The Roots of American Order

Book cover of Roots of American Order

Much debate has occurred in the last year about the “founding” date of the American project. Was it 1619? 1776? 1787? Or can any one date adequately capture the scope of the foundations of a nation?

This year, the McConnell Center's book in common (open to everyone with additional professional development opportunities for Kentucky K-12 educators) will be Russell Kirk’s The Roots of American Order. Rather than pointing to a founding moment, that book paints a picture of America as a culmination of the civilizational work of five cities (or peoples): Jerusalem, Athens, Rome, London and Philadelphia.

"This is a good thumbnail guide to learning more about these five civilizations and to demonstrate their impact on what would become the foundations upon which our modern America was constructed," said McConnell Center Director Gary Gregg, PhD. Gregg is also the host of the companion Vital Remnants podcast series.

Join us as we explore the history of the West that influenced America’s founding—be it 1619 or 1776 or 1787. Targeted readings from Kirk's text will be accompanied with podcast interviews with content experts.

View the Center's Roots of American Order Reading Guide (pdf)
Listen to the companion podcast

This enrichment learning opportunity is offered as a basic education into the history of the West and its influence on America's foundations. We invite you to read and listen to the topics and themes of interest to you.