Friday, August 29, 2008

History 7b - history podcast review

On a previous review I wrote about Berkeley's History 7B American History after the Civil War, came an anonymous comment criticizing the lecturer, Jennifer Burns, for being so general and so inaccurate in detail. I can see where this critique comes from and I have to admit that many of the lectures in the series were not exatly to my liking. The course did, however, open up American History for me, which previously was largely unknown to me.

Especially good were a couple of lectures about important court cases (see previous reviews in the list below) and also the last lectures, when Burns arrived at my life time, where I had many more references. This started with an excellent (in my humble opinion, but also according to DIY Scholar) lecture about Barry Goldwater. Although Goldwater lost the election to Lyndon B. Johnson and the conservatives he represented seem to be defeated, Burns shows this stream in American politics actually got reaffirmed, even if it took until the Reagan era to really gain power.

This is especially instructive, when you look at Europe, which I know so much better. Also on the old continent the old conservatives had to give way, for some time to a progressive elite, but the sentiments they represent seem to root so much deeper in the populace and eventually they rule most of the time. This goes for all of the countries in Europe I am familiar with. Also in Israel, ever since the rise of Menachem Begin, you can see a conservative nationalistic stream take power. General indeed. In accurate on details? Probably, but I feel I gained a lot of insight.

More History 7b:
American Civil Rights Movement,
Whittaker Chambers,
Scopes Trial,
US History - from Civil War to Present.

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