A User’s Guide to Democracy from Civics 101


Recently, the Illinois Civics Hub hosted a book discussion with Nick Capodice and Hannah McCarthy, co hosts and executive producers for New Hampshire Public Radio’s Civics 101 Podcast. Nick and Hannah’s podcast is a “go to” resource for 6-12 civics classrooms for concise, easy to understand content on how our constitutional republic works.

A User’s Guide to Democracy: How America Works is Nick and Hannah’s answer to a beginner’s civics textbook, complete with witty and creative illustrations from Tom Toro that is sure to make complex topics like federalism and checks and balances come to life. Good Reads explains:

Within this book are the keys to knowing what you’re talking about when you argue politics with the uncle you only see at Thanksgiving. It’s the book that sits on your desk for quick reference when the nightly news boggles your mind. This approachable and informative guide gives you the lowdown on everything from the three branches of government, to what you can actually do to make your vote count, to how our founding documents affect our daily lives. Now is the time to finally understand who does what, how they do it, and the best way to get them to listen to you.

Nick and Hannah shared their personal story of how they came to seek a deeper understanding of all things civics and their journey in crafting this book — responding to participant questions throughout. If you missed the webinar, you can access a recording on the Illinois Civics Webinar Archive.

If you are unfamiliar with the Civics 101 podcast, be sure to peruse their episode archive, educator resource page and sign up for their Extra Credit newsletter.

Civics 101 is just one of several civic learning partners the Illinois Civics Hub collaborates with to support implementation of the Illinois civics course requirements in middle and high school. This summer, the Illinois Civics Hub is offering free professional development that educators can participate in online- both in person and on demand. Visit the Professional Development Calendar to register for opportunities to learn from the Stanford History Education Group, the Bill of Rights Institute, iCivics, the Chicago History Museum, the American Bar Association, the Illinois Holocaust Museum, the National Archives and Dr. Steven D. Schwinn from the John Marshall Law School at UIC.