We the Readers Book Club

We the Readers Book Club

We the Readers Book Club is meant to feed our minds and hearts. Conversation is around the book’s content and constitutional, legal, and/or civic connections, but does not necessarily relate to any curriculum or teaching.  The book club is meant to build friendships and community between teachers and colleagues.

      • No Book Club participant is required to attend all of the meetings.
      • PDUs may be available – check with your Book Club facilitator.
      • Continuing Education Graduate credits are available through Lewis & Clark. Register HERE for CLP Book Club, course number CESS 833-01.

Register now for Portland Metro or Central Oregon.

2022-23 Portland Metro Book List

April 20, 2023

The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together

By Heather McGhee

ISBN# 978-0525509585

McGhee embarks on a deeply personal journey across the country from Maine to Mississippi to California, tallying what we lose when we buy into the zero-sum paradigm—the idea that progress for some of us must come at the expense of others. Along the way, she meets white people who confide in her about losing their homes, their dreams, and their shot at better jobs to the toxic mix of American racism and greed. This is the story of how public goods in this country—from parks and pools to functioning schools—have become private luxuries; of how unions collapsed, wages stagnated, and inequality increased; and of how this country, unique among the world’s advanced economies, has thwarted universal healthcare.

May 11, 2023

When We Cease to Understand the World

By Benjamin Labatut

ISBN# 978-1782276142

With breakneck pace and wondrous detail, Benjamín Labatut uses the imaginative resources of fiction to break open the stories of scientists and mathematicians who expanded our notions of the possible.


2022-23 Central Oregon Book List


Book Cover for This Tender Land by William Kent KruegerMay 11, 2023

This Tender Land

By William Kent Krueger

ISBN# 978-1476749297

In the summer of 1932, on the banks of Minnesota’s Gilead River, the Lincoln Indian Training School is a pitiless place where Native American children, forcibly separated from their parents, are sent to be educated. It is also home to Odie O’Banion, a lively orphan boy whose exploits constantly earn him the superintendent’s wrath. Odie and his brother, Albert, are the only white faces among the hundreds of Native American children at the school.


2022-23 Past Portland and Central Oregon Books List

October 6, 2022 – Portland

Become America

By Eric Liu

ISBN 978-1632172570

What does it mean to be an engaged American in today’s divided political landscape, and how do we restore hope in our country? In a collection of “civic sermons” delivered at gatherings around the nation, popular advocate for active citizenship Eric Liu takes on these thorny questions and provides inspiration and solace in a time of anger, fear, and dismay over the state of the Union.


August 29, 2022 – Central Oregon

American Nations

By Colin Woodard

ISBN# 9780670022960

Colin Woodard leads us on a journey through the history of our fractured continent, and the rivalries and alliances between its component nations, which conform to neither state nor international boundaries. He illustrates and explains why “American” values vary sharply from one region to another. Woodard reveals how intranational differences have played a pivotal role at every point in the continent’s history, from the American Revolution and the Civil War to the tumultuous sixties and the “blue county/red county” maps of recent presidential elections. American Nations is a revolutionary and revelatory take on America’s myriad identities and how the conflicts between them have shaped our past and are molding our future.

Thank you for arguing

October 4, 2022 – Central Oregon

Thank You for Arguing

By Jay Heinrichs

ISBN# 9780593237380

Now in its fourth edition, Jay Heinrichs’s Thank You for Arguing is your master class in the art of persuasion, taught by history’s greatest professors, ranging from Queen Victoria and Winston Churchill to Homer Simpson and Barack Obama. Additionally, Heinrichs considers the dark arts of persuasion, such as politicians’ use of coded language to appeal to specific groups. His sage guide has been fully updated to address our culture of “fake news” and political polarization. 

December 8, 2022

History, Disrupted: How Social Media and the World Wide Web Have Changed the Past

By Jason Steinhauer

ISBN 978-3030851163

The Internet has changed the past. Social media, Wikipedia, mobile networks, and the viral and visual nature of the Web have inundated the public sphere with historical information and misinformation, changing what we know about our history and History as a discipline. As we collectively grapple with the effects of technology and its capacity to destabilize our societies, scholars, educators and the general public should be aware of how the Web and social media shape what we know about ourselves – and crucially, about our past.


January 5, 2023

A Brilliant Solution: Inventing the American Constitution

By Carol Berkin

ISBN# 9780156028721

The group of men who travelled to Philadelphia in the summer of 1787 had no idea what kind of history their meeting would make. But all their ideas, arguments, and compromises—from the creation of the Constitution itself, article by article, to the insistence that it remain a living, evolving document—laid the foundation for a government that has surpassed the founders’ greatest hopes. 

February 9, 2023

The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee

By David Treuer

ISBN# 978-0399573194

In The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee, Treuer melds history with reportage and memoir. Tracing the tribes’ distinctive cultures from first contact, he explores how the depredations of each era spawned new modes of survival. The devastating seizures of land gave rise to increasingly sophisticated legal and political maneuvering that put the lie to the myth that Indians don’t know or care about property. The forced assimilation of their children at government-run boarding schools incubated a unifying Native identity. Conscription in the US military and the pull of urban life brought Indians into the mainstream and modern times, even as it steered the emerging shape of self-rule and spawned a new generation of resistance. The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee is the essential, intimate story of a resilient people in a transformative era.


Just Mercy

March 7, 2023

Just Mercy

By Bryan Stevenson

ISBN# 593177045

Stevenson’s story is one of working to protect basic human rights for the most vulnerable people in American society–the poor, the wrongly convicted, and those whose lives have been marked by discrimination and marginalization. Through this adaptation, young people of today will find themselves called to action and compassion in the pursuit of justice.


March 9, 2023

How Civil Wars Start

By Barbara F. Walter

ISBN# 978-0241429761

In How Civil Wars Start, acclaimed expert Barbara F. Walter, who has advised on political violence everywhere from the CIA to the U.S. Senate to the United Nations, explains the rise of civil war and the conditions that create it. As democracies across the world backslide and citizens become more polarised, civil wars will become even more widespread and last longer than they have in the past. This urgent and important book shows us a path back toward peace.

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