Quest Learning Community

A communal learning experience for adults
designed to expand one's intellectual and social world.

History

These courses are offered by the Quest Lifelong Learning Community. For more information on Quest, click here and also see more details at the bottom of this page.

 

THE CONSTITUTION: ITS HISTORY AND DEVELOPMENT

Coordinators: Michael Wellner, Bob Gottfried, David Judlowitz

“The Court just ruled that that law is unconstitutional!” How many times have we heard that recently? This course will examine in depth the US Constitution: its origins, the Philadelphia Convention, the battle to get it ratified (it was close!), and its changes over its 230 year history.

 

FAMOUS CON ARTISTS 

Coordinators: Mary Beth Yakoubian, Jerry Wiesenberg

We will look at the lives and scams of some notorious con artists, both real and fictional, whose names have become household words. Con artists are greedy hucksters who sell us possibilities that never come true, but Americans have a soft spot for them. We are enraptured by scoundrels, for they showcase our passion for ingenuity and resourcefulness.

 

HISTORY OF ISLAMIC CIVILIZATION

Coordinators: Caroline Thompson, Steve Allen, Larry Shapiro

For close to one thousand years, Islamic civilization dominated a large part of the world and was a center for great advances in knowledge and the arts. To this day, about one-quarter of the world’s people follow some form of Islamic belief. How could a small group of people in a relatively undeveloped desert region establish themselves as a great and lasting power in less than one hundred years? We will devote three terms to exploring the many facets of this fascinating story.

 

MOVERS & SHAKERS

Coordinators: Caroline Thompson, Jane Lubin

We will examine the lives and accomplishments of outstanding people whose ideas and actions have had
a lasting influence on our society, whether for good or evil. Tentative subjects to be covered for the academic year 2018-19 include Margaret Sanger, the Borgias, William Randolph Hearst, and Dmitri Shostakovich.

 

THE ROARING TWENTIES 

Coordinators: Wayne Cotter, Leslie Goldman, Michael Wellner

The 1920s witnessed dramatic social, political and cultural change. For the first time, more Americans were living in cities than on farms. As the nation’s total wealth more than doubled during the decade, many Americans were filling their free time with jazz, the cinema and demon alcohol. In this course, we’ll focus on Prohibition, women’s suffrage, silent films, the Jazz Age, and the advent of radio. We’ll also look at some of the larger-than-life personalities that dominated the decade.

 

TURNING POINTS IN AMERICAN HISTORY

Coordinators: Harriet Finkelstein, Bob Reiss, Sandra Southwell

America is a phenomenon—a country that was formally established less than 250 years ago has evolved into the most powerful nation on earth. How did we get to where we are today? This semester will include the following topics: The New Deal, The Manhattan Project, The Battle of Midway, suburbanization, The Berlin Airlift & The Cold War.

 

THE VIETNAM WAR

Coordinators: Michael Wellner, Jill Altman, John Spiegel

It is no exaggeration to say that every one of us at Quest was directly affected by our country’s decade-long involvement in the Vietnam War. This course will examine the long history of this Southeast Asian country, the role of the French, how the United States became involved in the first place, and finally how the war dragged on for so long (and cost so many lives). It’s a fascinating, sad story, with lessons for us that are applicable today.

 

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