The Declaration of Independence and American Democracy
The Annual Herbert W. Vaughan Lecture on America’s Founding Principles
Charles R. Kesler, Professor of Government, Claremont McKenna College
Endowed by the late Herbert "Wiley" Vaughan, founding member of the Madison Program's Advisory Council, the Herbert W. Vaughan Lecture on America’s Founding Principles is an endowed Princeton University lecture that is hosted by the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions in the Department of Politics. Its purpose is to promote and advance understanding of the founding principles and core doctrines of American constitutionalism.
Charles R. Kesler is Professor of Government at Claremont McKenna College, Editor of the Claremont Review of Books, and a Senior Fellow at The Claremont Institute. He received his A.B. in Social Studies (1978) as well as his A.M. and Ph.D. in Government (1985) from Harvard University. From 1989 to 2008, Dr. Kesler was Director of CMC’s Henry Salvatori Center for the Study of Individual Freedom in the Modern World. From September 2000 to March 2001, he served as Vice Chairman of the Advisory Committee to the U.S. Congress's James Madison Commemoration Commission. He was selected in June of 2000 as a member of The Scholars Commission on the Jefferson-Hemings Issue sponsored by The Thomas Jefferson Heritage Society. Dr. Kesler is editor of Saving the Revolution: The Federalist Papers and the American Founding (Free Press, 1987), and co-editor, with William F. Buckley, Jr., of Keeping the Tablets: Modern American Conservative Thought (HarperCollins, 1988). He has written extensively on American constitutionalism and political thought, and his edition of The Federalist Papers (Signet Classics, 2003) is the best-selling edition in the country. Dr. Kesler contributes regularly to the opinion pages of The Wall Street Journal and the Los Angeles Times. His articles on contemporary politics have also appeared in The Washington Times, Policy Review, National Review, and The Weekly Standard, among other journals.