Tim McGraw and historian Jon Meacham on new book 'Songs of America'

The country superstar and Pulitzer Prize-winning historian share how they look back at America's history in their new book.
8:41 | 06/11/19

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Transcript for Tim McGraw and historian Jon Meacham on new book 'Songs of America'
I had an application guys being very different stands right now but country music superstars in the garrote and Pulitzer Prize winning historian John each him. Are sharing the soundtrack that shaped this country and their new books songs of America. Patriotism protest and that is they detonate an age and we left on Tim McGraw and jotted down. Yeah. Pop punk you all morning. And ten. That songs something like that is twenty years old I can't believe then I know I don't nobody I did a recorded in third grade. Yeah. Shortly after the control it came out okay I I love that song what do you think now that's on twenty years old art. I think did not been very fortunate I've been very blessed in my career builder do this as long as lovely and older do this and have the success of that has. And did end up doing something this guy I mean how how coup that that's the coolest part of our careers would be a little tingle with people who. Who've inspired me and make me look smarter. Why aren't I wiped out. Yes well John we also have an anniversary. Because I was his intern fifteen years ago would not say age both about fifteen years ago at Newsweek magazine yet we're the best boss I ever hot a 100% bank and one of my memory is is that you would have dinner and lunch with other interns to Chang you know make images and journalism and news around didn't. I just wanted to thank you because in east inspire me to thank you oh my goodness thank say. Yeah. Yeah. My favorite. Five. One of my many favorite memories of mag and was. In the 2008 campaign that was on the campaign plane with Senator McCain and I got the summons to the front cab and it's like come see me that button you know the you know John McCain was the reviewed. William Shakespeare profanity. I don't know. Sale actually did do things like Keats you know we've with word we can't use. The oh god what about Doug and I go up he says. Can't you make the byline is bigger city makes me print every frame everything that negative rights and I can't say it out old. I was doing amazing things like reading about snakes on a plane really enhanced how proud I hot at the bottom do we know that would turn in the campaign coverage. That I believe all Adam. I'm and Julian mentioned seven years ago yes reverend years ago I was stalking for a walk walk. I know I'm a victory regarding why you're. I'm may know what they need to do everything else. Why it is such a fantastic writer yeah makes history come to life in a way that bids it's difficult to do it and he's just over such a gift to do that but. I knew he lived in the neighborhood and are driven by self serve us and maybe one day I'll be invited delegates to go with and then when he invited faith that I could gonna report well actually it was specially. OK. Yeah. The good news. You can't learn how little hotter and I'm. And we had a great time I'm Erin we hung out later tonight and in jobs libraries are here Wilbur hosts more conciliatory on talk about history and just thought. Just love the conversation and then. For years we've had dinners and and. And watches and there's just talk about an a sinker about McGraw as he loves history and historical fiction and it's as it is a dimension you don't see with. A lot of I'm on stage a lot and there. And you both have talked about history aloft his the public has to say you look so shark behold I don't strap. Got elephants got no black dress is no way yeah. For you to do have done a lot of history talked a lot about history for the book. You can't quite look back without looking to add we're we are currently what about today's. Tensions in politics how much of that had you hated to just. Or I mean that was probably part of the reason while we while we sit down the right to vote to actually took to show their we've gone through. Trials and market aerial Lawton and and we got a lot of things go we have a lot of trials we have lots successes we have all have a lot of setbacks. But a lot of terrible things that's happened in our country. And we survived and we survived them and we will survive this as well and and what we wanted to do a show dirt. That even installed the protestor was always. And anybody who Booker thank you realize that there's hope always hope for our country we're always striving to be more perfect union not a perfect human striving to be more Burton whichever. For the most brilliant things ever written but that's why captain Larry excellent yeah hasn't knew we wouldn't be perfect but we can always try to be. Brian in her pushed and pulled it goes between. Democrats Republicans the people of all different classes. And races and and and and and ethnicities. The push and a pull in the conversations what drugs and reform and open conversation it was victory. We all do they know it away and you'll have a daily campfire. Yes I mean do what you say that that the book called is colts songs of America and you say somehow that it reminds you of the view. To tell well yeah. I'm not good or tried to. Work or not is not a Republican project is not democratic project an does that mean the center is always the right way to its exact record and the country's been very good us. We've come through good incredibly difficult times before. John Lewis told us for this book that the civil rights movement was unimaginable. Without its music its without we shall overcome you know without precious lord take my hand at the last thing Doctor King said we think. When he was standing on that balcony in Memphis was played precious lord take my hand grenades in and Jeanne in the Hayley Jackson had this thing it says that the funeral. Then you hear the story of the country in the music. And it pushes us forward and we're one of the reasons we want to do this tends responsible for this. And not my physical fitness that'll attract enough. I got away Brooks Brothers ran at a hats so I'm not a secure. Yeah. You can make Olympic. Are you hit. We wanted to do this because. We're all divided right and it would. Also all indicators are we've never been more divided than 1850s were pretty bad but it did in the history of polling we've never been this divided. But at every point. We have actually struggled through and you see this in the music you see it in. We shall overcome you see it in brother can you spare a dime vs happy days are here again and most fundamentally you here in the battle hymn of the republic vs Dixie. You almost need to struggle right to get stronger excellent it was just a never is inherent right it's it is a self evident thing that we are going to disagree nine times out of ten. But you guys go way beyond that because you know you've taken aback say of Frederick Douglas you know on way back you know there. You know one event things I think you are aware of this you know one of the waves off the plantation. Was music if you could because they would take you to Europe. You know you go before this the crown prince is so it is widely singer yes and to go back to Fisk and to tell people about I mean. I looked at type and I'm crazy about the ball up and because it chest. It gives it does best number this. Yeah remember what we lost live as for that that's what this book doesn't it reminds you the why and the back house. It's just so good and there's nothing you know. From Dillon says Springsteen says Frederick Douglass says my head you jacks its all Barack and it's all part. The fabric of the United States United States is this. And sometimes it's like back. Let you know later. An outright it ended and this is the first time I've ever seen anyone. Due to swank and do it does say here's why we got. It out selves yeah. Phase out stuff John therapists are often are are Republicans and some of the reports. In the end we are who we see in the mirror looting which I worked upon herself and who we want to become and that's what makes us a great country. We try to beer bear herself for our better angels and I may distract us whatsoever patriotic church were attending right now I'll come every Sunday.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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