Philip Taubman on George P. Shultz: The Life and Legacy of a Great Statesman

When former Secretary of State George Shultz turned 100, he published a piece in the Washington Post on what he had learned over his long career. “Trust is the coin of the realm,” he wrote. “If it is present, anything is possible. If it is absent, nothing is possible.” Three U.S. presidents put their trust in Shultz’s abilities, including Ronald Reagan, who tasked him to improve Cold War relations with the Soviet Union. Shultz, who died in 2021, also achieved success in the corporate world and in academia, serving as head of San Francisco’s Bechtel Corp. and as a distinguished fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution. 

A new biography, In the Nation’s Service, offers an inside look at Shultz’s legacy, from his work on Middle East peace to later efforts to eliminate nuclear weapons. Author Philip Taubman,  longtime New York Times editor and reporter in Washington and Moscow, draws on Shultz’s personal papers to shed new light on how he helped shape U.S. foreign policy, and how his style of conservatism has all but vanished from today’s Republican Party.


This program is part of our Good Lit series, underwritten by the Bernard Osher Foundation.


Bernard Osher Foundation

Speaker photo by Anonymous Content.

Image - Philip Taubman

Philip Taubman

Lecturer, Stanford University's Center for International Security and Cooperation; Former Reporter and Editor, The New York Times; Author, In the Nation’s Service: The Life and Times of George P. Shultz

Image - David Kennedy

In Conversation with David Kennedy

Professor Emeritus of American History, Stanford University; Former Director, Stanford’s Bill Lane Center for the American West