Professor of history, often called Ari.
- FYSP 154: Freud's Vienna
- HIST 222: Germany and Eastern Europe from 1848-1989
- HIST 310: Marx and Marxism
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"People liked Voltaire because he was funny! He got invited to the salons because he was a witty guy. I mean...the fact that he was funny eventually made him have to go into exile but...until then he was a great party guest!"
"When Dennis Diderot decided to edit the first encyclopedia, he called his friends and asked them to write about their knowledge. But his friends were Voltaire, Rosseau, Kant, and Hume, so...it wasn't like you calling up your boys and being like, 'Hey guys! 17 volumes by Monday!'"
"He wrote a book about a boy named Emile. It was called, imaginatively, Emile. It's French so, if you're taking notes...throw an accent in there somewhere."
"Rousseau is considered the father of 19th century Liberalism, Rationalism, and many illegitimate children."
"1789 was kind of a bad year for the farmers in France. I mean, there wasn't much of a harvest. People kind of forgot to thresh the grain and other stuff...they were too busy, you know, having a revolution and all."
"In 1792, France went to war with Austria and Prussia...not really any particular reason, just because. In 1793, they went to war with...well...every single other country in Europe. They said, 'Oh! We are the great liberators!' The other people said, 'Crap! they are taking our stuff!' Kind of a difference of opinion."
"The middle of a bloody conflict, people dying everywhere...and the French started a nice social club. Nothing goes with revolution quite like a croissant!"
"Napoleon spent his early years fomenting Corsican revolutionary independence. As it turns out, though...there’s really not a lot to foment in Corsica. So he gave up there and just decided to take over Europe, instead."
"So, Olympe de Gouges...basically the early version of the Maury show. "Who is my baby's daddy!?'"
"You know how in elementary school your teacher was like, "Good job, Ben, you get a gold star!' With Napoleon it was like, "Yay Jean-Baptiste! Here’s a medal of honor and the legion of merit!'"
"The first thing Napoleon does is defeat Austria. This will become a recurring theme, by the way...the defeating of Austria."
"The battle of Borodino in 1812 was a draw. More Russians died, but more Russians always die, even if they win. Then they finally got to Moscow...but no one was there! They get to the party but everyone was already gone. The one thing they got is the word 'bistro', which is actually Russian."
"People would put formaldehyde in milk to preserve it. Yeah...that killed some people. There was dirt in the hot cocoa...tasty. So basically we have diet of formaldehyde and dirt...you can understand why people were dying quite quickly. Which of course made a need for more formaldehyde."
"After Louis XVIII, we have Charles X on the throne. Now listen up guys...if there is one thing we have learned in this course, it's that monarchs named 'Charles' are not good monarchs."
"In the 1830s and 1840s you had a bunch of intellectuals and other elites protesting some of them more unfortunate things in Germany. Just imagine a bunch of professors out there trying to burn things...pretty funny. Interestingly enough, the Brothers Grimm were actually involved in these things...so you just know they were out there throwing breadcrumbs or something."