For reasons both obvious and perhaps less so, this week's episode holds a very special place in my heart.
There is something unique about sitting before a microphone that permits a species of conversation difficult to otherwise have. Done right, the inherent formality of putting it all on the record can countenance an experience of rare intimacy that scarcely transpires in the course of conventional human interaction.
From the very beginning of this podcast journey, I've longed to host my father on the show. To provide a ceremonial opportunity to probe his life, uninterrupted. To learn things about him I've always wanted to know — but for whatever reason just never found the right occasion to ask.
For years, I harbored the fear that if I didn't make such an experience a priority, it might never happen. And that would be something I would deeply regret for the rest of my days.
My drive was never to share such an experience with an audience. I wasn't convinced the conversation I yearned for would be appropriate for public consumption. It's always been about creating a moment just for us. A document I could privately keep for posterity. And for my children.
However, a compelling reason recently arose to transform this rumination into reality.
A gentleman and a scholar, Dave Roll has spent the better part of his life studying history. The apex of this passion is an incredible new book entitled, George Marshall: Defender of the Republic*. An enthralling and deeply thoughtful chronicle of America's most distinguished soldier since George Washington, it's also a deeply prescient and timely meditation on selflessness, leadership, and the momentous importance of moral character in political and social structures. The embodiment of these ideals, Marshall influenced the course of two world wars, and helped define the American century.
By way of background, my dad has enjoyed a very successful 35 year career as an accomplished attorney in the field of antitrust. Over the years, he successfully defended clients in investigations and enforcement actions brought by the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission. After government service at the FTC he matriculated to partner and ultimately managing partner of the prestigious Washington, D.C.- based international law firm Steptoe & Johnson. Later in his career, he founded the Lex Mundi Pro Bono Foundation, a non-profit, public interest organization that provides pro bono legal services to social entrepreneurs around the world.
Now in his third act, Dave is enjoying a successful career as an author. Also historical biographies, his previous titles include The Hopkins Touch: Harry Hopkins and the Forging of the Alliance to Defeat Hitler* and Louis Johnson and the Arming of America*, a biography of Harry Truman's defense secretary.
Hitting bookstores July 9 (
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