1.  Post-Soviet Countries.  The Academy was founded in 1987 when enormous changes were occurring in countries in Eastern Europe. Much has changed since 1991 when the Soviet Union collapsed, and on June 13, 2020, the Academy conducted a presentation that traces how Poland is attempting to recover from domination by the former Soviet Union.

You may access Dr. Marek Chodakiewicz‘ presentation titled “Losing My Country Twice and Finding it Once” at the American Academy of Distance Learning’s YouTube channel. 

Even before the collapse of the Soviet Union, communist parties in Poland negotiated access to power by representatives of Solidarity. In the ensuing thirty years, Poland has reaffirmed its identity as an independent nation and is designing its foreign policies in recognition of a resurgent Russian Empire.

2. Webcasts: The Academy is focused also on fostering understanding of forces contributing to the high cost and the decline of higher education in the Liberal Arts and how the “dumbing-down” of our educated citizens imperils the future of the United States. By means of Internet delivered Webcasts, the Academy provides a public space for discussion of important subjects. Here are links to previous Webcasts.

Teaching History of Western Civilization

Presentations on the theme “Loss of Country.” These presentations address how countries can be “lost,” by invasion and defeat in war, revolution as in 18th century France and by failure to educate its youth. The first three may be accessed on YouTube.com by going to “American Academy of Distance Learning.”

3. Zoom Discussions:

April 13, 2021Writing & The National Interest

As the United States undergoes transition from one President who advocated the American national interest to a successor who emphasizes global responsibility, we can look to fiction—novels—for leaders, “heroes” even. Even though we need “heroes’–even imagined Epic Heroes—to nourish our spirit, they are hard to find in American civil society.

“The epic hero starts out as an ordinary person, contemporary with his time. However, as the story unfolds, the epic hero becomes more apparent. He’s noted for quick-thinking, selflessness and/ or endurance. While the epic hero is usually on a physical journey, his inner journey is just as interesting to explore. When this hero comes face to face with evil, he must first fight the inner battle.”

A few heroes in 20th century novels come to mind.

Allen Drury’s first novel Advise and Consent, features the dogged effort of Senator Seabright Cooley of South Carolina to block the nomination of a Secretary of State who once had been a member of the Communist Party. 

Professor Tom Kemme writes that “Drury believed that the Soviet Union led an international totalitarian communist movement whose ultimate goal was world domination and that communists were willing to achieve that goal by whatever moral, immoral, or amoral means worked, including propaganda, lies, subversion, intimidation, infiltration, betrayal, and violence. A Drury thesis was that American liberalism contributed to communism’s incremental success in its war against American democratic capitalism.” 

Another, more recent, example of an “epic hero” is Jack Ryan in Tom Clancy’s Patriot Games (1987), Clear and Present Danger (1989), and The Sum of All Fears (1991).

In a search to find other novelists who write about American politics from the perspective of Tom Clancy or Allen Drury, I asked some of my conservative colleagues who have written novels to address the need for good story telling and engage them in a Zoom discussion of their novels.

4. Recorded Lectures: Some three hundred lectures were recorded by “Founding Faculty” of Yorktown University and experts who participated at university events. Here are representative recordings from that Archive.

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