Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall

Heather Cox Richardson: 2025 Hatfield Lecture Series Kick-Off

Democracy Awakening: Notes on the State of America

Heather Cox Richardson is a professor of history at Boston College who writes widely about Reconstruction, the Civil War, and the history of the Republican Party. She is the author of seven books including, most recently, Democracy Awakening: Notes on the State of America, as well as the award-winning How the South Won the Civil War: Oligarchy, Democracy, and the Continuing Fight for the Soul of America. She also writes the popular newsletter, Letters from an American, a daily chronicle of American politics read by 1.4 million subscribers.

At a time when the very foundations of democracy seem under threat, the lessons of the past offer a roadmap for navigating a moment of political crisis in the United States. In Democracy Awakening, Richardson delves into the tumultuous journey of American democracy, revealing how the roots of authoritarianism can be traced back through the earliest days of the republic. With remarkable clarity and the same accessible voice that brings millions of readers to her daily newsletter, Richardson wrangles a chaotic news feed into a coherent story that singles out what we should pay attention to and what possible paths lie ahead.

An essential read for anyone concerned about the state of America, Democracy Awakening is more than a history book. Richardson reminds us that democracy is not a static institution but a living, evolving process that requires constant vigilance and participation from all of us. This powerful testament to the resilience of democratic ideals shows how we, as a nation, can take the lessons of the past to address today’s challenges and secure a more just and equitable future.

About the Mark O. Hatfield Lecture Series

For over 25 years, the Oregon Historical Society has presented the Mark O. Hatfield Lecture Series, bringing together the nation’s top historians and award-winning authors for thought-provoking evenings of history. The series began at the suggestion of Senator Hatfield and continues as a tribute to his legacy of public service and as an opportunity to share stories of the people and events that have shaped history. Past speakers include notable historians and authors Heather Cox Richardson, David McCullough, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Jon Meacham, Cokie Roberts, and Isabel Wilkerson.

2025 Mark O. Hatfield Lecture Series Speakers

Series line-up will be announced this August!

All lectures begin at 7pm and will be held at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall in downtown Portland as well as livestreamed. 

Tickets & Pricing

Listed prices are for Heather Cox Richardson ONLY. Tickets to the four-part series go on sale later in September.

Front Orchestra / Dress Circle
includes access to exclusive post-lecture reception with speakers
$111 $100
Mid-Orchestra / Front Mezzanine
$76 $66
Back Orchestra / Back Mezzanine
$46 $36
Sold exclusively through the Oregon Historical Society
includes access to livestream
$46 $36

A Note on General Admission Seating: The General Admission area at all Hatfield Lecture Series events has moved to open seating. To secure specific seats in advance, please purchase Reserved or Patron level tickets.

In-person tickets can be purchased at and in person at the Portland'5 Box Office (open Tuesday–Friday, 10am–6pm). A $5 transaction fee will be applied to each order at checkout.

Virtual-only tickets can be purchased online  through the Oregon Historical Society. Virtual ticketholders will attend the events via livestream.

All ticketholders will be emailed a recording of the lecture (closed captioning included) 48 hours after the event. The recording will be available for 14 days.

All sales are final. If you wish to donate your tickets and receive a receipt for tax purposes, please email with details on which ticket(s) you wish to donate.

Accessible Ticket Options

Student Tickets: Discounted tickets are available for students for $10. Bring your student photo ID to the Portland’5 Box Office to purchase tickets.

Educators: For discounted student rates, please contact

Arts for All Tickets: Discounted tickets are available for Oregon Trail Card holders through the Arts for All program for $5. Bring your Oregon Trail Card to the Portland’5 Box Office to purchase tickets.

Purchase a Signed Book

Copies of each speakers’ latest book (which include a signed bookplate) will be available for purchase before or after each lecture in the lobby of the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall. You can also visit the OHS Museum Store Monday through Saturday, 10am to 5pm, or Sunday, 12pm to 5pm, or place your order by emailing or calling 503.306.5230. All purchases in the OHS Museum Store support the Oregon Historical Society’s mission.

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