Class #59

Our Better Angels & An Elegy

Jeff Doane

August 18 - August 24


instructor imageFor a second year, this class will seek to address the tumult of our nationís common life. Where can we turn to discover constructive ways to understand the unfolding social/political patterns we are experiencing? How might we discern deeper values that underlie the seeming chaos of daily interactions? Two books will guide us in our search.

Historian and biographer Jon Meacham has provided an expressively written and historically rich account of our nationís efforts to deal with race and immigration: The Soul of America: The Battle for Our Better Angels. Meacham reaches back to Abraham Lincoln and proceeds through other presidents and national leaders who give us glimpses of a resilient spirit we so need in our time.

A deeply personal and insightful approach is taken by J.D. Vance in his volume Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis. In his autobiography, Vance testifies to the brokenness and the strengths of the white working class, especially those with Appalachian roots. And he does so compellingly, speaking to us whatever our political perspective.

This class will meet for three hours each morning, taking up Meachamís volume. Then we will explore Vanceís life story and insights on three evenings of an hour and a half each. Afternoons are left free for the enjoyment of The Clearing and Door County. Please read both books prior to the class.

Jeff Doane has led classes at The Clearing for many years. In retirement, he is serving part-time as parish associate for older adults at Fourth Presbyterian Church in Chicago, following 27 years as pastor of the Lincoln Park Presbyterian Church. Jeff studied at Cornell University (A.B.), and at The Divinity School of The University of Chicago (A.M., D.Mn.). During retirement hours, Jeff relishes grandparenting, reading, sailing, walking and cooking with family and friends in Chicago and in Ephraim, Wisconsin.

Jeff will contact students prior to the class.

Level: All Levels

Pricing (per person):
$1045 Dorm Room Package*
$1145 Two-Person Room Package*
$1705 Single-Person Room Package* (limited availability)
$615 Commuter Package** (limited availability)

*package includes tuition, lodging & 16 meals
**package includes tuition & 7 meals