Skip to comments.Activist Training @ Harvard
Posted on 11/01/2013 9:46:19 AM PDT by Academiadotorg
When a course is entitled History of the U. S. for Policymakers, Activists, and Citizens, you can bet that the target audience is the second group of constituents.
According to the Kennedy School at Harvard, This is a course intended for policy students, both from the U.S. and from abroad, who would like to enlarge or shore up their knowledge of U.S. history. The course will deal with the major themes, issues, and turning points in the evolution of the modern U.S. (largely post-1900) with an eye towards developments that are likely to be relevant to understanding current and future problems and policy issues. Among the topics to be considered historically are: the constitution and institutions of governance; parties and political institutions; the relationship between business and government; immigration; race; labor and social welfare provisions; regional differences; imperialism; and the Cold War. Some attention will also be devoted to the ways in which historical understanding can fruitfully serve policymakers. Note the small c in Constitution and the primacy of imperialism over the Cold War with no mention of communism or the Soviet Union.
The class is taught by Alexander Keyssar, whose one review on Rate My Professors.com is an unqualified rave: Keyssar is fantastic. While the course has many readings, they are quite interesting. Discussions are well-managed and fascinating. Cant say enough good about this professor and class. Keyssar himself seems to take a rather jaundiced view of U. S. history, although he might call it nuanced.
The targets of exclusionary laws have tended to be similar for more than two centuries: the poor, immigrants, African-Americans, people perceived to be something other than mainstream Americans, Keyssar wrote in The New York Times. No state has ever attempted to disenfranchise upper-middle-class or wealthy white male citizens.
The current wave of procedural restrictions on voting, including strict photo ID requirements, ought to be understood as the latest chapter in a not always uplifting story: Americans of both parties have sometimes rejected democratic values or preferred partisan advantage to fair democratic processes. Lumping Jim Crow laws in with statutes designed to keep convicted murderers and illegal aliens, particularly those who are both, might be a bit of a stretch to those who try to follow history and current events.
To those new to it, they have nothing to compare it to, and are unlikely to find competing interpretations at Harvard, although it should be noted that Harvard does offer a course on The Economic Impact of Immigration taught by George Borjas. Borjas has noted that The new immigrants are more likely to receive welfare assistance than earlier immigrants, and also more likely to do so than natives: 21 percent of immigrant households participate in some means-tested social-assistance program (such as cash benefits, Medicaid, or food stamps), as compared with 14 percent of native households.
Malcolm A. Kline is the Executive Director of Accuracy in Academia. If you would like to comment on this article, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
If this country was smart, it would NEVER put anyone that comes out of harvard in any kind of position of authority that affects all of us.
That was some time ago. I can't imagine that the situation has improved in the intervening years.
Which is why my G.I. Bill will be going towards trade school when I get out. If I get my G.I. Bill.
I learned from my mistakes with higher education the expensive way.
take Activist Training and give the points...
And for that matter, what's wrong with excluding people who won't fit in with the rest of us? Are we to become foreigners in our own country?
Just to calm the open-borders crowd, I should add that my father was a LEGAL immigrant, my mother's parents were LEGAL immigrants, and my wife is a LEGAL immigrant. In all these cases they assimilated, learned English, and adopted American customs. My father was a WW II veteran. I'm all for immigrants who come here intending to assimilate to their adopted country, instead of remaining strangers here.