Cummings Foundation Grant Recipient

MORGENTHAU: Power, Privilege, and the Rise of an American Dynasty

Andrew Meier Morgenthau NAASR Vartan Gregorian Memorial Lecture

Thursday, May 11, 2023, at 7:30pm Eastern / 4:30pm Pacific

In-Person at the NAASR Vartan Gregorian Building, 395 Concord Avenue, Belmont, MA 02478

On Zoom and the NAASR YouTube channel Armenian Studies.


After coming to America from Germany in 1866, the Morgenthaus made history in international diplomacy, in domestic politics, and in America’s criminal justice system. With unprecedented, exclusive access to family archives, award-winning journalist and biographer Andrew Meier vividly chronicles how the Morgenthaus amassed a fortune in Manhattan real estate, advised presidents, advanced the New Deal, exposed the Armenian Genocide, rescued victims of the Holocaust, waged war in the Mediterranean and Pacific, and, from a foundation of private wealth, built a dynasty of public service. In the words of former mayor Ed Koch, they were “the closest we’ve got to royalty in New York City.”

The saga of the Morgenthaus has lain half hidden in the shadows for too long. At heart a family history, Andrew Meier’s critically acclaimed multi-generational Morgenthau (Random House, 2022) is also an American epic, as sprawling and surprising as the country itself.

Andrew Meier is the author of Black Earth: A Journey Through Russia After the Fall and The Lost Spy: An American in Stalin’s Secret Service. A former Moscow correspondent for Time, he has contributed to The New York Times Magazine, among numerous other publications, for more than two decades. His work has been recognized with fellowships from the Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library and the Leon Levy Center for Biography, as well as the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. He lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his wife and their two daughters.

MORGENTHAU: Power, Privilege, and the Rise of an American Dynasty is available from the NAASR bookstore.

Second Annual Vartan Gregorian Memorial Lecture.
The annual NAASR lecture bearing his name presents cutting-edge Armenian Studies scholarship that intersects with some of the many areas that interested Vartan Gregorian as a scholar, such as Armenians in the Near East and the Muslim world, particular Iran; books and libraries; immigration; education; and more.

Vartan Gregorian (1934-2021) was a brilliant educator, humanitarian, and friend after whom NAASR’s headquarters building is named. Born in Tabriz, Iran, he received his secondary education at the Collège Arménian in Beirut, Lebanon, and he graduated and received a PhD in history and humanities from Stanford University. After an academic career spanning two decades, including a period as Tarzian Professor of Armenian and Caucasian History at the University of Pennsylvania, Gregorian served as President of The New York Public Library, President of Brown University, and President of Carnegie Corporation of New York.

Learn more about Vartan Gregorian here.

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