The Soul of America

"Progress in American life, as we will see, has been slow, painful, bloody, and tragic. Across too many generations, women, African Americans, immigrants, and others have been denied the full promise of Thomas Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence. Yet the journey has gone on, and proceeds even now.” - Jon Meacham, in The Soul of America

This screening guide is designed for high school classroom teachers, community screening facilitators, and college professors to engage with the feature-length version of The Soul of America. The film covers case studies from American history in which our “better angels” and our worst instincts were in conflict. They address themes of xenophobia, racism, and economic disparity and insecurity while illustrating the significance of civic engagement, moral leadership, and ethical decision-making. The film is an informative and inspiring complement to teaching US history, government, and civics. This guide contains a statement from the filmmaker, background information on Jon Meacham, and suggested questions for pre- and post-screening discussion.


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