#CitizensRead Book Club: How to be President


A Constitutional Walk Through that Starts with Article II

This series will provide two paths to recovering the original ideas of the Office of the President. This month, we have options for participating. You can either read The Oath and the Office by Corey Brettschneider or listen to four episodes of the Whistlestop podcast by John Dickerson.

Either way, you will have spent enough time with the questions of exeutive power that you might want to moderate the next presidential debate yourself!



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With First Democracy by Paul Woodruff as our guide, we will go back to democracy’s origin story. The history, literature, and philosophy of Athens will feature prominently as we consider the “Life and Death of Democracy” and the “explosive ideas” that make it possible. We will then use Woodruff’s seven ideas or characteristics of democracy to evaluate the state of our democracy today and contemporary efforts to be more democratic.



An exclusive conversation with Will Harris following his next presentation at the International Civil Rights Center and Museum. With a discussion of constitutional commitments, three foundings and the open-ended interaction between them, we will investigate the the multiplicity of values and tensions that result. 

If we could ask our fellow citizens to adopt a “civic perspective” the way a certain well-known astrophysicist refers to a cosmic perspective, what would we be asking them to do and how might we accommodate potential resistance?