The Radical Tradition In America

Dec 2009

Eric Foner teaches the most inconsequential aspects of American history as if they were the real thing. He does a good job of analyzing what radical Americans did in the past - not much - and presents a slanted view of their accomplishments. If you are interested in listening to academia discuss intellectual poseurs, militant populists, and communitarian ideologues who believe in living more "authentically", then by all means attend every one of his lectures. Foner is clever, a good lecturer, and knows his subject. The trouble is that the subject itself, for any serious student of history, is garbage.

Jan 2000

Once again, an overrated class. Foner is a clear, articulate and concise lecturer, but I do not feel that he has the passion for this course that I would expect him to have. The readings areinformative, as are the small discussion groups.

Jan 2000

foner is the history department's most popular lecturer and it is no surprise why. he is incredibly engaging, charismatic, and very intelligent. this class is essentially a history of labor struggle, and also emphasis on the abolitionist movement in the 1840s-60s, women's suffrage, and civil rights in 1950s and 60s. he makes subtle points and slight nuances very accessible and uses them to enrich what could be a simplistic chronology of an infrequently taught history of the united states. foner is clearly to the left of the center, but is neither dogmatic nor uncritical of that side of politics. he is an expecially excellent teacher of the study of history, i.e. he will point how the study of certain events has been slanted in the past for some agenda. in this sense the history class is a critique of the entire discipline of history. some of my classmate were dissappointed there wasn't a more extensive history of black-american radicalism. reading is generally about half of a history text per-week, and how strictly that is enforced depends on the t.a. of your madatory discussion section that meets for an hour once a week. handed in work includes an in-class mid-term, final, and an aditional paper.