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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