History

These courses are offered by the Quest Lifelong Learning Community. For more information on Quest, click here and also see more details at the bottom of this page.

AFRICAN CONTINENT

Coordinators: Ann Goerdt, Bob Gottfried, Bob Reiss

It is important to learn about a continent that is not well known in the U.S. African history is not taught in schools, so we have little basis on which to build knowledge and understanding of the countries that we occasionally hear about in the news. This course will address questions such as: How developed are the countries of Africa? Which countries are most active in the world economy? What interest does the U.S. have in African countries? What role is China playing in Africa? How are countries alike, and different, from north to south, east to west?

ANTI-SEMITISM: PAST, PRESENT, FACTS, MYTHS

Coordinators: Harriet Finkelstein, Marian Friedmann, Bob Reiss, Rick Salter, Sandra Southwell

This course will explore anti-semitism from ancient times to its current manifestation. It will be interesting to anyone of any faith, race, and background who wants to understand fully the magnitude of hatred toward a people and how it can distort and destroy both soul and society.

GREAT JOURNALISTS AND PUBLISHERS

Coordinators: Wayne Cotter, Leslie Goldman, Michael Wellner

Over the past few years, this country’s First Amendment rights have been more tarnished than treasured. This course will profile some of history’s most courageous journalists and publishers from Thomas Paine to Chistiane Amanpour. Their stories underscore the strength and fragility of our First Amendment.

MEMORABLE MEMBERS OF CONGRESS

Coordinators: Ellen Gottfried, Bob Gottfried

Most people think that Congress in 2020, although more diverse than ever before, is dysfunctional and too prone to partisan politics. Although members do not resort to fistfights or duels as in years past, there is no one able to rise above the mediocre mass and lead a bipartisan Congress which resolves the crucial issues facing the country. This was not true in the past, and this course will be about Congressional leaders who have changed, and may change in the future, the course of America’s history.

MOVERS & SHAKERS

Coordinators: Jane Lubin, Arlene Hajinlian

We will examine the lives and accomplishments of outstanding people whose ideas and actions have had a lasting influence on our society, whether for good or evil. Subjects covered in past talks have included Dmitri Shostakovich, Larry Page and Sergey Brin (founders of Google), Isaac Bashevis Singer, Winston Churchill, and Martin Luther.

POLITICAL THOUGHT AND STATESMANSHIP OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN

Coordinators: Sanford Kessler, Bob Gottfried

Why do most historians consider Abraham Lincoln our greatest president? In this class we will address this question by examining some of Lincoln’s greatest speeches and deeds in relation to the beginning of his political career, the events leading up to the Civil War, and his presidency. Other thinkers we will consider in relation to Lincoln include Thomas Jefferson, Henry David Thoreau, Stephen Douglas, and Frederick Douglass. We will also use Lincoln as a model to shed light on our current political scene.