CCS Book Club Feb. 22

CCS Book Club Feb. 22

Center for Constitutional Studies Book Club

The American founders framed a republic reliant on citizens both knowing our constitutional system and feeling a responsibility to engage in civic life.

To promote and enrich understanding about our constitutional republic and inspire healthy civic participation, the Center for Constitutional Studies (CCS) at Utah Valley University (UVU) hosts a community book club.

Meeting every few months and open to all, these constitutional conversations are facilitated by a faculty or staff member from CCS.


  • Held Thursday, February 22, 2024 on UVU campus in Fulton Library (FL) 120.
  • See photos of the event
  • Watch online on YouTube
  • Discussion focused on The Myth of Left and Right: How the Political Spectrum Misleads and Harms America, by Hyrum Lewis and Verlan Lewis.
  • Dr. Savannah Eccles Johnston, Assistant Professor of Political Science at Salt Lake Community College, facilitated the discussion.
  • Other panelists included Becky Edwards, former member of the Utah House of Representatives and Stockton Haws, Tocqueville Fellow, UVU Center for Constitutional Studies
  • Co-author Dr. Verlan Lewis, Stirling Chair of Constitutional Studies at Utah Valley University, was on hand to take questions from the audience.

Discussion Questions for Feb. 22

  • How do the authors argue that the “left-right” political spectrum is misleading? In what ways do you agree or disagree? 
  • How do the authors argue that the “left-right” political spectrum is harmful to constitutional government? In what ways do you agree or disagree? 
  • What is the relationship between the “left-right” political spectrum and political parties? In what way do you think parties could strengthen or undermine American constitutionalism? 
  • If “left” and “right” are not viable political principles, what political principles should guide constitutionally minded citizens in examining public affairs, debating political issues, and voting for candidates? 

CCS lyceum with Glori Smith

Inspiration for CCS Book Club

Book clubs were a fixture of civic life for colonial Americans. For example, on a ship bound for the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1634, reformer Anne Hutchinson organized a female discussion group to examine weekly sermons.

In 1727, Benjamin Franklin founded the Junto Club, whose members pooled their books to create a library where they could meet weekly to discuss them in light of the issues of the day.

Hannah Mather Crocker organized a female reading society in Boston in 1778 to study science and read the belles lettres, or the salient literary works available at the time.

In that same spirit of discussion and learning that abounded in the founding era, the CCS Book Club seeks to bring people and books together to better understand and appreciate the threads of history, philosophy, government, and citizenship woven into the national fabric and what they call us to do today.