Classes by David Bisno


After 25 years of presenting a myriad of fascinating topics, David now keeps his focus on Viennese History, The Supreme Court, and Fascism in America.

Viennese Cultural History

David brings alive the art, architecture, music, literature, science, medicine and philosophy of a glittering city riven with hypocrisy, fraying away between river and vineyard as everyone was drinking, dining, and waltzing in three quarter time.

Select from a number of fascinating lectures, all done in an informal, fun manner, highlighted with beautiful slides.

  • The Johann Strauss Family – Sex, Betrayal and Genius along with Waltzes, Polkas, Operas, Marches, and Mazurkas
  • Fin de Siècle Vienna, its history, art, science, culture, and literature
  • The Lady in Gold
  • The Life and Literature of Zweig, Schnitzler, and Freud
  • Sex, Betrayal, and Counterespionage – The Case of Colonel Alfred Redl
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel and Stefan Zweig – The Impossible Exile
  • Viennese Hypocrisy; the good, the bad, the beautiful and the ugly;
  • Meitner, Heisenberg, Bohr, Nuclear Fission and Copenhagen
  • Gustav Klimt and the Viennese Femme Fatale
  • Herzl and Hitler – Anti-Semitism explained
  • Schloss Leopoldskron, Max Reinhardt, and the Salzburg Seminar

The Supreme Court and Constitutional Law


Having studied Constitutional Law at the Harvard Law School and the Law School of the College of William and Mary, David has honed his skill at making clear and understandable for lay audiences the challenges and competing interests inherent in our Bill of Rights. Often humorous, always nuanced, never advocating, David’s presentations on the present cases before the Supreme Court involving Free Speech, Separation of Church and State, and Equal Protection always leave his audiences with an appreciation for those wise restraints which make men free.

Subjects for presentation (your choice) can include:

  • Free Speech, Private Speech – Government Speech
  • Tensions and Challenges Separating Church, State and the Right to Discriminate
  • Equal Protection of the Laws – Hard Won Battles…..they are never over
  • The 2nd Amendment and Guns
  • The Meaning of Liberty ….who decides?
  • Privacy in the Digital Age
  • The Right to Abortion
  • The History of Women’s Rights
  • Jewish Justice and Justices
  • Sex and Sexual Orientation

“Is This How Fascism Comes to America?”

With Madeleine Albright’s current best seller, Fascism – A Warning, as a guide, David considers the reshaping of politics and society that is sweeping Europe, Asia and South America with an emphasis on the disturbing parallels of nationalism and tribalism that we see unfolding here in the United States.

Are we in the U.S., the nation that saved the liberal world order seventy-five years ago, missing a critical truth by viewing the world through the distorting, rose colored lens of what has been our all-too-comfortable bubble?

Have we forgotten that when things start to go wrong, they can go wrong very quickly? That once a world order breaks down, the worst qualities of humanity emerge uncontrolled and run wild?

Discussion is guaranteed to be relevant and lively.

As presented in Santa Barbara, March 25, 2019


David will be happy to discuss with you which particular subject, whether a topic in Viennese History, the Supreme Court or Fascism in America, will be “just right” for your group.

David Bisno Lectures