Renaissance Woman

An Interview with Jay Winik

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: I would redefine that a little bit. I would say that of all the …

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