Give Me Liberty: America's Exceptional Idea

An Alpheus T. Mason Lecture on Constitutional Law and Political Thought: The Quest for Freedom

November 13, 2019
poster for Brookhiser lecture

Richard BrookhiserSenior Editor, National Review

Nationalism is inevitable: it supplies feelings of belonging, identity, and recognition. It binds us to our neighbors and tells us who we are. But increasingly—from the United States to India, from Russia to Burma—nationalism is being invoked for unworthy ends: to disdain minorities or to support despots. As a result, nationalism has become to many a dirty word. Yet American nationalism, as it has evolved over four hundred years, offers a more inspiring case. In Give Me Liberty, Richard Brookhiser examines America's history through thirteen documents that made the United States a new country in a new world: a free country. Americans have always sought liberty, asked for it, fought for it; every victory has been the fulfillment of old hopes and promises. This is American nationalism, and Americans should be proud of it.

Richard Brookhiser is a Senior Editor of National Review and the author of the newly-published Give Me Liberty: A History of America’s Exceptional Idea. He is also the author of John Marshall: The Man Who Made the Supreme Court (2018), Founders’ Son: A Life of Abraham Lincoln (2014), James Madison (2011), George Washington on Leadership (2008), and Alexander Hamilton, American (1999). A columnist for American History, he wrote and hosted the PBS documentaries Rediscovering George Washington and Rediscovering Alexander Hamilton by Michael Pack, and appears frequently on the History Channel and the Colbert Report. He curated “Alexander Hamilton: The Man Who Made Modern America,” an exhibition at the New York Historical Society in 2004. For twenty years (1987-2007) he wrote a column for the New York Observer. He has also freelanced for many magazines including The New Yorker, Cosmopolitan, Commentary, and Vanity Fair. He was awarded the National Humanities Medal in 2008 and a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2011. He received his B.A. from Yale University.

Location:

Maeder Auditorium, Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment