The Dying Citizen
Tuesday, April 12, 2022 | Warren Room, Berkeley Law
The Public Law & Policy Program and the Berkeley Law student chapter of the Federalist Society present New York Times bestselling author, Victor Davis Hanson, who explains the decline and fall of the once-cherished idea of American citizenship.
Human history is full of the stories of peasants, subjects, and tribes. Yet the concept of the “citizen” is historically rare — and was among America’s most valued ideals for over two centuries. But without shock treatment, warns historian Victor Davis Hanson, American citizenship as we have known it may soon vanish.
In The Dying Citizen, Hanson outlines the historical forces that led to this crisis. The evisceration of the middle class over the last 50 years has made many Americans dependent on the federal government. Open borders have undermined the idea of allegiance to a particular place. Identity politics have eradicated our collective civic sense of self. And a top-heavy administrative state has endangered personal liberty, along with formal efforts to weaken the Constitution.
Victor Davis Hanson is the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow in Residence in Classics and Military History at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, a professor of Classics Emeritus at California State University, Fresno, and a nationally syndicated columnist for Tribune Media Services.
He is also the Wayne & Marcia Buske Distinguished Fellow in History, Hillsdale College, where he teaches each fall semester courses in military history and classical culture.
Hanson was awarded the National Humanities Medal in 2007, and the Bradley Prize in 2008, as well as the Edmund Burke Award (2018), William F. Buckley Prize (2015), the Claremont Institute’s Statesmanship Award (2006), and the Eric Breindel Award for opinion journalism (2002).
Hanson, who was the fifth successive generation to live in the same house on his family’s farm, was a full-time orchard and vineyard grower from 1980-1984, before joining the nearby CSU Fresno campus in 1984 to initiate a classical languages program. In 1991, he was awarded an American Philological Association Excellence in Teaching Award, which is given yearly to the country’s top undergraduate teachers of Greek and Latin.
Hanson has been a National Endowment for the Humanities fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford, California (1992-93), a visiting professor of classics at Stanford University (1991-92), an Alexander Onassis Fellow (2001), and was named alumnus of the year of the University of California, Santa Cruz (2002).
He has served as a presidential appointee to American Battle Monuments Commission (2007-8), and a board member on the H. F Guggenheim Foundation, and currently serves on the Bradley Foundation Board of Directors.
He was also the visiting Shifrin Professor of Military History at the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland (2002-3). He received the Manhattan Institute’s Wriston Lectureship in 2004, and the 2006 Nimitz Lectureship in Military History at UC Berkeley in 2006. He has also been visiting William Simon Professor (2009, 20012, 20013-4) at the Pepperdine University Graduate School of Public Policy, and received an honorary doctorate of Law from the Pepperdine Law School.
Hanson is the author of hundreds of articles, book reviews, scholarly papers, and newspaper editorials on matters ranging from ancient Greek, agrarian and military history to foreign affairs, domestic politics, and contemporary culture.