Monday, April 25, 2011

Packing with Eric Foner

If you could see my room right now, you'd wonder if I've even started packing! I have, but so far it has produced an empty closet, a few shopping trips, strategic piles in some places, less strategic ones in others, and a discouraging sense that I don't know what to do with my stuff. Should I store it? Trash it? Sell it? Donate it? Keep it here? Pay to move it across the world for three years, and then likely back again? Last night (after saying goodbye to my Aunt and Uncle)I was ready to stick my head in some figurative sand and not think about moving. What better way to do that Stephanie-style than with Eric Foner's book Reconstruction: America's Unfinished Revolution: 1863-1877! Three days before one's departure is a good time to start a 600 page book on post-civil war politics and life in the United States. I was off to an engaging start, but I got distracted last night making plans to go to a Swiss Circus on Tuesday (!), so I didn't get very far.

I picked this book off my shelf for a couple reasons. I don't remember a lot about Reconstruction, but I often find myself answering questions (in Europe) about race relations in the US and I really feel like I need to be able to explain an overview of reconstruction. People seem to know a little about the Civil War (though they tend to think it was all about slavery) and a little about the Civil Rights movement, but Reconstruction is an important link in between. Also, Foner is interesting to me because he has served as an adviser and commentator on PBS documentaries and NPR, and co-curated public history exhibits...stuff like that. Stuff I'd probably like to do later, except about water and Africa.

Alright, alright. I should pack, I know.



  1. A friend of mine once told me that moving costs a year of your life, so perhaps it is normal that we procrastinate and find all sorts of distraction. Hope it went well in the end, and, welcome back! Hope to see you soon for dinner some time.

  2. Thanks Anke! It went pretty well, though some things were left less finished than I'd like. It's good to be back at my other home, too. And I am really looking forward to dinner together!