The Alexander Hamilton Institute for the Study of Western Civilization (AHI) is pleased to announce that it will offer two courses for the fall semester, 2023. All AHI courses are free and open to the public.

The AHI Inn

  • Course #1: Dr. David Frisk will lead both a Zoom and in-person course, “Reading the Federalist Papers.”
  • Course #2: Former Pentagon speech writer Lauren Weiner will lead a second course, “Freedom’s Writers: Orwell and Koestler,” using Zoom.

Course #1:  Dr. Frisk’s Zoom course will meet from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m., Eastern Time, on Monday, September 11 to December 11, except for Thanksgiving week.

The in-person course will meet at AHI headquarters, 21 W. Park Row, Clinton, NY, from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m., Eastern Time, on Wednesday, September 13 to December 13, except for Thanksgiving week. 

Members of Dr. Frisk’s class will be asked to buy a printed copy of The Federalist and bring it with them each week. There will also be additional readings, provided week by week.

About one-quarter of the 85 essays in The Federalist—generally, the ones most relevant to America’s current governmental and political difficulties—will be assigned. In addition, class members will read parts of several major books and essays that discuss The Federalist from various perspectives—making them familiar with various ways in which this honored classic of political theory has been interpreted (or “read”) and evaluated. About 25 pages total will be assigned per week. Dr. Frisk will give assistance in fully understanding the 18th-century prose with its sometimes-unfamiliar vocabulary—and the 1787-1788 debate over ratification of the proposed Constitution to which The Federalist was addressed.

Dr. Frisk, a Resident Fellow at AHI, has taught continuing education courses in history and political science here since 2013. He is a prize-winning journalist and earned a Ph.D. in political science from Claremont Graduate University.

“With the COVID years now behind us,” said Dr. Frisk, “we can comfortably welcome the community back to our beautiful historic building for weekly classes. We hope to see many familiar faces and many new ones.”

“The course will introduce or reintroduce people to The Federalist in manageable amounts,” Frisk added, “while providing ample food for thought from a variety of political scientists and historians about the great issues they deal with. Class members should feel free to challenge or question points and predictions in The Federalist, just as these scholars sometimes have.”

Refreshments and coffee will be provided each week. There will be a 10-minute break during the class. Professional credit is available for teachers.

For additional information or to enroll, please contact Dr. Frisk (, 202-999-5751 cell). Due to the classes’ popularity, advance signup is strongly encouraged.

Course #2: Lauren Weiner’s course, “Freedom’s Writers: Orwell and Koestler.

This course takes you on a tour of two of the greatest writers of the twentieth century.  The Western intelligentsia aided and abetted the rise of fascism and communism in the 20th century. As the liberal democracies were being buffeted by these two ideologies, only one of them, Fascism, had a bad reputation among the intelligentsia. Progressives, seeking a cure for economic depression and war, were prone to look past communism’s violence and suppression of free thought. An editor of the progressive New Republic magazine, for example, berated himself years later for being “unforgivably slow to realize what was happening” in Stalin’s Russia.

George Orwell and Arthur Koestler were not slow. Each had thrown himself into the fight against fascism in the 1930s. The Englishman Orwell went to Spain to join a Trotskyist militia that took the field against Francisco Franco. The Hungarian-born Koestler was in the Spanish Civil War, too. He was a Comintern agent in Madrid. These experiences fueled their respective writings, which dealt strong blows against totalitarianism of the left and right in real time.

The first six weeks of the course will cover essays on language, politics, and the arts by George Orwell, one essay per session. After that we will read and discuss one of the great political novels, Koestler’s Darkness at Noon (1940), in four sessions. Each session of this 10-week course will be an hour long.

Participants will meet via Zoom for this 10-week course, on Tuesday nights from 7 to 8 p.m. Eastern time. The first session will be on September 26 and the final session on November 21.

Lauren Weiner’s writing life has taken her to jobs as an editor, reporter, Capitol Hill staffer, and Pentagon speechwriter. She has written literary reviews as well, and these have appeared in such publications as the Wall Street Journal, Commentary,, the Weekly, the New Criterion, the Washington Times, and the Baltimore Sun.

For additional information, contact Lauren Weiner