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Episode 1: Historian Eric Foner

Eric Foner The Asterisk episode 1

“When somebody told me that they had just seen the Confederate flag on TV being carried around the Capitol, my first reaction was ‘good.’ These people are telling us exactly what they believe. You cannot beat around the bush. You cannot claim to be a patriot and display the Confederate flag. You cannot claim to believe in racial equality and display the Confederate flag.”

Eric Foner

Eric Foner, the 2020 Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards winner for Lifetime Achievement, joins The Asterisk* to discuss the January 6 storming of the U.S. Capitol, his marriage to a fellow historian and his place among the most influential American historians of the last half-century.

With more than two dozen books to his credit, jury chair Henry Louis Gates Jr. says Foner “is the dean of Reconstruction historians, and is one of the most generous, and genuinely passionate, professors of
his generation.”

In arguably his most influential book, “Reconstruction: America’s Unfinished Revolution,” Foner tracked the warp and weave in the struggle for freedom and equality long after the Confederacy expired. It won the Bancroft Prize, the Francis Parkman Prize, a Los Angeles Times Book Award, the Avery O. Craven Prize and the Lionel Trilling Award. The book is still considered the premier synthesis of the years 1863-1877.

View a transcript of this episode