How can we produce citizens who are attached to our country, devoted to its ideals, and eager to live an active civic life? Studying our documents and learning our history can surely help. But stories are even better. With What So Proudly We Hail, educators Amy A. Kass and Leon R. Kass demonstrate how story, speech, and song can be used to enhance civic education and how a pedagogical approach that stresses learning through inquiry can make primary sources come alive for students of all ages.

The Meaning of America

What kind of citizens are likely to emerge in a nation founded on individual rights, equality, enterprise and commerce, and freedom of religion? What virtues are required for a robust citizenry? The Meaning of America explores American character and American identity in ways that will produce thoughtful and engaged citizens.

Fourth of July Parade, Alfred Cornelius Howland
The American Calendar

Why do we have national public holidays? What does each—and what do all—contribute to our common life as Americans? The American Calendar explores the purpose and meaning of our civic holidays, showing how their repeated celebration helps unite and identify us as a people and attaches us to our country.

The United States Marine Band at the White House, c. 1928, White House
Songs for Free Men and Women

How can songs—moving speech, set to rhythmic music—shape hearts and minds? What do America’s national songs mean, and what feelings does singing them inspire? Songs for Free Men and Women carefully examines our major national songs, both to understand their words and to discover what they contribute to making attached citizens.

Abijah Canfield Liberty in the Form of the Goddess of Youth Giving Support to the Bald Eagle, 1800 now at the Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village
The American Muse

How can poetry contribute to our shared national memory and help shape our national identity? The American Muse: Poems for Free Men and Women examines classic American poems, both to understand their words and to explore how reading poetry can join individual and community in a unique and powerful way.

Lincoln and the Constitution

How ought Americans to understand what rule “of the people, by the people, and for the people” means? Is American democracy characterized by the rule of the majority, understood as popular sovereignty, or is majority rule qualified by some other constitutional principle? “Lincoln and the Constitution” will explore the challenges to popular government raised in the years leading up to and during the Civil War, and how Abraham Lincoln answered those challenges by drawing on the principles of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.