Published on: October 14th, 2022

Hillsdale College Launches New Online Course:

“The Real American Founding: A Conversation”
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HILLSDALE, Mich. — Hillsdale College announces its newest online course, “The Real American Founding: A Conversation.” The free series, released October 11, is taught by Hillsdale College Professor of Politics Thomas G. West and Assistant Professor of Government at Hillsdale College in D.C. David Azerrad.

“Professor West is one of the most knowledgeable people in the country on the political thought of America’s Founders,” said Kyle Murnen, director of online learning at Hillsdale College. “We’re excited to release this course in which he sits down with his former student, and now colleague, Professor Azerrad for a fascinating conversation about what our Founders thought and did and how that compares to politics in America today.”

Thomas G. West holds the Paul Ermine Potter and Dawn Tibbetts Potter Professorship in Politics at Hillsdale College, where he teaches both undergraduate and graduate students. He earned his undergraduate degree at Cornell and his Ph.D. in Government at Claremont Graduate University. He is the author of two books on American political thought: “The Political Theory of the American Founding: Natural Rights, Public Policy, and the Moral Conditions of Freedom,” and “Vindicating the Founders: Race, Sex, Class, and Justice in the Origins of America.”

David Azerrad is an assistant professor and research fellow at Hillsdale College’s Van Andel Graduate School of Government in Washington, D.C. He earned his undergraduate degree from Concordia University, his master’s degree from Carleton University, and his Ph.D. from the University of Dallas. His writings have appeared in various publications, including “The Claremont Review of Books,” “National Affairs,” “First Things,” “The Times (of London),” and “Newsweek.” He has also appeared on national television in Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

“The Real American Founding” includes lessons on:

  • equality and the natural law
  • rights and consent
  • foreign and domestic policy
  • morality and virtue
  • sex and marriage
  • property rights and economics
  • the American people

“This is a great opportunity for anyone interested in moving beyond the typical civics course and learning how the Founders confronted the perennial problems of politics,” said Murnen.

View the course’s trailer or to sign up for the course here.

About Hillsdale in D.C.

Hillsdale in D.C. is an extension of the teaching mission of Hillsdale College to Washington, D.C. Its purpose is to teach the Constitution and the principles that give it meaning. Through the study of original source documents from American history—and of older books that formed the education of America’s founders—it seeks to inspire students, teachers, citizens, and policymakers to return the America’s principles to their central place in the political life of the nation.

About Hillsdale College

Hillsdale College is an independent liberal arts college located in southern Michigan. Founded in 1844, the College has built a national reputation through its classical liberal arts core curriculum and its principled refusal to accept federal or state taxpayer subsidies, even indirectly in the form of student grants or loans. It also conducts an outreach effort promoting civil and religious liberty, including a free monthly speech digest, Imprimis, with a circulation of more than 5.7 million. For more information, visit