Brian DeLay, associate professor of history at the University of California, Berkeley, discusses how the backwater of western Europe emerged from the devastation of the fourteenth century to generate the power, wealth, knowledge, institutions, and energy to initiate and develop a worldwide expansion.
Mary Beth Norton, Mary Donlon Alger Professor of American History at Cornell University, reinterprets the Salem witchcraft crisis from a seventeenth-century perspective, drawing not only on court records, but also on correspondence and journals from the late 1680s to the early 1690s.
Professor John Fea of Messiah College discusses the European motivations--gold, gospel, and glory--for exploration in the Americas, taking Europeans from the Crusades to the Spanish conquest and the exploitation of resources in the Caribbean. He explores as well the question of whether the Spanish conquest of the Aztecs was "complete"--military, political, economic, religious, and cultural.
Historian Jill Lepore (David Woods Kemper ’41 Professor of American History at Harvard and a staff writer at the New Yorker) discusses her 2012 book, The Story of America: Essays on Origins (Princeton University Press).
Joyce Appleby, Professor Emerita, University of California, Los Angeles, explores how the men and women born after the American Revolution experienced and developed the theoretical ideas of liberty and independence put in place by their parents and grandparents.