Eric Foner is an American historian. He writes extensively on American political history, the history of freedom, the early history of the Republican Party, African American biography, Reconstruction, and historiography, and has been a member of the faculty at the Columbia University Department of History since 1982. He is also the author of several textbooks commonly used in college-level American history courses across the United States.
In the period after the Civil War, former slaves were made promises of equality and citizenship by the federal government. Historian Eric Foner analyzes the fate of those promises and how the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments relate to current issues around voting rights, mass incarceration and reparations for slavery. His new book is 'Forever Free.' (Originally broadcast 2006) Also, we remember award-winning author Robb Forman Dew, who died May 22. She wrote about intimate family life. Dew spoke with Terry Gross in 1994.
In this episode, Eric Foner discusses how passage of the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments reshaped American democracy and how the Reconstruction era continues to influence the modern debate around fundamental rights and their constitutional interpretation. The interview is moderated by Goldman Sachs' Tim O'Neill.Date: October 25, 2019This podcast should not be copied, distributed, published or reproduced, in whole or in part, or disclosed by any recipient to any other person. The information contained in this podcast does not constitute a recommendation from any Goldman Sachs entity to the recipient. Neither Goldman Sachs nor any of its affiliates makes any representation or warranty, express or implied, as to the accuracy or completeness of the statements or any information contained in this podcast and any liability therefore (including in respect of direct, indirect or consequential loss or damage) is expressly disclaimed. The views expressed in this podcast are not necessarily those of Goldman Sachs, and Goldman Sachs is not providing any financial, economic, legal, accounting or tax advice or recommendations in this podcast. In addition, the receipt of this podcast by any recipient is not to be taken as constituting the giving of investment advice by Goldman Sachs to that recipient, nor to constitute such person a client of any Goldman Sachs entity. Copyright 2020 Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC. All rights reserved.
Elbert Lester has lived his full 94 years in Quitman County, Mississippi, on land he and his family own. That’s exceptional for black people in this area, and some family members even say the land came to them through “40 acres and a mule.” But that's pretty unlikely, so host Kai Wright goes on a search for the truth, and uncovers a story about an old and fundamental question in American politics -- one at the center of the current election: Who are the rightful owners of this country’s staggering wealth? - John Willis is author of Forgotten Time - Eric Foner is author of The Second Founding - The National Memorial for Peace and Justice is located in Montgomery, Alabama. For more information about documented lynchings in Mississippi, and elsewhere, visit the Equal Justice Initiative's interactive report, Lynching in America. You can navigate to each county to learn about documented lynchings there. The United States of Anxiety’s health coverage is supported in part by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Working to build a Culture of Health that ensures everyone in America has a fair and just opportunity for health and well-being. More at
Eric Foner is one of the most accomplished historians of the 19th century United States. His first book, Free Soil, Free Labor, Free Men, about the rise of the Republican Party, is a classic. So too is his 1988 work Reconstruction: America's Unfinished Revolution, 1863-1877, which won the Bancroft Prize. More recently, he has turned his attention to Abraham Lincoln. His 2011 book, The Fiery Trial, about Lincoln's views on slavery, won the Pulitzer and Lincoln Prize.  Eric discusses his early career at Columbia, including his experiences working with the renowned historian Richard Hofstadter, who won the Pulitzer Prize twice in his short life. Dr. Foner also discusses his politics, his views on the current state of the history profession, and the Trump administration.  He is retired from teaching, but Eric shows no signs of slowing down. He is still on a speaking tour for his most recent book, The Second Founding: How the Civil War and Reconstruction Remade the Constitution, which came out in September of 2019.
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Creator Details

Feb 7th, 1943
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1 day, 8 hours
Podchaser Creator ID logo 210202