Herman Cain, a businessman and radio host of the “The Herman Cain Show,” identified threats facing Americans’ rights and their causes during his 2 p.m. Interfaith Lecture Friday in the Hall of Philosophy.
Danielle Allen is inviting people of all ages — old and gray or young and spry — to read the Declaration of Independence with her.
As a second-generation Chinese-American, Eric Liu said he has a heightened awareness of every opportunity he’s been given, and the obligations that come with those opportunities — a worldview he hopes to instill in all United States citizens.
Wealthy white men in powdered wigs, bright white breeches and fancy waistcoats, signing a piece of parchment and leading America into freedom — this is what many may picture when thinking of the Declaration of Independence.
“Before there was an Arab Spring,” Brown University historian Gordon S. Wood told the Amphitheater audience on Tuesday, “there was an Atlantic Spring.”
In the eyes of Supreme Court Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, Americans take their freedom for granted. As he spoke to the Chautauquans packed in and around the Hall of Philosophy at 3:30 p.m. Monday, he drew upon history and tradition to illustrate how vital it is that Americans engage in the discussion of freedom.
He admitted that in his younger years, he thought democracy could be given like a gift. He joked that some people think they can introduce democracy to a country, wipe their hands and say goodbye, and then democracy will be magically “installed.”
The prominent figures of Athenian society — Socrates, Aristotle, Plato — are widely considered to be the forerunners of American democracy. But according to Hunter Rawlings, classicist and president of the Association of the American Universities, these giants of history had little influence on Thomas Jefferson and the writing of the Declaration of Independence — and thus little influence on the democracy Americans enjoy today.
Rawlings’ 10:45 a.m. morning lecture in the Amphitheater was preceded by a performance by Bill Barker, a Thomas Jefferson interpreter dressed in full 18th-century regalia, complete with a tri-corner hat.
Hearing the voice of Thomas Jefferson recite the Declaration of Independence through an iPhone can be described only as surreal.
The soothing, gentlemanly Southern drawl belongs to character interpreter Bill Barker, who has played Jefferson in Colonial Williamsburg, Va., for the last 20 years.
Is immunizing children against disease an investment in human capital? E.J. Dionne believes that it is. But he also believes that immunizing children is a moral issue, not something that should be understood in market language.
“I think distorting language in this way concedes what should not be conceded — that the market represents the one and only proper measure of public action,” he said.
The Declaration of Independence was more than just a break-up letter with England. It was an assertion of independence, a commitment to freedom and a symbol of the good of democracy defeating the evil of tyranny.
E.J. Dionne Jr. doesn’t question that. But he would rather the focus shift from the idea of individual independence to what he believes the declaration really was: A pledge of community members to one another.