Carol Berkin
Book Speaker
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Carol Berkin

Fee Range1: $ 3000 - $5000



Founding FathersGovernment & PoliticsHistoryLeadershipPoliticsThe Presidency


New York


Carol Berkin

Carol BerkinHistorian

Until her recent retirement, Carol Berkin was Presidential Professor of History at Baruch College and a member of the history faculty of the Graduate Center of CUNY. She has worked as a consultant on several PBS and History Channel documentaries, including, “The Scottsboro Boys,” which was nominated for an Academy Award. She has also appeared as a commentator on screen in the PBS series by Ric Burns, “New York,” the Middlemarch series “Benjamin Franklin” and “Alexander Hamilton” on PBS, and the MPH series, “The Founding Fathers.” She serves on the Board of The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History and the Board of the National Council for History Education. 


 Myths of the American Revolution:     We all remember our school days version of the Revolution. It went something like this:  In 1776, all the American colonists rose up against a tyrannical king and centuries of unfair taxation; everyone loved George Washington; everyone gladly sacrificed for Independence; and, after years of fighting, Americans won the war single handedly against the most powerful army and navy in the world. None of this is true, of course. The true story is far more thrilling— and far more interesting.

Revolutionary Mothers:   Women in the American Revolution. Discover the often untold story of the women who led the prewar boycotts, the women who wrote the propaganda supporting independence, and the women who endured danger and privation to keep their farms and families safe. Hear the voices of the women in the army camps who did the cooking, washing, and nursing for those men at Valley Forge, and listen to the stories of the women who served as spies, saboteurs, messengers and, yes, even soldiers, during the revolution.

The Constitution and the Men Who Created It:   Let’s revise the old story of 55 exceptionally brilliant men, confidently drafting a wholly original frame of government, certain it would create a prosperous democracy.  Let’s look instead at 55 largely ordinary minds, anxious about the fate of their country, uncertain if they could save it from all the problems plaguing it.  And, let’s get to know a few of them — men like Hamilton and Madison— as they truly were.

George Washington and the Making of the President:   He had no precedents to draw on. Half the country still disapproved of the new federal government he led. Crisis after crisis marked his administration. His cabinet members battled regularly and the press attacked him viciously. Yet when he left office, George Washington had defined the executive branch and, more importantly, persuaded most Americans that a President could wield power without taking away their liberties and rights. 

The Battle for Woman Suffrage:   In 1848, a group of women, led by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott, issued a clarion call, demanding equality for women in education, the law, and religious doctrine. Yet in the wake of the Civil War, their broad platform narrowed to a struggle for the vote. It would take 72 years and the work of thousands of women— white and black, rich and poor, native born and immigrant– to make that single demand a reality.

The Republic in Peril:   Major Crises in the first Decade of the Constitution. Domestic unrest and western farmer rebellion, English attacks on American shipping, French meddling in American politics, Indian uprisings, a quasi-war with France, and an effort to stifle dissent that led two states to renounce the authority of the federal government. A decade of crisis that ended, ironically, not in disaster but in a newfound nationalism.


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