The Story of American Freedomby Eric Foner
Pub. Date: 09/28/1999
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
From the Revolution to our own time, freedom has been America's strongest cultural bond and its most perilous fault line, a birthright for some Americans and a cruel mockery for others. Eric Foner takes freedom not as a timeless truth but as a value whose meaning and scope have been
A stirring history of America focused on its animating impulse: freedom.
From the Revolution to our own time, freedom has been America's strongest cultural bond and its most perilous fault line, a birthright for some Americans and a cruel mockery for others. Eric Foner takes freedom not as a timeless truth but as a value whose meaning and scope have been contested throughout American history. His sweeping narrative shows freedom to have been shaped not only in congressional debates and political treatises but also on plantations and picket lines, in parlors and bedrooms, by our acknowledged leaders and by former slaves, union organizers, freedom riders, and women's rights activists.
- Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
- Publication date:
- Edition description:
- 1 ED
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- Product dimensions:
- 5.50(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.90(d)
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Throughout the course of history, America has witnessed several reoccurring themes that are based on departure; abandoning what is familiar for the promise of the unknown. In essence, Eric Foner's book examines that departure as if it were a voyage throughout time. This prolific piece offers readers an evaluative look at the evolution of freedom using the thematic approach of race, gender and class. Foner's research of freedom, as an 'ideal,' focuses on the push and pull factors that continue to be a source of struggle for many. In my estimation, Foner is trying to remind us that 'freedom' is constantly re-identifying itself, and with each rebirth academic scholars are attempting to assign a simplistic meaning to a diversified word. Foner's solution, embrace those groups defining the realms of change. I felt a range of emotions as I flipped through the pages, often with pencil in hand attempting to allegorize the historical connections Foner had made. Freedom, independence, diversity and privilege are just a few of the words that line the pages of this book. Pages that force the reader to reassess the meaning of 'traditional history.' American Freedom asks that we question historiography and suggests that we consider a new perspective. As an educator, I applaud the efforts of Eric Foner in his quest to celebrate those who have been disenfranchised, excluded from those 'Four Freedoms.' Yet I wonder if his liberal statements will carry a negative connotation from those who align themselves as conservatives. I wonder if Foner purposely omitted the positive residuals as he penned his 'Story' of America's guaranteed rights. Either way, hats off to this historian's Historian! Educationally, The Story of American Freedom presents a brilliant picture of American liberty attaching values in the mold of Anglo-centric thinking. Foner's work questions the idea of freedom using perspective, an element that is essential to the teaching of history. This text delivers a decided account of information regarding American morality, yet allows one to critically survey the data and draw conclusions. American Freedom provides an abundance of visuals to aid in the understanding of cause-effect relationships. This book goes on to include an impressive listing of notes, which can be used as a guide for supplemental information. Finally and most important, Foner recognizes women and minorities throughout this text as he delivers a thought provoking approach to the victims of unsavory characters in 'free' America. I truly believe this publication could be adapted to enhance our educational objectives while meeting individual needs and interests.