Lewis Lapham On the Future of Democracy

 "The past is the new future" -- John Crowley

Michael Connor & Charles Klein


A devoted cadre of members of the Coudert Institute of Palm Beach attended a luncheon for Lewis Lapham at a private club in Palm Beach, and heard  the startling opening comment:  "Donald Trump is a consequence of history."


Patty Pietila, Bob & Molly Monks

And Mr. Lapham should know. Author of twenty books, publisher of Lapham’s Quarterly, movie producer/screenwriter, and former editor of Harper’s magazine, Lewis Lapham's legendary insights have have provided a check list to measure our political conscience throughout his fifty year career.


Dale Coudert, founder and head of the Coudert Institute, which has provided superior programs for 17 years in Palm Beach, welcomed guests

and Mr. Lapham.


Opening his address with praise of Arthur Schlesinger, Mr. Lapham cited the four most expensive words:  "This time it's different."


"Each age revises its past", he stated, particularly in historical recollections, and misrepresents the actuality of the societal experience. 


Ingeniously, he extracted the lessons of ancient history and invoked classical literature to warn us not to repeat our mistakes. "History does not repeat itself, it rhymes," he commented.


Jacqueline & Charles Bullock, Vera Fairbanks


How would the world have been different if he had not asked the hard questions?

He told his rapt audience that there has always been an "aristocracy" at the head of our democracy, including the education of the founding fathers.  On its future, his forecast was bleak.  "Our capacity to renew our faith in the democratic idea would be "a Phoenix from the ashes."  To arrive at his points, he cited Plato, Ovid, Lucretius, Montand, Shakespeare, and spoke of the history of Rhode Island's Roger Williams, who fought for and achieved religious freedom from government.


Mr. Lapham was introduced by Newport's Rochelle Ohrstrom. His latest book, "Age of Folly" was available at the luncheon. At the conclusion the audience erupted in "bravos."


Seen were Dr. Steven Rose,  Betty Lemon, and Gerard Lind.

Dale Coudert & Babette Cohen


Jeff Jacobus of Classic Bookshop & Didi d'Anglejan


Newport's Kim Herrlinger & Malka Fingold


Ladies at the luncheon


Michael  Fanon, Frances Bermingham, Doris Jones & Ann Wells


Rochelle Ohrstrom going over her introductory notes


Joyce Cohen & Jean Meinsenzahl greeted guests


Pam Taylor, Alex Donner & Katee Carpenter


Dale Coudert welcoming guests


Rochelle Ohrstrom reas her introduction



Ms. Ohrstrom welcoming Mr. Lapham


Mr. Lapham delivering his learned speech



Robert Meyer listening attentively


An impassioned question from ?


Robert Nederlander & Dale Coudert congratulating Mr. Lapham post-address


Mr. Lapham congratulated by Newport Seen's editor


Linda Phillips with Lewis Lapham













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