Dr. Robert Anderson


Parker Hall 203

Spring 2014 Office Hours


Spring 2014 Class Schedule

HI212 Revolutionary America:1754-1800, 2:40 4:10 -M-W--- MH 8
HI224 The Conservative Era (1980-?), 9:40 11:10 --T-R-- MH 8
HI283 Rise & Fall Soviet Union, 2:40 4:10 --T-R-- MH 8


B.A. magna cum laude, 1959, Wagner College
M.A., 1962, Ph.D., 1969, Columbia University
Student, Nat’l. Psychological Assoc. for Psychoanalysis, 1986-89


Wagner College faculty, 1964-present
Adjunct Professor at Marymount Manhattan College, New York University, and Ramapo College 1990-92
Editor and writer, Monarch Press, 1962-64, and Ny Verd (Scandinavian/American periodical), 1973-79

Teaching interests

American social history (1492-present); Marxism; American political history (1877-present); American foreign relations (1877-present); Soviet history.

Research interests

American social history

My book Vision of the Disinherited: The Making of American Pentecostalism (Oxford Univ. Press, 1979; 2nd rev. ed., Hendrickson Press, 1992) is a social history of a religious movement. I am currently writing my memoirs, which I hope will shed some light on how it was to grow up poor in the Great Depression, experience all of the history since, and work my way to my profession by swinging a hammer.

My approach to History is to understand it as a series of conflicts between peoples, nations, classes, races, religions, ideologies, etc. But history is not only about the real conflicts in the real world, but also about conflicts between historians over the interpretation of those real conflicts. In the study of History nothing is settled and certain; everything is open for reconsideration and revision. In confronting a controversial historical question –and that’s the only kind of question we deal with in my courses -- you must remember that an acceptable interpretation must have facts and arguments in its support. Also, you must always explain why the interpretation you subscribe to is more persuasive than alternative ones.

Every nation propagates an “establishment” interpretation of history -- a national mythology -- in order to:

  1. serve the interests of the ruling class;
  2. perpetuate its political, economic, and cultural social system; and
  3. secure the approval, loyalty, and obedience of its subjects

In all my courses I challenge our national myths to help my students free themselves from the indoctrination to which we have all been subjected, and to learn to think for themselves.