The period Americans are now living in is one driven by fear of change and the unknown. But this is not the first time American’s have faced such a crisis. In this study group, America’s Soul, we will explore and reflect on how Americans have responded in past times to a crisis in our nation. Whether the issue was immigrant backlash after World War I, brother against brother during the Civil War, anti-war protests of the Vietnam era, isolationism, or the civil rights movement of the last century, Americans have searched deep into their hearts and souls to find common agreement and overcome great divisions in the country. Our text, The Soul of America: The Battle for our Better Angels, by Jon Meacham (Random House, 2018), looks at contentious times in our collective history to help us understand why and how generations before us dealt with their particular crisis, be it crisis of conscience or crisis of extremism. While there are no concrete answers
to where America is heading as a result of the divisions and decisions affecting our future, Meacham’s thoughts should give us insight into how we today could tap into, as he writes, “our better angels”. No class on 11/26/20.