Jill Lepore looks at America through the lens of the promises America has made to itself, and whether we’ve kept them. 

This six-session book discussion program will explore the question that forms the heart of this book: Has America lived up to the ideals of the founders of this country? How do “these truths” measure up to the “course of events?” This book offers a great launching point for innovative thinking about how we teach history.


Each session will include related primary sources to connect to the U.S. history curriculum.


Session 1: The origins of the American Experiment

Session 2: The Constitution, Slavery, and Representative Government

Session 3: Who are “the People”?: Race, Gender, Citizenship, and Populism

Session 4: Modernization: Industrialism, a Communications Revolution, and an Unfinished Reckoning with Race

Session 5: “The Machine,” the “Great Acceleration,” and Postwar Anxieties

Session 6: Conservatism vs. Liberalism: How American Society Became Polarized Again

Location: Hartford Middle School, Hartford, Vermont

Dates and Times: Thursdays, 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.

October 24, November 21, December 12, January 23, February 13, March 26

Location: Randolph High School, Randolph, Vermont

Dates and Times: Tuesdays, 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.

October 22, November 19, December 10, January 21, February 11, March 24

Registration Fee:  $350 -including book.

1 Graduate Credit through Castleton University: $150

Register Online Here