Spencertown Academy Arts Center announces that its second Community Reads event, This America: The Case for the Nation by Jill Lepore, will happen on Tuesday, September 22 at 7:30pm (rather than the previously announced Wednesday, September 23 due to an unforeseen scheduling conflict). The author will discuss her book live with historian Sheila Curran Bernard via Zoom. This event is free and advance registration is required. To sign up, please see www.spencertownacademy.org.

“Lepore’s book is small and delicate in the hand, but packs a huge wallop of vital questions and ideas. There is a lot to chew on here, and I am looking forward to the discussion between the author and Professor Bernard,” says Jill Kalotay, co-chair of Spencertown Academy Festival of Books. “Please consider shopping local. This America can be purchased from the Chatham Bookstore (chathambookstore.com). Mention Community Reads for a 10% discount.”

At a time of much despair over the future of liberal democracy, Lepore makes a stirring case for the nation in This America, a follow-up to her much-celebrated history of the United States, These Truths. With dangerous forms of nationalism on the rise, she repudiates nationalism here by explaining its long history―and the history of the idea of the nation itself―while calling for a “new Americanism”: a generous patriotism that requires an honest reckoning with America’s past.

Jill Lepore is the David Woods Kemper ’41 Professor of American History at Harvard University and a staff writer at The New Yorker. Her books include the New York Times best seller The Secret History of Wonder Woman and Book of Ages, a finalist for the National Book Award. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Sheila Curran Bernard is an Emmy and Peabody Award-winning writer and filmmaker whose work is often leveraged to serve as the centerpiece of public engagement and education efforts. Since 2008, in addition to her work as a filmmaker, she’s been a faculty member at the University at Albany, State University of New York (SUNY), where she is a tenured associate professor in the Department of History and the Documentary Studies Program and director of the Institute for History and Public Engagement.

Founded in 1972, Spencertown Academy Arts Center is a cultural center and community resource serving Columbia County, the Berkshires, and the Capital region. Housed in a landmark 1847 Greek Revival schoolhouse, the Academy is located at 790 State Route 203 in Spencertown, New York. For more information, please contact info@spencertownacademy.org.

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