Home > Presentations by Historians > R. Johnston
OUSD Teaching American History Grant II
May 23, 2006

  ?The Radical Middle Class in American History:
John Brown, Martin Luther King and ...Harry Lane?
Robert D. Johnston, Associate Professor of History
University of Illinois at Chicago

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  • Books & Talks by the Speaker

  • "RETHINKING THE MIDDLE CLASS" from The Radical Middle Class: Populist Democracy and the Question of Capitalism in Progressive Era Portland, Oregon by Robert D. Johnston
    http://www.historycooperative.org/journals/ohq/105.1/br_1.html book review
    http://www.pupress.princeton.edu/chapters/s7550.html chapter 1 of the book

  • "Defining the Middle Class" - Radio broadcast from Chicago Public Radio (November 5, 2002) A majority of Americans identify themselves as middle class. Do they all share the same idea of what it means to be middle class? Guests: Robert Johnston ? Yale University, Tom Dumm ? Amherst College

  • "The Rhetoric of Class Warfare" - Radio broadcast from Chicago Public Radio (January 21, 2003) What does the rhetoric of class conflict reveal about American attitudes toward economic and political disparity? Guests: Robert Johnston and Eric Arnesen, historians at the University of Illinois at Chicago


  • Senator Harry Lane from "The Rural-Urban Interface: Labor Struggles"

  • William Simon U'Ren, Advocate of the Oregon System, 1946

  • The American Experience | John Brown's Holy War

  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Papers Project A collection of primary and secondary documents pertaining to Martin Luther King, Jr., held at Stanford University.


  • F. B. Sanborn, ed., The Life and Letters of John Brown, Liberator of Kansas, and Martyr of Virginia (New York: Negro Universities Press, 1969 [1885])
    - the best source of primary sources on Brown link to Amazon

  • Oswald Garrison Villard, John Brown, 1800-1859: A Biography Fifty Years After (New York, Knopf, 1943 [1910])
    - --the best older biography link to Amazon

  • David S. Reynolds, John Brown, Abolitionist : The Man Who Killed Slavery, Sparked the Civil War, and Seeded Civil Rights (New York: Knopf, 2005)
    --the best newer biography link to Amazon

  • Russell Banks, Cloudsplitter (New York: HarperCollins, 1998)
    --a novel, and the most brilliant book on Brown link to Amazon
  • Clayborne Carson, Ralph E. Luker, and Penny A. Russell, eds., The Papers of Martin Luther King, Jr.: Volume I: Called To Serve, January 1929-June 1951 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1992)
    --the first volume of these massive papers, and the best set of primary sources
    link to Amazon

  • Clayborne Carson, ed., The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr. (New York: Warner Books, 1998)
    --an intriguing and generally successful compilation of Kingís writings to create an "autobiography" when King actually never did link to Amazon

  • Taylor Branch, Parting the Waters: America in the King Years, 1954-1963 (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1988)
    --the first volume in a thorough and moving trilogy on King and the movement link to Amazon