Behind the Scenes for History Lovers
This class is for ardent readers of history who are also interested in how history is written as discussed by acclaimed historian Adam Hochschild. Members are asked to read one of his books ahead of each class.
For each book, Hochschild will describe how he constructed the narrative, the challenges in doing the research, and why he chose the particular characters, scenes, and events through which to tell the story. He will then examine how other historians have handled the same material—some of them drawing very different lessons from it. Finally, he will discuss the reactions and repercussions each book produced, some of which he never anticipated. We’ll end each class with a period for your questions and comments.
The books to be discussed are readily available in local libraries:
- Class 1: King Leopold’s Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror, and Heroism in Colonial Africa
- Class 2: Bury the Chains: Prophets and Rebels in the Fight to Free an Empire’s Slaves
- Class 3: To End All Wars: A Story of Loyalty and Rebellion, 1914-1918
- Class 4: Spain in Our Hearts: Americans in the Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939
Adam Hochschild, author of 11 books, is both a renowned historian and a long-time writing teacher at U.C. Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism. He has been a finalist for the National Book Award and is a three-time winner of the Gold Medal for Nonfiction of the California Book Awards.
This is an In-Person, Livestreamed + Recorded Course
- Classes meet in person at the Golden Bear Center, Suite 202, at 1995 University Ave., Berkeley
- Classes will also stream live simultaneously, and be recorded
- You must be a current OLLI @Berkeley member to register. Learn about membership, including our fee assistance program.
- Classes meet on four Tuesdays — Jan. 16, Jan. 30, Feb. 13 and Feb. 27 — two hours per session (1–3 PM)
- Videos will post on Fridays in Member Dashboards
- All course materials, including videos, will be available to view and enjoy through March 31
- Read a recent interview with Adam Hochschild discussing his work and course.