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A promotional poster for the film, "Join or Die." Photo courtesy of Rebecca and Pete Davis.
A promotional poster for the film, "Join or Die." Photo courtesy of Rebecca and Pete Davis.

Join Us on May 2 for a Screening of the Film, “Join or Die”

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We hope you can join us on May 2, 2024 at 5:30pm in the Library of Congress Jefferson Building’s Coolidge Auditorium for a screening of the film, “Join or Die.” This film is being screened in support of our Join In: Voluntary Associations in America exhibit.

Please register here.

A promotional poster for the film, "Join or Die." Photo courtesy of Rebecca and Pete Davis.
A promotional poster for the film, “Join or Die.” Photo courtesy of Rebecca and Pete Davis.


As the directors and producers, Rebecca and Pete Davis, explain:

Join or Die is a film about why you should join a club — and why the fate of America
depends on it. In this feature documentary, follow the half-century story of America’s
civic unraveling through the journey of legendary social scientist Robert Putnam,
whose groundbreaking “Bowling Alone” research into America’s decades-long decline
in community connections could hold the answers to our democracy’s present crisis.
Flanked by influential fans and scholars — from Hillary Clinton, Pete Buttigieg, and
Surgeon General Vivek Murthy to Eddie Glaude Jr., Raj Chetty, and Priya Parker — as
well as inspiring groups building community in neighborhoods across the country, join
Bob as he explores three urgent civic questions: What makes democracy work? Why is
American democracy in crisis? And, most importantly… What can we do about it?

We hope you can join us on Thursday, May 2, 2024!

Subscribe to In Custodia Legis – it’s free! – to receive interesting posts drawn from the Law Library of Congress’s vast collections and our staff’s expertise in U.S., foreign, and international law.

Comments (3)

  1. Hi, can we watch the movie virtually? I am in Canada so won’t be able to be there. Thank you. Regards, Adina

    • Hello. No, unfortunately this event does not have a streaming option.

  2. There is a context for these 1000 plus letters. They tell quite a story.
    Benjamin Franklins “Join or Die” cartoon is one of them. Its directly related.
    So yes. Join or Die.

    “History may distort truth, and will distort it for a time, by the superior efforts at justification of those who are conscious of needing it most. Nor will the opening scenes of our present government be seen in their true aspect, until the letters of the day, now held in private hoards, shall be broken up and laid open to public view. What a treasure will be found in General Washington’s cabinet, when it shall pass into the hands of as candid a friend to truth as he was himself!”

    All of these letters discuss an extremely clever constitutional legacy that Benjamin Franklin had authored. Some of the framers were propagating these letters to not only discuss it but prove it. They outsmarted George Mason in the constitutional convention because he didn’t recognize the fine print.
    The “treasure” is human life not money. People were also dying in Benjamin Franklins time which is why he wrote it in the first place. Most Americans desire it today.. so yes.. Join of Die. This could help save democracy because to a certain extent “the instrument” was Americas first alternative fact.
    This is law related and some laws today are unconstitutional.

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