Freedom. If one word captures the essence of the American project, freedom is that word. The American colonists rebelled to establish their freedom from British rule. The framers of the American Constitution structured the federal government to preserve the freedom of the people. The victors in the American Civil War added the thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth amendments to the Constitution to end slavery, a cruel offense against humanity that had mocked the American commitment to freedom, and to extend to the former slaves a full and equal freedom as citizens of a reformed republic. In 1920, as the culmination of a heroic decades-long campaign against another mocking flaw in the American commitment to freedom, the nineteenth amendment became law, guaranteeing women the right to vote. In stated aspiration, if not always in fact, and with mixed success, American governments have sought to nurture and protect freedom around the world. I want to devote this space to a careful exploration of freedom in all its aspects.