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Join us for an author talk by Ryan Bernsten. His book is entitled 50 States of Mind: A Journey to Rediscover American Democracy.


Is America as divided as it seems? As a graduate student at Oxford, Ryan Bernsten undertook a 23,000-mile journey through all 50 states to look beyond the news cycles and see his home country from the ground. Following in the footsteps of Alexis de Tocqueville, Bernsten leads with the desire to listen and find common humanity in Americans he meets across the country. Bernsten ultimately offers a hopeful vision for the future of America, as he embarks on a search for meaning and reflects on what it means to be American. This book is a companion to the podcast 50 States of Mind which showcases interviews
from the journey and is available on all podcast platforms.


Author Ryan Bernsten Ryan Bernsten is a graduate of the University of Oxford’s Creative Writing Master’s program and has written for The Oxford Political Review, USA Today, The Infatuation, The Oxymoron, and The Trevor Project where he currently serves as senior managing editor. He moved to Kansas City after falling in love with the town on his journey to all 50 states. You may have seen him onstage at the Unicorn Theatre in “The Inheritance” or chatting with Helen Mirren as a Slytherin contestant on “Harry Potter: Hogwarts Tournament of Houses” on HBO Max.


In a time of divisive politics, 50 States of Mind began as a graduate thesis project about the state of American democracy and grew into a 23,000-mile journey to all 50 states to talk to people on the ground. 50 States of Mind the thesis earned a distinction from the University of Oxford before launching as a podcast made possible through the King’s Hall Trust. 50 States of Mind, which has listeners in over 40 countries and in all 50 States, has been featured on the Two Broads Talking Politics, Sanity, Chicago Indivisible, Northwestern Intersections, and Travel For a Loop podcasts and in Condé Nast Traveler. 50
States of Mind aims to infuse humanity and nuance back into conversations about politics to help us overcome our preconceived notions.