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About the Author

Eric Foner is the preeminent historian of his generation. His books have won the top awards in the profession, and he has been president of both major history organizations, the American Historical Association and the Organization of American Historians. He is the author of Give Me Liberty!, which mostrar mais displays all of his trademark strengths as a scholar, teacher, and writer. A specialist on the Civil War/Reconstruction period, he regularly teaches the nineteenth-century survey at Columbia University, where he is DeWitt Clinton Professor of History. In 2011, Foner's The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery won the Pulitzer Prize in History, the Bancroft Prize, and the Lincoln Prize. His Gateway to Freedom: The Hidden History of the Underground Railroad is a 2015 New York Times bestseller. (Bowker Author Biography) mostrar menos
Image credit: Photo by Greer Gattuso (© 2005 Eric Foner)

Obras de Eric Foner

The Story of American Freedom (1998) 654 cópias
The Reader's Companion to American History (1991) — Editor — 545 cópias
The New American History (1990) — Editor — 153 cópias
Our Lincoln: New Perspectives on Lincoln and His World (2008) — Editor; Contribuinte — 117 cópias
Dance for a City (1999) — Editor — 21 cópias
Nat Turner (Great Lives Observed) (1971) — Editor — 15 cópias
BATTLE PIECES 1 exemplar(es)

Associated Works

Rights of Man (1791) — Introdução, algumas edições2,350 cópias
American Colonies: The Settling of North America (2001) — Editor — 1,303 cópias
American Slavery, 1619-1877 (1993) — Editor, algumas edições581 cópias
The American Revolution (1975) — Consulting Editor — 315 cópias
First Generations: Women in Colonial America (1996) — Editor — 186 cópias
American Reformers, 1815-1860 (1978) — Editor — 175 cópias
Ken Burns's The Civil War: Historians Respond (1996) — Contribuinte — 152 cópias
The Modern Temper: American Culture and Society in the 1920s (1995) — Consulting editor — 102 cópias
American Populism : A Social History, 1877-1898 (1992) — Editor — 83 cópias
Critical White Studies: Looking Behind the Mirror (1997) — Contribuinte — 57 cópias
The American Radical (1994) — Prefácio — 38 cópias
The Harvard Guide to African-American History (2001) — Contribuinte — 30 cópias
The Evolution of Southern Culture (1988) — Contribuinte — 17 cópias
The Hofstadter aegis, a memorial (1974) — Contribuinte — 9 cópias
The Story of America: Beginnings to 1914 (2006) — Contribuinte, algumas edições6 cópias


Conhecimento Comum



Eric Foner has always been a calming voice of reason. A historian by trade, he peppers his articles with perspective. History has seen it all, and today is just more of the same. This is dramatically on display in Battles for Freedom, a collection of his The Nation articles, which began in 1977. In them, readers will see the very same issues they anguish over today, plus historical context the media seem to not want to know about. It is a smooth and easy read, with lots of issues readers might think are new and unique. But Foner shows they are anything but.

In article from the late 90s called Our Monumental Mistakes, Foner examines the then (as now) blazing controversy over Civil War monuments. Should they be taken down? Should the war’s defeated be allowed to lionize their failed leaders? And who really were the people being given statues? A little digging shows that “most Confederate monuments were erected between 1890 and 1920 under the leadership of the United Daughters of the Confederacy.” This means they were offered to localities. It was not the case that residents clamored for them to be erected. The monuments glorify people like the founder of the Ku Klux Klan, for example. And all those horse-mounted heroes are situated facing north, never retreating but always attacking the Union armies. Games. And the US is still playing them, this round with Proud Boys and Neo-Nazis defending the statues of traitors.

The way American monuments lie about the past come in all kinds of flavors, but all amounting to lies just the same. In his usual polite manner, Foner simply says “Amnesia best describes America’s official stance regarding slavery.”

In another chapter, he examines schooling in Texas, where never was heard discouraging word, giving students a totally distorted view of the nation. He says high schoolers learn about Phyllis Schlafly, The Moral Majority, The Heritage Foundation, the Contract with America, and the NRA. All ultra-conservative, and hardly representative of anything but failed extremism. Today, Texas has added massive book banning to ensure its young never see reality. As Foner says later: “America was created perfect and has just been getting better ever since.”

He is dumbfounded by the attacks on affirmative action. This after diagnosing the Reconstruction era as hypocritical, and the Jim Crow era that immediately followed, undoing what little equality and affirmative action was gained. His argument: “Let us not delude ourselves, however, into thinking that eliminating affirmative action will produce a society in which rewards are based on merit. Despite our rhetoric, equal opportunity has never been the American way. For nearly all our history, affirmative action has been a prerogative of white men.” And this was 20 years before the Roberts court dismantled it.

A fan of Lincoln, Foner also points to his same kind of wit and wisdom in the 16th president: “Young America,” he remarked “owns a large part of the world, by right of possessing it; and all the rest by right of wanting it and intending to have it.” Hence his appreciation of Abe Lincoln.

Foner deftly puts topics in their place in American conversation: ”If racial justice is an acceptable subject, class conflict is not.” He is frustrated by the lack conversation around class and mobility.

He profiles Sacco and Vanzetti (his first article for The Nation, requested by the publisher in a completely cold call to Foner) on the 50th anniversary of their totally shameful executions, despite appeals and huge protest marches, not to mention numerous eyewitnesses. His ease with storytelling shows through, as his long career of writing for The Nation testifies.

He looks at labor movements, the safety net, and a salute and request to Bernie Sanders in 2015. The salute was for making progressive issues and policies front and center for the first time in decades in the USA. The request was not to downplay American radicalism. There is no shame in being radical in America; it is only through the pressure of radicals that there is any movement at all, was Foner’s point. Wear it proudly; it’s the American way.

Contrast his appreciation of Sanders with his criticism of Obama. He saw Obama as just more of the same. Same faces, same voices, and no new ideas. This was ironic because Obama was supposedly all about change. Foner was not the only one to recognize the hopelessness of Obama’s choices of who to listen to, and when asked about change, he simply declared that he was the change. Not helpful. And little to show for eight years in power.

The book consists of 27 such pieces, plus a concluding interview of Foner by The Nation’s Assistant Editor. The sheer variety of topics is wonderful, but the color and depth Foner adds to them ensures his work will long outlast him.

David Wineberg
… (mais)
DavidWineberg | outras 2 resenhas | Feb 11, 2024 |
This is a heartbreaking book.

Some brief thoughts-

- Foner does a good job showing how the Reconstruction period was a tremendous missed opportunity for the USA. Briefly on the track to some kind of political representation for black people, for want of political strength and fear of conflict we turned out back on our black citizens.

- The author also highlights the missed opportunity in not teaching Reconstruction in schools. I feel like I am typical among Americans in that I had no idea that there was a time following the Civil War where black people were elected to Congress, served as high level state officials, and even law enforcement in the Deep South. The authors epilogue which describes how the collective memory of this flowering of a black political voice was intentionally erased after only a few decades is so upsetting.

- The issues that the Radical Republicans we’re attempting to tackle at the time (support of voting rights, reparations for slavery in the form of land and or money, public education) are shamefully, still controversial in USA today. And yet we are still living with the long term effects of our failure to tackle these problems

- only giving this book 4 stars since I’ve never read anything else on Reconstruction/the Civil War, so I don’t feel suited to judge all its merits. Still think it’s essential reading for anyone trying to understand the US and cut thru the thick mist of our national mythology.
… (mais)
hdeanfreemanjr | outras 19 resenhas | Jan 29, 2024 |
If you think you don't need to read another Lincoln book think again. The author writes in the preface "But I believe that casting a bright, concentrated light on Lincoln and the politics of slavery--with politics defined in the broadest sense, not simply as elections and office-holding but the shaping of opinion within the extended public sphere--can illuminate his life and his era in new ways." Fascinating book.
dhenn31 | outras 20 resenhas | Jan 24, 2024 |
This is going to be an interesting read - I'm already having a conversation with the book and I'm just finishing the preface.
Kiri | outras 3 resenhas | Dec 24, 2023 |



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