Hiram College

What better way to connect new students than through a common book?

Each year, a faculty committee selects a new Common Reading book that aligns with the year’s Ethics theme.  An electronic copy of the book will be loaded onto student iPads and will be an integral part of classwork during onsite orientation sessions. The book is then incorporated into First Year Enduring Questions and Urgent Questions courses.

A Common Reading experience is often seen as a great way for new students to embark upon the intellectual challenges of the college experience. 

The 2021-2022 Ethics Theme is 20 Years of the Hiram College Teach-In.  

The 2021-2022 Common Reading is On Tyranny:  Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century (2017) by Timothy Snyder. 

In November of 2016, Yale University History Professor Timothy Snyder took to Twitter with a list of maxims aimed at maintaining a democratic society.  Among them:

– Do not obey in advance.

– Defend insitutions.

– Beware the one-party state.

– Take responsibility for the face of the world.

Each lesson was a followed by Snyder’s refletion – on American history, on the precedents of authoritarian rule, or on the hard work of creating and maintaining a just government.  In On Tyranny, Snyder draws readers through 20 clear, easy-to-digest lessons, prompting them to examine and reflect upon their place in American civil society today.  Full of provoking questions, invaluable ideas, and lessons from history, On Tyranny provides a guidebook for resisting totalitarianisum in an increasingly uncertain world.


List of Previous Common Readings