The Alexander Hamilton Institute for the Study of Western Civilization (AHI), like most other educational organizations, has had to postpone and cancel familiar programmatic activities because of the Covid-19 pandemic. But the contagion has also created opportunities to apply new technologies to advance educational initiatives and reach new audiences.  This fall AHI will experiment with remote learning by organizing four directed reading clusters, each open to a national audience, using Zoom.

AHI Resident Fellow David Frisk, a Ph.D. in political science from Claremont Graduate University, will lead two of the clusters. Dr. Timothy Minella, an AHI alumnus and Lecturer in the Lewis Honors College, University of Kentucky, will direct a third.  AHI Charter Fellow Dr. Douglas Ambrose, one of the most decorated teachers at Hamilton College, will conduct the fourth.

Each reading cluster will admit a maximum of twenty-five persons on a first-come, first-served basis.  If seats are available, latecomers to the intellectual feast will be accommodated.  If you are interested in committing to the course, please contact the group leader using the email address provided below.

Reading Cluster I (Frisk):  Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America (1835-40)

Meeting time:  Weekly, Monday, September 14 through Monday, December 14, 7-8:15 p.m. (EST)

To sign up, contact D. Frisk at

The Harvard political scientist Harvey Mansfield called Democracy in America one of the greatest sources for the understanding of American political life ever written.

Reading Cluster II (Frisk):  Ron Chernow, Alexander Hamilton (2005)

Meeting time: Weekly, Wednesday, September 16 through Wednesday, December 16, 7-8:15 p.m. (EST)

To sign up, contact Dr. Frisk at

Ron Chernow, one of the most lauded historical biographers of this generation, has written a classic volume on one of the most remarkable lives in a revolutionary age.

Reading Cluster III (Minella): W. E. B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk (1903)

Meeting time: Weekly, Monday, September 14 to December 14, 5 to 6:15 p.m. (EST)

To sign up, contact Dr. Minella at

W.E.B. Du Bois, Harvard University’s first African American Ph.D., wrote this literary classic to answer the question: What does it mean to be black at the dawn of the 20th century?

Reading Cluster IV (Ambrose):  Christopher Dawson, Progress and Religion: An Historical Inquiry (1929)

Meeting time: Weekly, Sunday, September 13 through October 25, 7-8 p.m. (EST)

To sign up, contact Dr. Ambrose at

Christopher Dawson, a distinguished British historian of culture, much admired by T. S. Eliot, was the first recipient of the Chauncey Stillman Chair of Roman Catholic Studies at Harvard University.