Class Divide

When Charles Upchurch first assigned Marx’s Communist Manifesto in his 19th-century European history survey course, he got some unexpected feedback from one of his students: “less Marx, more Adam Smith.” Upchurch took the student’s exhortation to heart. As the students then discovered, the invisible hand of the free market—invoked by this pair of illustrations—makes up only part of Smith’s economic philosophy, which often prioritized societal welfare over the market. Upchurch found that after working their way through Smith, students were much more willing to engage with the ideas of Marx. As he writes, he’d found a way to “bridge previously disconnected viewpoints.” In this issue, Perspectives highlights history classrooms where instructors are shaking things up.

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Allison Miller, editor
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