What has enabled the American experiment in democracy to endure for nearly 250 years?
What is it about early American history that captivates peoples’ attention and makes them want to support the creation of historical scholarship and the sharing of historical knowledge?
David M. Rubenstein, the co-founder and co-chairman of The Carlyle Group and a great student and supporter of history and history education, joins us to explore his patriotic philanthropy and the history of American democracy with details from his book, The American Experiment: Dialogues on a Dream.
This episode is supported by an American Rescue Plan grant to the Omohundro Institute from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
About the Show
Ben Franklin’s World is a podcast about early American history.
It is a show for people who love history and for those who want to know more about the historical people and events that have impacted and shaped our present-day world.
Ben Franklin’s World is a production of the Omohundro Institute.
David M. Rubenstein, the co-founder and co-chairman of The Carlyle Group, is a great student and avid supporter of history and history education. He joins us to discuss his philanthropic work and to explore the history of American democracy with details from his book, The American Experiment: Dialogues on a Dream.
During our exploration, David reveals ideas about the American experiment in democracy and what has helped this experiment to endure; Key attributes of American democracy and why some of those attributes are under threat and being stress tested; And, details about his philanthropy when it comes to history and why he has a desire to support history education.
What You’ll Discover
- How David Rubenstein became interested in history
- The importance of curiosity
- The American experiment
- What founding fathers thought of the republic and its chances for survival
- Role of founding documents in American democracy
- Adaptability of the founding documents
- Key “genes” or characteristics of American democracy
- Durability of American democracy
- United States Constitution
- Threats and dangers to American democracy
- Miracles of American democracy
- Partisanship in democracy
- Collecting historical documents and books
- David’s “patriotic philanthropy”
- Stone copies of the Declaration of Independence
- Bunker Hill Monument and its 19th-century visitor logs
- Ideas for how small history institutions can support themselves
- The importance of mixing history, humanities, science, and curiosity
- Government support for history and history organizations
- How to get involved with “patriotic philanthropy”
- What we can do to become more well-informed citizens
Links to People, Places, and Publications
- David M. Rubenstein
- The American Experiment: Dialogues on a Dream
- David M. Rubenstein Gallery, United States National Archives Records of Rights
- Close Encounters in the Colonies exhibition at N-YHS New-York Historical Society
- David McCullough, The Wright Brothers
- For the Ages: A History Podcast
- The David Rubenstein Show: Peer to Peer Conversations
Support Ben Franklin's World
- Episode 018: Danielle Allen, Our Declaration
- Episode 038: Carolyn Harris, Magna Carta & Its Gifts to North America
- Episode 078: Rachel Shelden, Washington Brotherhood
- Episode 107: Mary Sarah Bilder, Madison’s Hand
- Episode 141: A Declaration in Draft
- Episode 143: Michael Klarman, The Making of the United States Constitution
- Episode 285: Elections and Voting in the Early Republic
In your opinion, what might have happened if John Dickinson had supported the move for Independence in 1776 and had written the Declaration of Independence instead of Thomas Jefferson? How do you think the founding of the United States might be different?
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