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<i>The Lehrman Lectures on Restoring America's National Identity</i><br>A New Class of Duties: Restoring America's Meaning

Recorded on October 27, 2005

Location: The Heritage Foundation's Lehrman Auditorium

At a time when the nation confronts dangerous threats beyond its borders and within the homeland, America is also undergoing profound change in its culture, economy, law and politics. Our diversity, one of our greatest assets, too often produces divisions and confrontations among people. Our economy, despite being the strongest in the world, seems fragile and dependent upon forces beyond our control. The nation remains deeply divided politically and a new level of hostility has emerged in the nation's political discourse. These represent fundamental challenges to "the American way of life." And they represent symptoms of a larger problem: America losing touch with itself. This lecture will explore what has happened to the American identity and what might be done to renew it. America is different than other nations. It is a set of ideas and principles every bit as much as a nation and a people. Ensuring those ideas and principles inform and instruct American culture and politics has always been the nation's greatest challenge and most essential task.

Dr. Eugene W. Hickok is Senior Policy Director at Dutko Worldwide, a government relations policy and management firm. He served as Deputy Secretary of Education during President George W. Bush's first term. Prior to that, he was Secretary of Education for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. He served on the faculty of Dickinson College and the Dickinson School of Law for fifteen years.

This lecture is the fifth in a series to consider the meaning and status of America's common national identity and to define an agenda for restoring that meaning as the central idea of America's politics and political culture.