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Mar 25, 2015

Professor Eric Foner is a leading contemporary historian, whose work focuses on American political history, shifting notions of freedom and liberty, and (perhaps most famously) on the period of post-Civil War Reconstruction. He spoke about growing up in a politically-active family (both his father and uncle were blacklisted American historians), and told me about his encounters and interactions with figures from Paul Robeson and W.E.B. DuBois to Richard Hofstadter, Herbert Gutman, and Eugene Genovese. We also talked about the origins of his historical methodology, his thoughts on contemporary politics, and his latest book, Gateway to Freedom: The Hidden History of the Underground Railroad.