Arthur S. Meyers, Author and Director of Russell Library in Middletown, discusses his book:
Democracy in the Making:
The Open Forum Lecture Movement
Meyers explains how this historical initiative broadened our awareness of personal and community courage and democratic planning.
In 1908 community learning took a new direction in Boston and spread across the country as the Open Forum Lecture Movement. Locally planned, transdenomenational lectures included Q&A and were characterized as "the Striking of mind upon mind".
Generate some light with other audience members as author Arthur S. Meyers explores the power of community conversation.
Reviews of Democracy in the Making:
Meyers’ original and exciting investigation [and] deft, nuanced analysis....thoroughly explores the movement’s strengths and weaknesses, providing insights that will be valuable to historians—and to all who seek to develop inclusive solutions to social problems.
(Nancy C. Unger, associate professor of history, Santa Clara University; author, Fighting Bob La Follette: The Righteous Reformer )
…[A] clearly-drawn narrative….connect[ing] this non-sectarian, semi-secular movement to the Chautauqua and Lyceum movements of earlier generations.
(Richard D. Brown, Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor of History, emeritus, University of Connecticut )
I recommend this book highly for students of adult education and for public officials and civic leaders who want a model of public discourse for civil conversation in a time of polarization.
(Harold W. Stubblefield, professor emeritus, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University )
…A valuable resource…useful not only because it revives this history but also because it illustrates how the past can help to inform the present. The National Issues Forums are certainly a close descendant of this important movement.
(David Mathews, president, Kettering Foundation )
…Meyers does more than simply reintroduce an important piece of our civic past; he also presents us with a model for rejuvenating contemporary public life.
(James J. Connolly, director, Center for Middletown Studies; professor of history, Ball State University; author, An Elusive Unity: Urban Democracy and Machine Politics in Industrializing America )
This vivid new window brings forward Mary Caroline Crawford, a woman who shaped progressive public discourse.
(Kathryn Kish Sklar, Distinguished Professor of History, State University of New York, Binghamton; author, Florence Kelley and the Nation's Work)
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When & Where
New Haven Free Public Library
The New Haven Free Public Library includes five branches located in New Haven CT. Please visit our website for complete information, including a community calendar of events in the Greater New Haven area.