How it works:

The Joy of History Book Club convenes once a month via Zoom. Each meeting is limited to 20 people to allow for an intimate, highly interactive, participatory experience. The Spring series is currently scheduled:

  • second Saturdays of the month, from 1–3 PM
  • (March 13,  April 10,  May 8)

Scroll below to take a look at what we’ll be reading. Purchase the books you want to read from the vendors of your choosing. Or check them out at your local library!

At The Joy of History, there is never any requirement to read the book. Come to the meeting anyway and be enriched by the discussion!

Spring Series: E Pluribus Unum/Out of Many, One:

The Ideals, The People, The Continent

Explore America’s Beginnings! From the ideals & people that inspired it to the continental story unfolding around it. There has never been a more relevant time to understand the events—and unfinished challenges—in the founding of our republic!

Spring Books:

Sat: March 13, 1-3 pm
The Radicalism of the American Revolution
by Gordon S. Wood (1993)

Recalibrate your understanding of the American Revolution, the transformative event that created our democracy and unleashed the concept of equality on the world. Winner of the Pullitzer Prize.

Sat: April 10, 1-3 pm
West of the Revolution
by Claudio Saunt (2014)

Change your vantage point. Put the American Revolution in the larger geopolitical context of the other revolutionary events that rocked North America in 1776 – from the Spanish in San Francisco to the Russians in Alaska, the Sioux in the Black Hills, and more.

Sat: May 8, 1-3 pm
Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation
by Joseph J. Ellis (2000)

Immerse yourself in six vignettes focused on key events and decisions that shed light on the personalities and power-brokering of Alexander Hamilton, Aaron Burr, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, John Adams, and James Madison as they grappled with making the dream of the United States a reality. Winner of the Pullitzer Prize.

Register for the option that suits you:

The series runs on the second Saturdays of March, April, and May. If you have to miss a meeting for the day you signed up for, recordings of each meeting will be made available (privately) for one week.

Attend individual monthly meetings in a series — $29.99 for 1 meeting
This is a great way to try out The Joy of History Book Club.
Attend this full 3-month series — $69.99
It will take you deep inside these topics and themes through multiple perspectives.

Sneak Peek: coming next!

See what’s on the reading list for the Summer and Fall Series 2021...

Summer series:
Wests, Westering & Westerners

Sat: June 12
Ties That Bind: The Story of an Afro-Cherokee Family in Slavery and Freedom by Tiya Miles (2nd Edition, 2015)
Sat: July 10
A Wicked War: Polk, Clay, Lincoln and the 1846 U.S. Invasion of Mexico by Amy Greenberg (2013)
Sat: Sept 11
Imperfect Union: How Jesse and John Fremont Mapped the West, Invented Celebrity, and Helped Cause the Civil War by Steve Inskeep (2020)

Fall series:
California Dreamin’

Sat: Oct 9
Buddha In the Attic by Julie Otsuka (2012)
Sat: Nov 13
Mad at the World: A Life of John Steinbeck by William Souder (2020)
Sat: Dec 11
The Entertainer: Movies, Magic and My Father’s Twentieth Century by Margaret Talbot (2013)


If your schedule doesn’t permit you to join an event right now, sign up to get notified when new TJOH Book Clubs and other opportunities are launched.

The Joy of History (logo)
Using the Past to Empower Your Present
Barbara Berglund Sokolov, PhD started The Joy of History in 2020 to foster a community of learning in these historic times we find ourselves living in. She is a native San Franciscan and a scholar of California and the American West. Read more about her here.