Day: January 22, 2020

Towards A More Perfect Union

To a historian, the beginning of the Senate’s impeachment trial of Donald Trump seems to be an appropriate time to consider our nation’s history.. Trump has been impeached for his actions to involve a foreign country in undermining the 2020 election and—by extension—undercutting the right of U.S. citizens to choose their own leaders. We will certainly hear a great deal of fake history—both of the recent and founding fathers variety—this week. For the real deal, I turn instead to one of our country’s most prominent historians of the Civil War and Reconstruction era, Pulitzer Prize-winning author and scholar Eric Foner. The Second Founding: How the Civil War and Reconstruction Remade the Constitution is Foner’s most recent book, bringing together a lifetime of scholarship around this most contentious era in our nation’s history. And in spite of its look at a period some 150 years in the past, this is work with great resonance for this day, this political climate, and the major questions of how we will advance as a nation. As Foner states in his preface, …