. Polls show that Britney Spears, Paris Hilton, and Lady Gaga are more popular in Iran than Mahmoud Ahmadinejad or Ayatollah Khameini. This is the same revolution that killed communism. And the mullahs know that it will kill them too. All we have to do to win the War on Terror is drop our guns and let our most powerful weapon, the renegade freedom of popular culture, do the job for us.
Forget the history you learned in textbooks and class — this renegade historian will upend everything you believe about the American past. And he will make you see the future differently.
Russell teaches American history and cultural studies at Occidental College and has taught history, American Studies, and the history of philosophy at Columbia University, Barnard College, the New School for Social Research, and Eugene Lang College. He received his PhD in history from Columbia University. Russell's first book, Out of the Jungle: Jimmy Hoffa and the Re-Making of the American Working Class, was published by Alfred A. Knopf in 2001. He is a frequent contributor to The Daily Beast and has written for The Huffington Post, New York Magazine, The Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, The Christian Science Monitor, Salon, and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He has also published scholarly essays in American Quarterly and The Columbia History of Post-World War II America. Russell has appeared on the History Channel, Al-Jazeera, Stossel on Fox Business Network, and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.
Emersive telepresence technology now available in downtown DC
Get a Quote
Download Speech Topics: Thaddeus Russell Speech Topics
Finding Emerging Markets At The “Bottom” Of Society. Where can we find the origins of many of today’s largest and most important consumer markets? By looking to the very bottom of American history: the prostitutes of the 19th century who were the first to wear cosmetics and brightly-colored clothes; the 1920s gangsters who helped establish the popular music and movie industries; and the juvenile delinquents of the 1950s who made blue jeans and sneakers fashionable. Today, we can find tomorrow’s hottest markets by looking where many fear to go.
How American Business Won the Cold War And Why It Will Win The War On Terror. We can win the War on Terror, just as we won the Cold War, without firing a shot. Today, most of the top-40 songs in the Middle East are American or Arabic hip-hop. American TV shows are raining down from satellites onto Muslim households across the region. Every day, more young Muslims wear Western styles than the day before. Polls show that Britney Spears, Paris Hilton, and Lady Gaga are more popular in Iran than Mahmoud Ahmadinejad or Ayatollah Khameini. This is the same revolution that killed communism. And the mullahs know that it will kill them too. All we have to do to win the War on Terror is drop our guns and let our most powerful weapon, the renegade freedom of popular culture, do the job for us.
Local Fee RangeUnder $5,000.00
West Coast Fee RangeUnder $5,000.00
East Coast Fee RangeUnder $5,000.00
This specific fee falls within this range. Ranges are presented as a guideline only. Speaker fees are subject to change without notice. For an exact quote, please contact your Leading Authorities representative.
Author, Holocaust Survivor, and Human Rights Activist
Weaving a story of hope in a time of evil, Gerda Weissmann Klein captivates audiences with her powerful story about surviving the holocaust. In her historical account, Klein delivers an uplifting presentation and describes how she found love in the face of overwhelming loss.
Best-Selling Author and Historian
Called "the nation's leading presidential historian" by Newsweek, Michael Beschloss contrasts a lifetime of complex research on America's most fascinating historical figures with modern-day anecdotes and current affairs. Audiences are riveted by Beschloss' analysis of politics, history, and the American experience.
Former Chairman, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
Hoecker is both a professional historian and teacher and a practitioner of energy law. In private law practice, he focused on gas production, transmission, and distribution issues as well as on electric utility contract matters.
Generations Expert and Demographer
A best-selling author on generations and global aging, Neil Howe explains how falling birthrates and rising life spans will cause the world's population to grow older in the next 30 years. He illustrates how this phenomenon will effect business, especially in the workplace and in their communications with consumers.
Headquarters / Washington, DC
1990 M Street, NW, Suite 800
Washington, DC 20036-3435
330 High Holborn
London, United Kingdom
+44 207 849 6893 phone
20 N. Clark Street, Suite 803
Chicago, IL 60602
International Pte. Ltd.
3 Church Street Level 8,
Samsung Hub Singapore 049483
Thanks to @HaleyBarbour and everyone who attended. Our next ALS event will be in 2014! #LAIevents
12/4/2013 2:43:10 PM
Speakers Bureau FAQs