Leonard Steinhorn

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Leonard Steinhorn (born 1956) is an American author, specialist in American politics and culture, and professor of communication at American University.

A former political speechwriter and strategist, Steinhorn currently serves as a political analyst for CBS News in Washington, D.C. He is the author of a much-debated book on the baby boom generation and co-author of a book on American race relations, and his writing has been featured in several publications, including The Washington Post, Salon, Politico, and Huffington Post.[1]


Steinhorn is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Vassar College, where he received a bachelor's degree in history. He later received his master's degree in history from Johns Hopkins University. For several years, he worked as a speechwriter, press secretary, and policy advisor for members of the United States Congress.[1]

In 1995, Steinhorn began teaching at American University in Washington, D.C. He was voted American University Faculty Member of the Year in 1999 and 2001. From 2002 to 2004, he was president of American University's chapter of Phi Beta Kappa. He has served as the Director of the Public Communication Division, and is both a professor of communication and an affiliate professor of history.[1]

Steinhorn's work at American University has been covered extensively by broadcast and print media. His courses on the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections were featured on CNN and the NBC affiliate in D.C., respectively. In 2008 and 2012, WTTG broadcast Steinhorn's campaign courses live on its Web site each week as part of its CampaignU project with American University. His course, "Talking About My Parents' Generation: Understanding Baby Boomers and How They've Shaped Us," was featured in USA Today.[1]

Steinhorn has spoken as part of the Distinguished Lecture Series at the Clinton School of Public Service, at Charles University in Prague, and at the University of Ljubljana in Slovenia. He also contributed to the book The Boomer Century and its accompanying 2007 PBS documentary.[1]

Steinhorn currently serves as a political analyst for CBS News. He previously served as the political analyst for WTTG, the Fox affiliate in Washington, D.C.. He served on AARP's 2011 Council, which included prominent baby boomers in politics, media, business, and higher education. He is also member of the board of the History News Network[1]


In 2010, Steinhorn founded the website PunditWire with Robert Lehrman, an adjunct professor in American University's School of Communication and former speechwriter for Al Gore.[2][3] PunditWire is a news commentary site whose contributors are all current or former speechwriters from across the political spectrum. PunditWire is sponsored by American University.[2]


Steinhorn wrote The Greater Generation: In Defense of the Baby Boom Legacy (2006) and co-authored By the Color of Our Skin: The Illusion of Integration and the Reality of Race (1999).[1]

He has been published in The Washington Post, Salon, Politico, Huffington Post, International Herald Tribune, The Baltimore Sun, The Seattle Times, and Chicago Sun-Times, among others.[1] He has also written several book chapters, including "The Selling of the President in a Converged Media Age," (in Campaigns and Elections American Style: Transforming American Politics, 3rd ed.) and "Ads Are Us" (in Campaigns and Elections American Style: Transforming American Politics, 2nd ed.).

Critical reception[edit]

Steinhorn's work has been largely well received by critics. The New York Times Book Review called By the Color of Our Skin "a clear-headed, energetic and pointedly sarcastic book about this country's racial divisions and cultural hypocrisy."[4] Booklist called it "a provocative and timely critique of race relations in America."[5]

Kirkus wrote that Steinhorn's widely discussed and debated book, The Greater Generation, was "a sturdy, often convincing defense of his own Boomer generation." Publishers Weekly called it a "powerful book" and wrote that "Steinhorn forcefully and gracefully defends his age cohort against these stereotypes in a paean to the generation that forever altered the face of American culture."[6] Salon.com wrote that Steinhorn's "unapologetic celebration of the boomer legacy is refreshing, and much of his argument is convincing," but criticized it for sentimentalizing boomers.[7]

Selected works[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "Steinhorn Biography" (PDF). American University School of Communication. 2008. Retrieved 6 November 2009. 
  2. ^ a b "PunditWire About". Retrieved 21 February 2011. 
  3. ^ "Robert Lehrman Biography". Retrieved 21 February 2011. 
  4. ^ Boyer, Allen. D. (21 February 2009). "By the Color of Our Skin." The New York Times Book Review.
  5. ^ Ford, Vernon. (1 January 1999). "Review of By the Color of Our Skin: The Illusion of Integration and the Reality of Race." Booklist.
  6. ^ (17 October 2005). "The Greater Generation: In Defense of the Baby Boom Legacy (Book Review)." Publishers Weekly.
  7. ^ Kamiya, Gary (3 February 2006). "Talkin’ bout my generation". Salon.com. Retrieved 9 October 2009. 

External links[edit]