The Modern Scholar series lives and dies with the strength of the lecturer, and James Loewen stands out for the sheer enthusiasm he brings to the table. He is passionate and articulate, almost giving you the feeling that you're in class with him, and keeps the energy up throughout the entire 8 hours.
Loewen, akin to Howard Zinn, is often telling the history of the losers, and at times you get the feeling he is omitting a bit of info here and there, but overall the course is solid and up front in what it discusses. Much of the basis of the lecture is an extended talk on the development of racism in America, especially the little talked about "nadir period" that started around 1890.
Like "Lies My Teacher Told Me," Loewen's well regarded 1995 book on the many failures of textbooks in American schools, much of this lecture is devoted to countering long held notions taught in classrooms throughout US history.
Given Loewen's ability to keep the information he speaks about entertaining, and the overall quality of information contained in the course, the only letdown is he doesn't have any further Modern Scholar lectures available.
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