Woodard discusses America’s contested founding story on BYU radio’s Top of Mind

The Nationhood Lab Director was the guest on Brigham Young University radio’s popular public affairs program and podcast hosted by Julie Rose and argued for the need for a revitalized civic national narrative for the United States

Nationhood Lab director Colin Woodard was a guest on “Top of Mind,” BYU Radio’s flagship current affairs program and podcast, to discuss the contested story of American founding and purpose with host Julie Rose.

Woodard discussed the eternal struggle between civic national and ethno-national versions of the story of United States identity, belonging, and purpose, a story he researched in his recent book, Union: The Struggle to Forge the Story of United States Nationhood.

“At the point when the people who had fought the American Revolution were passing from the stage they needed a real answer to ‘ok, who are we?’ and ‘what does it mean to be an American or a citizen of the United States,'” Woodard told host Julie Rose. “And there was a growing realization that if they didn’t come up with a solution that the union would fall apart.”

Rose also spoke with Peter Meineck, professor of classics at New York University, and Abby Reisman, Associate Professor of Teacher Education at the University of Pennsylvania, for the conversation parsing the complications of agreeing and teaching our national story.

“Top of Mind” is available in podcast form at Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Stitcher, and other platforms. It can be heard nationwide on SiriusXM Satellite Radio channel 143, byuradio.org or, in the Salt Lake City metropolitan area, on 107.9 FM. BYU Radio is based at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah.

Nationhood Lab, a project of Salve Regina University’s Pell Center for International Relations and Public Policy, focuses on counteracting the authoritarian threat to American democracy and the centrifugal forces threatening the federation’s stability. One pillar of the project seeks to develop, rigorously test, and disseminate articulate a renewed civic national narrative for the United States.