Several members of the Jack Miller Center faculty have produced courses for The Teaching Company. These courses are available in DVD format or Audio CD’s and are a great addition to any electronic library. Below are courses by Allen Guelzo and Thomas Pangle:
Thomas Pangle’s course on the debate between the Federalists and Anti-Federalist is on sale now for $19.95 in all Formats:
“We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, …”—U.S. Constitution
While those words were written over 200 years ago, recent years have seen an explosion of interest in and interpretation of the U.S. Constitution. Its authority and stature are routinely invoked by voices from every point on the political spectrum who seek to defend their views on issues ranging from separation of powers to the proper role of the Supreme Court to legitimate interpretations of the Bill of Rights, with frequent references to the Founding Fathers and their true “intent.”
But how much do most of us really know about that intent?
The fact is, as Professor Thomas L. Pangle makes clear in The Great Debate: Advocates and Opponents of the American Constitution, many of those Founding Fathers—men who had been signers of the Declaration of Independence, leaders of the American Revolution, or delegates to the Continental Congress—were highly critical of the new Constitution and staunchly opposed it when it was first put forth for ratification by the states as a replacement for the Articles of Confederation.
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Allan Guelzo has two excellent courses on the life of Abraham Lincoln and the American Revolution:
Five days after Abraham Lincoln was buried in Springfield, Illinois, John Locke Scripps, who had convinced Lincoln to write his first campaign autobiography, wrote: “In certain showy, and what is said to be, most desirable endowments, how many Americans have surpassed him! Yet how he looms above them now!”
The nation’s 16th president, Scripps asserted, had become “the Great American Man—the grand central figure in American (perhaps the World’s) History.”
Historians still find it hard to quibble with Scripps’s opinion of Lincoln’s place in the story of America. Lincoln was the central figure in the nation’s greatest crisis, the Civil War. His achievements in office make as good a case as any that he was the greatest president in U.S. history.
What made Lincoln great? What was it about him that struck those who knew him? This course explores those questions with the help of an authority who, in his own words, has “spent many years trying to get to know this man from afar,” and in doing so has become one of the country’s most distinguished Lincoln scholars and an award-winning author for his books about Lincoln.
Professor Allen C. Guelzo will lead you on “a great adventure,” a tour of Lincoln’s life, from his forebears’ arrival in America through an evaluation of how his legacy lives on for us today. You will come to know Lincoln through the eyes of those who knew, lived with, and worked with him.
For Lincoln buffs and those simply wishing to know him much better, this course opens a compelling view into his thinking and career. |Buy It Here|
Has there ever been a more unlikely war than the American Revolution?
Why did those 13 colonies, with nothing resembling a unified and trained army, and with no navy to speak of, believe they could defeat the most powerful nation on the planet?
And why was Britain, no matter how powerful, confident it could prevail despite these burdens:
- A 3,000-mile supply line for troops and provisions
- A “circuit of command” for time-critical orders that could consume three months or more
- The constant need to divert its forces, whether to protect against slave uprisings in the Caribbean or against the looming threat of the French on both sides of the Atlantic?
Considerations like these are indicative of just how unlikely this conflict was, Professor Allen C. Guelzo notes in his gripping new course The American Revolution. And they are far from the only ones.
- Why did the British fight the way they did, “served up by seemingly unthinking generals in solid rows of walking targets while the Americans crouched Indian-style behind rocks and trees”? Why did the Americans end up fighting this same way?
- Why did George Washington, in an uncharacteristically fractious move, lash out angrily at his troops, labeling them misfits and mutineers?
- What moved King George III, even after Cornwallis had surrendered at Yorktown, to ask his secretary of state for America to put on paper the “mode which seems most feasible for conducting the war,” clinging to a belief that the Americans might yet be subdued?
- And, finally, who really deserves the credit for defeating the British army?
Was it the Continentals, gamely overcoming all odds?
Was it the French, entering on the American side not purely out of friendship but also as a first step in converting Britain’s colonies into their own?
Or was it perhaps both of these factors—along with weather, terrain, timing, and sheer luck?
Above all, why was the American Revolution really won not in America at all, but in the Caribbean?
|Buy It Here|