Bartlett Center launches “Civil Discourses” event series with Pulitzer-winning historian Gordon S. Wood

The Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy announces the creation of a new event series, Civil Discourses, to promote public discussion of civics, policy and the humanities. The series will launch on Thursday, April 19 — the anniversary of the start of the Revolutionary War — with a lecture by Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Gordon S. Wood at the American Independence Museum’s historic Folsom Tavern.

“The social, cultural and technological trends of the moment are drawing us away from our founding promise of a nation shaped by civil discourse and toward tribal clustering, which breeds hostility, distrust and incivility,” Andrew Cline, president of the Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy, said. “As an institution dedicated to the free and open exchange of ideas, the Josiah Bartlett Center is creating our Civil Discourses event series to counter these corrosive trends and create new opportunities for Granite Staters to encounter, discuss and debate ideas.”

To launch its Civil Discourses event series, the center will hold a luncheon with historian Gordon S. Wood at Exeter’s Folsom Tavern at noon on Thursday, April 19. Dr. Wood, winner of the Pulitzer and Bancroft Prizes, will discuss his new book, “Friends Divided: John Adams and Thomas Jefferson.”

“We could not imagine a better inaugural event for our Civil Discourses series than a talk about a deep and affectionate friendship between two of America’s most bitter political enemies, held at an authentic Revolutionary War tavern on the anniversary of the opening shots of the American Revolution,” Cline said.

Gordon S. Wood is professor of history emeritus at Brown University and a best-selling author of numerous award-winning books on the American founding. He won the Bancroft Prize for his first book, “Creation of the American Republic, 1776-1787,” and the Pulitzer Prize for “The Radicalism of the American Revolution.” In 2011, President Obama awarded him the National Humanities Medal.

The event costs $25 per person and includes a catered lunch and a tour of the historic tavern by docents of the American Independence Museum. Copies of “Friends Divided” and other books by the author will be available for purchase and signing, with a portion of the proceeds going to support the Josiah Bartlett Center.

For reservations, go to