The Great Degeneration

Niall Ferguson
Wed, June 19th, 2013 | 6:30 pm


Slowing growth, crushing debts, aging populations, anti-social behavior — what exactly is amiss with Western civilization? The answer, Niall Ferguson argues, is that our institutions are degenerating and that to slow the degeneration of the West’s once dominant civilization will take heroic leadership and radical reform.


Niall Ferguson is a professor of history at Harvard University and the author of many books, including The Great Degeneration.

Revolutionary Summer: The Birth of American Independence

Joseph J. Ellis
Stacy Schiff (moderator)
Tue, June 11th, 2013 | 6:30 pm


Joseph J. Ellis and Stacy Schiff examine a crescendo moment in American history: the summer of 1776. The summer represented the most dramatic few months in the story of our country’s founding, when the thirteen colonies came together and agreed to secede from the British Empire while Britain dispatched the largest armada ever to cross the Atlantic.

Foreign Policy Begins at Home: The Case for Putting America’s House in Order

Richard N. Haass
Roger Hertog (moderator)
Tue, June 4th, 2013 | 6:30 pm


In the twenty-first century, the world seems in constant crisis. In his new book, Richard N. Haass argues that only by getting its own house in order can the United States reclaim its role as the primary director of global events and maintain that role in a world of unprecedented chaos.

Home with Toni Morrison

Toni Morrison
Bob Herbert (moderator)
Thu, April 11th, 2013 | 6:30 pm


Join us for a conversation between Bob Herbert and Nobel Prize winner Toni Morrison about her latest novel, Home. The book tells the story of Frank Money, an angry veteran of the Korean War who, after traumatic experiences on the front lines, finds himself back in racist America with more than just physical scars.

The Patriarch, Part II: Joe and Jack Kennedy

David Nasaw
Tue, March 12th, 2013 | 6:30 pm


Celebrated historian David Nasaw returns to continue his discussion of Joseph P. Kennedy, the patriarch of America’s greatest political dynasty. In part two, Professor Nasaw focuses on Kennedy’s relationship with his son John F. Kennedy, who resurrected the family’s political reputation and captured the imagination of a generation.


David Nasaw is a professor of history at the CUNY Graduate Center and the author of The Patriarch: The Remarkable Life and Turbulent Times of Joseph P. Kennedy.

My Share of the Task

Stanley A. McChrystal
Walter Russell Mead (co-moderator)
Roger Berkowitz (co-moderator)
Sun, March 10th, 2013 | 5:00 pm

Co sponsor

Co-sponsored by the Hannah Arendt Center for Politics and Humanities at Bard College

The King Years

Taylor Branch
Bob Herbert (moderator)
Tue, February 26th, 2013 | 6:30 pm

Due to unforeseen circumstances, Harry Belafonte will no longer deliver opening remarks.



In 1955, on the first night of the Montgomery Bus Boycott, an untested, 26-year-old Baptist pastor made an impromptu speech that catapulted him into the public consciousness as one of the faces of the burgeoning Civil Rights Movement.

The White House Series: First Families

Kati Marton
Gil Troy
Lesley Stahl (moderator)
Thu, February 28th, 2013 | 6:30 pm

Note: This event is sold out

Due to unforeseen circumstances, Cokie Roberts will no longer be able to participate in the discussion.

Rogers and Rockwell: The Original Pop Artists

Kimberly Orcutt
Laurie Norton Moffatt
Harold Holzer (moderator)
Thu, January 31st, 2013 | 6:30 pm


John Rogers, known as “the people’s sculptor,” was a pioneer of widely accessible art in the nineteenth century. Exploring themes ranging from the Civil War to domestic life to familiar theater and literary references, Rogers was the forerunner of populist artists of the twentieth century, especially Norman Rockwell. Three experts compare these two titans of popular art—along with other popular artists, including Andy Warhol—and discuss why their work was so resonant with the American public.

Antislavery: Colonial Beginnings to Emancipation

James G. Basker
David W. Blight
Khalil Gibran Muhammad (moderator)
Thu, January 24th, 2013 | 6:30 pm


Long before Abraham Lincoln penned the Emancipation Proclamation, opponents of slavery employed every available literary form — from essays and plays to sermons and hymns — to wage a heroic battle. An expert panel reflects on the pioneering writers and thinkers, from the eighteenth century through Emancipation, who challenged social norms and whose revolutionary ideas helped overthrow a poisonous national institution.

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