Courses and Workshops

Behind the Scenes for History Lovers

Adam Hochschild
Monday, Jun. 3, 2024, 12:00 AM – 11:59 PM (PT)
Price: $90.00
20 slots available

stacked book shelves and four book covers

This class is for ardent readers of history who are also interested in how history is written as discussed by acclaimed historian Adam Hochschild. Hochschild will deconstruct four of his books, describing how he constructed the narratives, 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. 

The books to be discussed are:

  • 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

Faculty Bio

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 Encore Course

  • Encore courses are popular courses that were recorded a previous term.
  • All pre-recorded class videos will be available to enjoy from June 3–Aug. 31 in Member Dashboards. Learn more.
  • You must be a current OLLI @Berkeley member to register. Learn about membership, including our fee assistance program

Member Praise for "Behind the Scenes"

Professor Hochschild is a brilliant lecturer who answered questions with thought, grace and kindness.

The lectures presented new and important information in a way that demonstrated Professor Hochschild’s humane approach to writing narratives about complex and difficult historical topics.


Faculty Q&A