Week 17-5/17 to 5/21: History to the Present
This week, Posts are due by Friday, May 21st, 11:59 P.M. as that’s the last day of the term. Reminder– the final essay has been waived for this term due to COVID-19 related matters, the 50 points will simply be added in to final scores. Final Extra Credit is due at that time as well. Stay tuned.
This week, we focus more on Stone and Kuznick, as well as the end of the Zinn text for the final weekly Posting. Where do the final readings leave us historically (the final chapters of the texts, esp. Zinn and Kuznick)? I do not mean chronologically, but in terms of wrapping up historical narrative- past to present. Untold History tries to make us aware of alternative, or untold narratives, factually based, yet not widely discussed, even censored, and Zinn’s text does something similar. but might have more of an advocacy message (even Foner’s tone changes at the end of his book). What do you think Zinn means when he talks of the “Coming Revolt of the Guard” in chapter 12? Connect that into the overall thesis of what Stone and Kuznick hoped to achieve in their massive volume (which they laid out in their intro, but revisited it throughout to the conclusion). What do you think they meant by “Managing a Wounded Empire” in their conclusion?
For additional consideration, see the final episode of Stone and Kuznick’s documentary series (also on Netflix)- See it here (Links to an external site.).
Also, earlier this year I sat down to talk with historian Peter Kuznick about his work on the “Covid 19 Global Solidarity Manifesto (Links to an external site.),” perhaps the beginning of a new historical movement offering worldwide solutions in support of social justice. You can listen here (Links to an external site.)and read more here (Links to an external site.).
Finally, history matters, in the present. Here’s a post-election analysis by historian and urban theorist Mike Davis, “Trench Warfare: Notes on the 2020 Election (Links to an external site.).” Historians can interestingly be quite sober predictors of what may lie ahead.
On to this week’s one Prompt. Please Post and Reply to another student by the deadline.
1. In this week’s one Post, address these concerns and use them to reflect on the very recent past. Do you notice a difference in the way these authors cover the recent past vs. the more distant? How or how not, why or why not? In the field of history, presentism is ever present. Some historians argue it is a great obstacle, but Zinn and others believed it is why we bother to study the past at all. Elaborate and support your views.
See you online…e mail questions or concerns at your convenience.
Thanks for hanging on until the end of a trying semester! I’ve enjoyed reading your thoughts and hope that you are taking something from the course that will be useful in your future endeavors, whatever they may be. I wish you all the best.