America’s Beacon: The Declaration of Independence | Newberry

America’s Beacon: The Declaration of Independence

Led by Joseph S. Harrington. Four sessions. 5:45 - 7:45 pm
Wednesday, July 10, 2019
Wednesdays, July 10 - July 31 

5:45 - 7:45 pm

Online registration is closed. Call (312) 255-3700 to register.

Cost and Registration Information

Early Registration Price (May 7 at 9 am** – May 24 at 4 pm): $195
Regular Registration Price (May 24 at 4 pm – first day of class): $214.5

** Registration opens online at 9 am. Phone registration will be accepted starting at 10 am.

Members, seniors, and students get a 10% discount.

Seminar Description

The U.S. Constitution is recognized by Americans for its protection of individual liberty, but most of us overlook the way another document—the Declaration of Independence—expresses a counterbalancing commitment to another value, that of equality. Guided by ground-breaking research, this seminar will explore the Declaration’s invocation and exposition of equality as the basis of its argument for a nation’s independence. In addition to improving their knowledge of U.S. history, participants will develop their powers of close reading and their familiarity with our country’s founding documents.

Four sessions. E – $195, L – $214.5

Joseph S. Harrington holds an MA in history from the University of Connecticut and has previously led Newberry seminars on the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

Materials List


  • Danielle Allen, Our Declaration: A Reading of the Declaration of Independence in Defense of Equality. W.W. Norton, 2014. ISBN: 978-0871406903


  • Alexander Tsesis, For Liberty and Equality: The Life and Times of the Declaration of Independence. Oxford University Press, 2012. ISBN: 978-0195379693

First Reading:

  • For the first class please read Part IV of Our Declaration: A Reading of the Declaration of Independence in Defense of Equality.

This class is part of the Newberry’s Adult Education Seminars Program. Learn more about our registration procedures.