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POSTPONED: Verso University Presents: Author/Historian Darrin McMahon on ‘Equality: The History of an Elusive Idea’

December 5, 2023 @ 7:00 pm EST

David McMahon: Verso University, The History of an Elusive Idea: Equality


We live in a time of soaring inequalities, spanning wealth, race, identity, and nationality. Equality, in short, is in crisis. Yet, surprisingly, little historical work has been done to explore equality and its broader aspects.

Under the Verso University banner, Darrin McMahon will present a talk based on his sweeping new book, EQUALITY: The History of an Elusive Idea. In this definitive intellectual history, McMahon seeks to address the questions of how can we strive for equality if we don’t understand it? As much as we continue to struggle for equality, we have always remained profoundly skeptical about it. How much do we want, and for whom?

 Event will take place in the Trefz Forum on the Library's main level. 

EQUALITY  highlights the evolution of equality over time and charts its varied and surprising uses. Charting the “globalization of equality” over the course of the 20th century, McMahon surveys the various forces that now militate against it, contributing to our current crisis. But he also makes clear how short-term pessimism can blind us from equality’s long-term resilience and human beings’ protean capacity to reinvent it. EQUALITY is the definitive intellectual history, offering all the tools to rethink equality anew for our own age.

McMahon is the Mary Brinsmead Wheelock Professor of History at Dartmouth College. The author of Happiness: A History and Divine Fury: A History of Genius, he writes regularly for the national and international press. He is a resident of Westport.


Verso University at The Westport Library offers year-round high-level classes, workshops, and lectures designed to further education and learning — and above all, learning for a lifetime. Offerings will run the gamut of educational opportunities to take your learning to the next level, ranging from one-time lectures to ongoing courses to classes that meet weekly or perhaps monthly. And they will cover a wide variety of topics, with classes and courses to appeal to all ages and interests, from our younger patrons to our most experienced.

Verso University programs are made possible by the generous support of the Nancy J. Beard Lifelong Learning and Education Fund.

More Resources...
Equity, Diversity, Inclusion
Towards a More Perfect Union
History of the Equal Rights Amendment



December 5, 2023
7:00 pm EST
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The Westport Library
20 Jesup Road
Westport, CT 06880 United States
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