The Spirit of Democracy

David W. Blight and Lewis H. Lapham in conversation.

By Lapham’s Quarterly

Monday, December 21, 2020

Sons of Liberty bowl, by Paul Revere, 1768.

Sons of Liberty bowl, by Paul Revere, 1768. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, museum purchase with funds donated by contribution and Bartlett Collection—museum purchase with funds from the Francis Bartlett Donation of 1912.

Since the nation’s founding, Americans’ aspirations toward a more perfect union have been punctuated by an ongoing progression of rebirth and renewal. From the Civil War to the civil rights movement and beyond, the United States has been forced to reckon with its imperfect fulfillment of its democratic ideals. In the wake of the 2020 election and the moral and philosophical fragmentations that it has reaffirmed, historian David W. Blight, in conversation with Lewis H. Lapham, illuminates the evolution to our contemporary experience and the path forward.

To watch a video of the conversation, presented by The New-York Historical Society, follow this link.

The New-York Historical Society and Lapham’s Quarterly are grateful for the Knight Foundation’s generous support in sponsoring this program.

David W. Blight, a trustee of the New-York Historical Society, is Class of 1954 Professor of American History and Director of the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition at Yale University. He is the author of Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom, winner of the 2019 Pulitzer Prize in History.

Lewis H. Lapham is the editor and founder of Lapham’s Quarterly.

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