Reverence for the law, a cornerstone of democracy, has been a critical component to American leadership since our nation’s founding. Distinguished attorney James D. Zirin illuminates how President Donald J. Trump has veered from tradition by sidestepping the law for personal gain and using it against his adversaries.
Why do we so frequently misjudge strangers? From Fidel Castro fooling the CIA to Neville Chamberlain trusting Adolf Hitler, an inability to effectively evaluate the character and intentions of others has had disastrous consequences throughout history. Malcolm Gladwell, in conversation with Adam Gopnik, explores the history and psychology behind our treatment of strangers and the way this concept profoundly shapes the world around us.
Governing access to the mouth of the crucial Mississippi River, New Orleans was one of the most hotly contested battlegrounds of the Civil War. It fell to the Union following attacks by naval and land forces, but some African American freemen allegedly joined Confederate defenders, and in a harsh occupation New Orleans women defied their captors. In a bitter reconstruction, African Americans suffered brutal mob attack. Civil War experts explore this untold story.
Nationalism is an ideology that has faced attacks from both the right and the left—but what is its true meaning, and how has it evolved over time? Rich Lowry offers a passionate defense of nationalism and the ways he believes it could move the country forward.
Arguably the most well-known and adored of the Founding Fathers, George Washington remains one of the most venerable personalities of the Founding Era. Already in his 40s when appointed Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army in 1775, how did the character of Washington influence the early foundations of the United States? Experts on the Revolution uncover the man behind the legend, whose leadership in a time of insurmountable need is still felt in America today.
In commemoration of the 65th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education, constitutional scholar Randall Kennedy will revisit the landmark case that is often seen as one of the major victories of the civil rights movement. Professor Kennedy reveals where the historical decision succeeded in dismantling segregation, but also the many ways in which it failed to move society forward as a whole.
In the wake of World War II, a new menace in the form of communist authoritarianism cast a shadow on the healing European continent. Under the leadership of Secretary of State George C. Marshall, the U.S. spearheaded the reconstruction of Western Europe and reinforced alliances to prevent the region from falling under Soviet domination. Discover how these efforts inspired the creation of NATO and the European Union and how the conflicts that emerged during the Cold War continue to resonate to this day.
9–9:30 am: Registration and Continental Breakfast
9:30–11 am: Program
“Remember Pearl Harbor” was the rallying cry that galvanized a nation during World War II. Historian John H. Maurer unfolds the story of America’s entrance into one of history’s bloodiest wars on December 7, 1941—described by President Franklin D. Roosevelt as “a date which will live in infamy.”
U.S. Ambassador William vanden Heuvel, a soldier, lawyer, political activist, diplomat, and second-generation American, witnessed some of the most pivotal moments of the 20th and 21st centuries as a public servant on the front lines of American politics and foreign policy. From the founding of the UN to desegregation, the Vietnam War, and the war in Iraq, Ambassador vanden Heuvel shares memories and wisdom drawn from decades of public service.
Pulitzer Prize-winning cultural critic and author Margo Jefferson writes extensively on American arts and culture: she has been a staff writer for the New York Times and Newsweek, and her reviews and essays have appeared in publications such as New York Magazine, Vogue, and Harper’s. Join her and writer/director Antonio Monda for an illuminating conversation on her career and influences.