Democracy Awakening: Notes on the State of America
Date and Time:
Oct 30 2023 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Note: Event start time is Central Time (CT).


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Heather Cox Richardson, Ph.D.

Professor of History, Boston College

Claire Bond Potter, Ph.D.

Professor of History Emeritus at The New School for Social Research in New York City

Democracy Awakening: Notes on the State of America

American History | Character | Civics | Civil Rights | Culture | Education | Ethics | History | Law | Leadership | Storytelling

BONUS BOOK GIVEAWAY! We are giving away copies of Democracy Awakening to randomly selected Zoom attendees. Details on the webinar registration page.

During the impeachment crisis of 2019, Heather Cox Richardson, Ph.D., professor of history at Boston College, launched a daily Facebook essay providing the historical background of the daily torrent of news. It soon turned into a popular Substack newsletter, Letters from an American, and its subscriber base ballooned to more than two million dedicated readers who rely on her plainspoken and informed take on the present and past in America.

In Democracy Awakening: Notes on the State of America, Prof. Richardson crafts a compelling and original narrative, explaining how, over the decades, a small group of wealthy people have made war on American ideals. By weaponizing language and promoting false history they have led us into authoritarianism — creating a disaffected population and then promising to recreate an imagined past where those people could feel important again. She argues that taking our country back starts by remembering the elements of the nation’s true history that marginalized Americans have always upheld. Their dedication to the principles on which this nation was founded has enabled us to renew and expand our commitment to democracy in the past.

Prof. Richardson’s talent is to wrangle our giant, meandering, and confusing news feed into a coherent story that singles out what we should pay attention to, what the precedents are, and what possible paths lie ahead. In her trademark calm prose, she is realistic and optimistic about the future of democracy. Her command of history allows her to pivot effortlessly from the Founders to the abolitionists to Reconstruction to Goldwater to Mitch McConnell, highlighting the political legacies of the New Deal, the lingering fears of socialism, the death of the liberal consensus and birth of “movement conservatism.”

Prof. Richardson will be in conversation with Claire Bond Potter, Ph.D., Professor of History Emeritus at The New School for Social Research in New York City, and the author of the Political Junkie Substack and an associated podcast, Why Now? She has written for the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Guardian, the New Republic, Yale Review, and Dissent. Her most recent book is Political Junkies: From Talk Radio to Twitter, How Alternative Media Hooked Us on Politics and Broke Our Democracy.

This event suitable for youth 12+. It will be recorded and available on FAN’s website and YouTube channel.