Category Archives: Harristorian

Please stop calling these three a-holes the Beverly Hillbillies

Screen Shot 2017-04-21 at 12.35.34 PM I am not offering a partisan post here. Just a request to those who were, shall we say, disappointed by the recent image of Sarah Palin, Ted Nugent, and Kid Rock mocking former First Lady and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during a White House visit with Mr. Trump.

Folks keep referring to the trio as the Beverly Hillbillies, in reference to the 1960s television sitcom featuring a family of rural Arkansas farmers who struck it rich and moved to sunny Los Angeles. This odd juxtaposition, as you might guess…led to all sorts of hilarity.

But I would hate to think that modern critics would lump rural southerners in with the intolerant, ignorant, Confederate flag waving rednecks that seem to support the three pictured above. Yet that is what is happening. Please stop.

Here’s the thing. The Clampett family (said 1960s “hillbillies”) were uneducated, simple, country folks – but they were kind, considerate, and compassionate. They represented the very best of rural America, which, for all its campiness, was what the show was about.

For those of you who were not around during the 60s, or perhaps did not catch the 1970s reruns of this show, The Beverly Hillbillies was part of a comedic television genre, which included Petticoat Junction, Green Acres, and a number of others. Sure, there was some tongue-in-cheek ribbing when it came to rural southern simplicity (Jethro Bodine…). But beyond that, these shows underscored the character of rural Americans. These were shows about virtuous people.

The three pictured above are the opposite of that. They are disrespectful, purile, gloating imbeciles. It makes no difference to me what you think of Hillary Clinton’s politics, but Americans on both sides of the aisle should have the good sense to condemn this childish behavior….just please stop calling them the Beverly Hillbillies. You are missing the mark.

Thanks in advance,


The Reconstruction Era from Keith Harris History

Screen Shot 2016-01-21 at 6.07.08 AMAnd……we are good to go!

I am very pleased to announce the launch of the latest in the Keith Harris History web-course series: The Reconstruction Era, 1862-1877. This is a 17-lecture series that covers the political, social, and economic themes of the period. I have supplemented each lecture with a list of key terms and an assortment of downloadable primary sources…so you can read for yourself what the historical actors were saying as you follow along. I designed this course especially for history students (high school/AP and college undergrads) but anyone with an interest in this most contentious and complicated episode of US history will find the course useful and engaging.

I offer this to my on-line crew for a special price HERE.


And here’s the cool part: the course is social-friendly. Meaning: at various points I pose analytical questions or topics for discussion and invite students to post their responses to me on Twitter or any other social media platform using the hashtag #harristorian…and voilà – personal instruction from yours truly and discourse with the student community.

An overview…

The Reconstruction Era, 1862-1877

Lecture One – Wartime reconstruction (Part One)Screen Shot 2016-01-21 at 6.29.44 AM

Lecture Two – Wartime Reconstruction (Part Two) The Port Royal Experiment, Davis Bend Plantations, Southern Louisiana and the Mississippi Valley

Lecture Three – The Meaning of Freedom

Lecture Four – Presidential Reconstruction

Lecture Five – Congressional Reconstruction (Part One)

Lecture Six – Congressional Reconstruction (Part Two)

Lecture Seven – Impeaching the President

Lecture Eight – The Election of 1868 and the 15th amendment

Lecture Nine – A Republican South

Lecture Ten – The Political Economy of Reconstruction

Lecture Eleven – The Challenge of Enforcement

Lecture Twelve – Violence in the South

Lecture Thirteen – Reconstruction in the North

Lecture Fourteen – Depression and Politics

Lecture Fifteen – The Election of 1876 and the End of Reconstruction

Lecture Sixteen – Redemption

Lecture Seventeen – Popular Culture: Reconstruction and Hollywood – The Birth of a Nation and Gone With the Wind

Coda: Things to Consider

Take the course…each lecture is between 15 and 18 minutes long and jam-packed with all the goods to help you ace the test, write the paper, or have something interesting to talk about at parties – impress your friends!!

With compliments


Greetings from Gettysburg

Screen Shot 2016-01-02 at 8.40.38 PM Screen Shot 2016-01-02 at 8.40.52 PM Screen Shot 2016-01-02 at 8.42.39 PMToday I am featuring these cool vintage postcards depicting some Gettysburg battlefield tourist hot-spots. And…to let you know, if you do not already, that I have put together what I think is a pretty chill web-course on the battle. I designed it especially for high school APUSH and college students who want to know the battle and the historical context in which it unfolded. I also think it is great for anyone with an interest (buffs…I love buffs) in Civil War history or for those planning a trip to the national battlefield park. It will certainly get you in the Gettysburg mood. You can access the course HERE.

And this is what the reviewers think:

Succinct but detailed presentation by an instructor with an engaging style. Nice visuals. Very good production values.


Super concise and thorough. Love how he makes learning history fun 🙂

And another…

Professor Harris delivered an engaging and interesting way of approaching history. Rather than lecture and expect his students to accept his words at face value, Professor Harris challenges the student to engage the material and question long standing beliefs held by many. His integration of social media as a way of communicating ideas and engaging the material is superb. As he lectured, Professor Harris would periodically pop up in a side window to ask thought provoking questions, or to emphasize a point he had just made. Suffice to say, Professor Harris had no trouble making history come alive.

And there are more courses in production right now. I am nearing completion of a comprehensive course on the Reconstruction Era, and naturally, there is a Civil War course under development too.

So enjoy and please let me know what you think!

With compliments,