Eric Foner is the DeWitt Clinton Professor of History at Columbia University. His books include The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery and Battles for Freedom: The Use and Abuse of American History.
 (December 2017)


Street Fighting Woman

Lucy Parsons, 1886

Goddess of Anarchy: The Life and Times of Lucy Parsons, American Radical

by Jacqueline Jones
With its economic instability, mass immigration, corrupting influence of money on politics, and ever-increasing gap between the rich and everyone else, our current era bears more than a slight resemblance to the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, dubbed by Mark Twain the Gilded Age. There are also striking differences. Back then, larger-than-life radical organizers—Eugene V. Debs, Emma Goldman, Bill Haywood, and others—traversed the country, calling on the working class to rise up against its oppressors. Today’s critics of the capitalist order such as Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren seem tame by comparison.

The Hidden History of Emancipation

Trial by Fire: A People's History of the Civil War and Reconstruction

by Page Smith

Freedom: A Documentary History of Emancipation, 1861–1867 Series II: The Black Military Experience

edited by Ira Berlin, with Joseph P. Reidy and Leslie S. Rowland
Among the revolutionary events that transformed the nineteenth-century world, none was so dramatic in its human consequences as the abolition of chattel slavery. Slavery and emancipation have always been central questions for American historians and much of the best historical work of the 1960s and 1970s concentrated on the South’s …

Get a Lawyer!

The Transformation of American Law, 1780-1860

by Morton J. Horwitz
Until recently, the history of American law has been centered in law schools and written by and for lawyers. Apart from an interest in constitutional cases, American historians have tended to avoid the field: their feelings of inadequacy in dealing with technical legal doctrine and procedure are surpassed only by …

Founding Father Tom


by David Hawke

Thomas Paine: His Life, Work, and Times

by Audrey Williamson
Of the men who made the American Revolution, none had a more remarkable career, or a more peculiar fate, than Thomas Paine. While his friends George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, and his ideological antagonist John Adams, came from middle- and upper-class families long established on American soil, Paine’s origins lay …

Battle Over the Revolution

From Resistance to Revolution: Colonial Radicals and the Development of American Opposition to Britain, 1765-1776

by Pauline Maier

Revolutionary Politics in Massachusetts: The Boston Committee of Correspondence and the Towns, 1772-1774

by Richard D. Brown
As everyone must know by now, the bicentennial of American independence is fast approaching. But what kind of revolution will we be commemorating in 1976? The axiom that each generation rewrites history in its own image has certainly proven true of the American Revolution. Earlier in this century, “progressive historians” …