Jay Winik is one of America’s major public historians and the author of highly acclaimed, best-selling works focused on how leaders lead in times of change and crisis. Here, he discusses what made Catherine the Great perhaps the most interesting of modern leaders — and why he still believes in the enduring strength of our own political institutions.
Octavian Report: Of all the world-historical names among political leaders, you’ve said you’d most like like to have dinner with Catherine the Great. Why?
Jay Winik is the author of the critically acclaimed books April 1865, The Great Upheaval, and 1944 and the historian-in-residence at the Council on Foreign Relations.