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.

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 2019, 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: Caroline Thompson, Pam Gemelli, Ruth Ward

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.

RUSSIAN HISTORY: TENTH CENTURY TO THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION

Coordinators: Caroline Thompson, Steve Allen, John Spiegel

Russian history is a study of fascinating contrasts. It is a country in close contact with Western Europe that maintained a very separate set of traditions and identity, absolute authority exercised by the Tsar, and the Russian form of Christianity, which was very distinct from that of Western Europe. Our 1000 years of history will cover Russia’s beginning, known as Kievan Rus, through centuries of noteworthy leaders, such as Ivan the Terrible, Peter the Great, and Catherine the Great. We will also discuss Russia’s enormous contribution to Western literature, music, dance, theater and intellectual traditions. Hopefully, a study of Russian history can help us understand modern Russia of today.

WHY DOES NEW YORK LOOK THE WAY IT DOES?

Coordinators: Ethel Sheffer, Michael Wellner

New York City is home to most of us; we walk by famous old and new buildings often without giving it much thought. But why does the city look the way it does? Skyscrapers on one block, three or four story buildings on another, parks here, but not there…How did this happen? (hint: not all of it is by accident—although some of it is). Join us as we look at the amazing history and current development of NYC buildings.