Top Young Historians: 42- Eric Rauchway


Edited by Bonnie K. Goodman

42: Eric Rauchway, 1-29-07

Basic Facts

Teaching Position: Professor, Department of History, University of California, Davis.
Area of Research: US political, cultural, and intellectual history
Education: PhD in History, Stanford University, 1996
Major Publications: Rauchway is the author of Blessed Among Nations: How the World Made America (Hill & Wang, 2006) Eric Rauchway JPG, Murdering McKinley: The Making of Theodore Roosevelt’s America (Hill & Wang, 2003), and The Refuge of Affections: Family and American Reform Politics, 1900-1920 (Columbia University Press, 2001). Rauchway is currently working on The Great Depression and the New Deal: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press), and The Gift Outright: The West, the South, and America, 1867-1937 (Hill & Wang).
Awards: Rauchway is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships including among others:
Murdering McKinley was named one the “Pittsburgh Post-Gazette” top ten for 2003;
Chancellor’s Fellow, University of California, Davis, 2003-2008;
MA by Special Resolution of Congregation, Oxford University, 1998.
Additional Info:
Rauchway formerly was University Lecturer, Faculty of Modern History, University of Oxford (1998-2001), and Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of History, University of Nevada, Reno (1996-1998).
Rauchway has written for “The American Prospect,” “The Financial Times,” “The Los Angeles Times,” “Newsday,” and other publications.
He currently writes for “The New Republic’s” “Open University” feature.
Rauchway has contributed commentary and book reviews to’s “Altercation,” and has commented on television for the History Channel and C-SPAN, and appeared on both public and commercial radio programs in the U.S. and abroad.

Personal Anecdote

Lacking a piquant or plangent anecdote I thought I would provide a brief explanation of why I am a historian. As I wrote here I have always had a sense of being not-quite: neither Protestant nor Jewish, I’ve lived in North, South, West, and overseas, as well as in towns both small and enormous; I register as a no-party voter and I attended a school that is famously neither entirely public nor private. I can’t claim to contain multitudes — I’m still squarely a white male American of middle-class standing, and a family man at that. But neither can I honestly claim to belong to any single one of the traditions within that identity.

Therefore I hope, and strive, to have some qualities in common with historians who used a similar sense of insider-outsiderhood to fuel their work. (Like Richard Hofstadter, as above; or Charles Beard, the dirt-farmer Ivy League political-scientist historian Republican radical — I hasten to add I am as cool as neither, but one should aim high.)¹ They did not readily take sides, or come easily to any political position; even their scholarly conclusions they regarded as provisional and subject, always, to revision. Which is not to say that they were intellectually wimpy; on the contrary, I tend rather to think their working outside a fixed tradition made them feel especially responsible for defending the conclusions they reached.

I meant particularly my second and third books to reflect this ambition toward a strong insider-outsiderhood in different ways. Murdering McKinley is about the strength and weakness of social science — it’s about how by looking at age, race, work, belief, ethnicity, sexuality, education etc. we can tell so much about someone, while still failing to discover the most important thing (in this case, why they might shoot the President).² Blessed Among Nations is about the strength and weakness of American political tradition — it’s about how America’s characteristic institutions reflect, not so much an ideological commitment to small government, but rather practical adaptations to circumstances, and how American policies succeeded or failed as those circumstances changed.

I guess that books especially designed not to stick with any political or interpretive tradition run the risk of being disliked, or worse, ignored. But I hope these books also exhibit another virtue typical of, though certainly not limited to, those older scholars — they had, I think, a particular, emotional attachment to America as a country whose commitment to liberty didn’t demand that you take sides too easily or too often, allowing people to live and believe as they wished. Certainly, that is the America to which I feel myself attached, and which I hope to serve well by good scholarship.

¹I purposely avoid mentioning anyone living, though certainly I have role models among breathing historians.

²Lest anyone mention the singular “they,” see here.


By Eric Rauchway

  • The United States became the country we know today at the end of World War I, when it took over the role of “top nation” from Britain. The story of its rise to this position of strength began at the end of the Civil War…. With the winning of the West came the transformation of the United States into the world’s largest economy. By 1917 … America stood out among nations, its anomalously large economy yoked in uneven harness to an anomalously small government with unusually few powers…. We need neither admire nor despise these peculiarities to note them and assess how far they resulted from the impact of international factors. — Eric Rauchway in “Blessed Among Nations How the World Made America”
  • There is another way in which I hope this book will work like a lens. Like a lot of people, I need corrective lenses to see properly, and also like a lot of people I don’t like to go to the doctor very much. So people like me will wear a pair of glasses for years without seeing an optometrist. And during that time, those glasses, which were perfectly designed to help us see when they were made, get worse and worse at their job. The lenses aren’t changing, but our eyes are. We just don’t notice because it happens so slowly. Then, finally, we get tired of the headaches and the blurry vision and we go to the doctor and get a properly prescribed pair of spectacles. And we put them on, and suddenly we see the world as if it were new, and we realize we’ve been squinting through outdated lenses for far too long. I think that much of what we see nowadays when we look at American history is like this, a picture as seen through lenses that worked fine for us once, but don’t work so well now that we’ve changed. There’s nothing intrinsically wrong with our old glasses; they were just meant for a different set of eyes, and too much of the world now looks out of focus.Blessed Among Nation JPGWhen you put on your new glasses after delaying a visit to the doctor for too long, you suddenly wonder how you could ever have stood to look through the old ones. I hope this book will help us see America’s place in the world with the same freshness, so that we can see the same old story with a new clarity and begin to wonder how we could ever have stood to look at the world through those quaint old spectacles, missing so much of such importance.Specifically, using globalization as a lens brings into focus the relationship between the United States and the rest of the world in the late nineteenth century, and how this relationship shaped American political development. Capital and labor from overseas pushed American political development in noticeably unusual directions during a particularly important growth spurt. This early formative influence bequeathed the United States some peculiar and lasting habits of government. The effects of globalization helped the country become a powerful nation without developing (in comparative terms) a powerful central government. In the United States, as in some other countries, we often argue over the appropriate size and authority of national government, and usually we argue from principle: a big government is better because it can provide security; a small government is better because it can allow freedom. These arguments from principle have what to a historian seems like an unfortunately timeless quality, as if government were some uniform product, of which you can have too much or too little, but which is always the same thing. If we look at how government grew in the first place, we might remember that it is a set of solutions to a set of problems—not theoretical problems, but practical problems—and that, in practice, not all peoples face the same problems. During its growth into a powerful nation, the United States faced a set of problems unlike those any other nation has encountered. Americans formed their habits of government by solving a set of problems specific to their circumstances. And we know that habits often outlast the circumstances that justified them, just as we often wear prescription eyeglasses long after our eyes have changed, and sometimes with bad consequences. — Eric Rauchway in “Blessed Among Nations How the World Made America”

About Eric Rauchway

  • “Provocative…Blessed Among Nations combines the same fluid writing style, bold interpretive approach, and ambitious agenda that made the work of mid–twentieth century historians like Richard Hofstadter, Arthur Schlessigner, Jr., and C. Vann Woodward so important and so broadly relevant.” — Joshua Zeitz in American Heritage reviewing “Blessed Among Nations How the World Made America”
  • “America’s rise to preeminence, the author argues, was the product of a perfect storm of foreign investment, luck, and global instability, and we forget at our peril the fickle nature of such forces. With hegemony comes responsibility, he suggests, responsibility that the U.S. may presently be all too willing to shirk.” — Atlantic Monthly reviewing “Blessed Among Nations How the World Made America”
  • “Written by an accomplished, imaginative historian who well understands those beginnings of modern America — the years of the Progressive Era — this book on one level suggests why socialism never took root in the United States, and why the supposed melting pot and the early Federal Reserve System worked as they did, but on quite another level develops a highly revealing argument how Americans’ faith in their “empire” and their exceptionalism shaped in often unexpected ways what we now call globalization and their part in it.” — Walter LaFeber, Tisch University Professor, Cornell University reviewing “Blessed Among Nations How the World Made America”
  • “I can always depend on Eric Rauchway to display the meticulousness of a careful historian with the literary flair of a fine novelist. Blessed Among Nations: How the World Made America adds to this admixture a powerful public voice as well; a tour de force.” — Eric Alterman, author of “When Presidents Lie: A History of Official Deception and Its Consequences” reviewing “Blessed Among Nations How the World Made America”
  • “With his trademark lapidary elegance, Rauchway shows us that America’s position astride the currents of globalization is due not merely to a mysteriously voracious capitalistic impulse, but to often fortuitous effects of seemingly unconnected particulars, such as monopolies rather than government dominating lending, and the diversity of our immigrants impeding a socialist revolution. A flinty and compelling synthesis.” — John McWhorter, author of “Winning the Race: Beyond the Crisis in Black America” reviewing “Blessed Among Nations How the World Made America”
  • “American ‘exceptionalism’ is one of those things often asserted, seldom convincingly proved. By setting the history of the United States in the context of the history of the first age of globalization, Eric Rauchway has come up with a powerful new argument about what exactly made the American experience different. Blessed Among Nations is both brilliant and convincing. For the breadth of his vision, the author deserves to be blessed among U.S. historians” — Niall Ferguson, Laurence A. Tisch Professor of History at Harvard University and author of “Colossus: The Rise and Fall of the American Empire” reviewing “Blessed Among Nations How the World Made America”
  • “A fascinating story of America at a crossroads . . . Murdering McKinley stands out as a well-reasoned and well-told chronicle about the dawn of modern America.” — Bob Hoover in the “Post-Gazette” reviewing “Murdering McKinley The Making of Theodore Roosevelt’s America”
  • Murdering McKinley JPG“A compact masterpiece that explains more about the late 19th Century than most historians know and yet is readable enough to take on an airplane . . . Accurate, comprehensive and cutting-edge history, it is also a rip-roaring tale…a book that holds high the standard for popular history. Illuminating the society that inspired a coldblooded murder, Rauchway’s Murdering McKinley is a brilliant trip through the heart of the 19th Century.” — Heather Cox Richardson in the “Chicago Tribune” reviewing “Murdering McKinley The Making of Theodore Roosevelt’s America”
  • “Eric Rauchway is that rare historian who is also a first-rate storyteller. Murdering McKinley is almost as impressive a literary feat as it is a scholarly one; a fascinating window on a turbulent time in our untold history and a damn good read to boot.” — Eric Alterman, author of “What Liberal Media? The Truth About Bias and the News” reviewing “Murdering McKinley The Making of Theodore Roosevelt’s America”
  • “Before Lee Harvey Oswald there was Leon Czolgosz (chol-gosh), the anarchist who shot and killed President William McKinley in 1901. Murdering McKinley tells the story of this assassin and the push he gave to progressivism by making Teddy Roosevelt president of the United States.” — Bruce Ramsey in “The Seattle Times” reviewing “Murdering McKinley The Making of Theodore Roosevelt’s America”
  • “Highly recommended, best prof I’ve had at Davis. Very interesting, well thought out lectures.”
    “He is an amazing professor. Though he talks very quickly he has such passion for the subject which encourages you. My best professor so far and if I could I would take his class again. History has finally become fun and you learn so much.”
    “Good professor. Lectures are interesting enough to get me out of bed in the morning.”
    “Simply fantastic professor. His lectures are highly lively and easy to understand… he will really highlight and increase your love of the subject, especially if you get involved in class. I highly recommend him.”
    “Rauchway was a wonderful professor. He talks fast during lectures, but he is very animated and always keeps you interested. I would reccommend him to anybody, I LOVED his class.”
    “Professor Rauchway is one of the few professors I really feel I have learned something from.”
    “One of the greatest history lecturers of all time. I highly suggest taking his classes… or even more classes if you previously have. He has an excellent knowledge of history, even though it seems boring, he somehow makes it interesting.” — Anonymous Students

Posted on Sunday, January 28, 2007 at 8:17 PM

History Buzz: January 2007

History Buzz

By Bonnie K. Goodman

Ms. Goodman is the Editor/Features Editor at HNN. She has a Masters in Library and Information Studies from McGill University, and has done graduate work in history at Concordia University.

January 29, 2007

    Presidential Campaign 2008 Watch

  • Robert Dallek on “Rush of Entries Gives ’08 Contest Early Intensity”: “If Bush were doing well and had a continuing ability to get things done and command the national stage, I think there would be far less focus on the campaign.” – NYT, 1-22-07
  • Robert Dallek on “Tone not as bold as a year ago”: “Energy is very hard to focus” during war, he says. “War, especially a war that’s going badly, is an all-encompassing concern.” – 1-24-2007
  • Robert Dallek on the LBJ-Bush parallel: “The two presidents’ wartime predicaments represent a strange convergence of two men with vastly different backgrounds and political philosophies.” – MSNBC, 1-25-07
  • Why Bush is no Lyndon Johnson In the midst of a war, can an unpopular leader get anything done? Yes – MSNBC, 1-25-07
  • Adrienne Israel: The History of Black History Month – Guilfordian, NC, 1-26-07
  • Thomas Sugrue: Black History Month Programming on Emmy Award-Winning WQED tv13 –, 1-24-07
  • Black History Month Tells Story of Determination and Triumph – Media Newswire, NY, 1-29-07
  • Plenty of ways to mark Black History Month – Annapolis Capital, MD, 1-28-07
  • David Blight: 2007 Marion Thompson Wright Lecture Examines “Slavery and the Memory Boom: Why, and Why Now?” free public program will be held in the Paul Robeson Campus Center, Rutgers-Newark, from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Feb. 17. The campus center is at 350 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. – R-N Online Campus News, NJ, 1-25-07
  • 29/01/1834 – Pres Jackson orders 1st use of US troops to suppress a labor dispute
  • 29/01/1850 – Henry Clay introduces a comprise bill on slavery to US Senate
  • 29/01/1861 – Kansas becomes 34th state
  • 29/01/1863 – Battle at Bear River, Washington: US army vs indians
  • 29/01/1864 – Battle of Moorefield, WV (Rosser’s Raid)
  • 29/01/1879 – Custer Battlefield National Monument, Mont established
  • 29/01/1916 – 1st bombings of Paris by German Zeppelins takes place
  • 29/01/1919 – Secretary of state proclaims 18th amendment (prohibition)
  • 29/01/1944 – 285 German bombers attack London
  • 29/01/1980 – 6 Iranian held US hostages escape with help of Canadians
  • 29/01/1984 – Pres Reagan formally announces he will seek a 2nd term
  • 30/01/1349 – Jews of Freilsburg Germany are massacred
  • 30/01/1487 – Bell chimes invented
  • 30/01/1647 – King Charles I handed over to English parliament
  • 30/01/1781 – Articles of Confederation ratified by 13th state, Maryland
  • 30/01/1797 – Congress refuses to accept 1st petitions from American blacks
  • 30/01/1798 – Rep Matthew Lyon (Vt) spits in face of Rep Roger Griswold (Ct) in US House of Representatives, after an argument
  • 30/01/1800 – US population: 5,308,483; Black population 1,002,037 (18.9%)
  • 30/01/1815 – Burned Library of Congress reestablished with Jefferson’s 6500 vols
  • 30/01/1835 – Richard Lawrence misfires at Pres Andrew Jackson in Washington DC
  • 30/01/1913 – House of Lords rejects Irish Home Rule Bill
  • 30/01/1933 – Adolph Hitler named German Chancellor, forms govt with Von Papen
  • 30/01/1939 – Hitler calls for extermination of European Jews
  • 30/01/1956 – Martin Luther King Jr’s home bombed
  • 30/01/1957 – US Congress accepts “Eisenhower-doctrine”
  • 30/01/1961 – JFK asks for an Alliance for Progress and Peace Corp
  • 30/01/1972 – Bloody Sunday: Brit soldiers shoot on catholics in Londonderry, 13 die
  • 30/01/1973 – Jury finds Watergate defendants Liddy and McCord guilty on all counts
  • 30/01/1976 – George Bush becomes 11th director of CIA (until 1977)
  • 30/01/1989 – 5 pharoah sculptures from 1470 BC found at temple of Luxor
  • 31/01/1863 – 1st black Civil War regiment, SC Volunteers, mustered into US army
  • 31/01/1865 – Congress passes 13th Amendment, abolishing slavery in America (121-24)
  • 31/01/1865 – Gen Robert E Lee named Commander-in-Chief of Confederate Armies
  • 31/01/1871 – Millions of birds fly over western SF, darkens sky
  • 31/01/1950 – Pres Truman OKs building of hydrogen bomb
  • 31/01/1968 – Viet Cong’s Tet offensive begins
  • 01/02/1587 – English queen Elizabeth I signs Mary Stuarts death sentence
  • 01/02/1790 – Supreme Court convenes for 1st time (NYC)
  • 01/02/1810 – US Population: 7,239,881, Black population: 1,377,808 (19%)
  • 01/02/1860 – 1st rabbi to open House of Representatives, Morris Raphall of NYC
  • 01/02/1861 – Texas becomes 7th state to secede
  • 01/02/1862 – Julia Howe publishes “Battle Hymn of Republic”
  • 01/02/1865 – 13th amendment approved (National Freedom Day)
  • 01/02/1865 – General Sherman’s march through South Carolina begins
  • 01/02/1871 – Jefferson Long of Georgia is 1st black to make an official speech in House of Reps (opposing leniency to former Confederates)
  • 01/02/1887 – Harvey Wilcox of Ks subdivides 120 acres he owned in Southern Calif and starts selling it off as a real estate development (Hollywood)
  • 01/02/1892 – Mrs William Astor invites 400 guests to a grand ball at her mansion thus beginning use of “400” to describe socially elite
  • 01/02/1893 – Thomas Edison complete’s worlds 1st movie studio (West Orange NJ)
  • 01/02/1951 – 1st telecast of atomic explosion
  • 01/02/1953 – “General Electric Theater” premieres on CBS TV; Reagan later hosts
  • 01/02/1953 – “You Are There” with Walter Cronkite premieres on CBS television
  • 01/02/1960 – 4 students stage 1st civil rights sit-in, at Greensboro NC Woolworth
  • 01/02/1965 – Martin Luther King Jr and 700 demonstrators arrested in Selma Ala
  • 01/02/1965 – Peter Jennings, 26, becomes anchor of ABC’s nightly news
  • 01/02/1968 – Former VP Richard Nixon announces candidacy for president
  • 01/02/1968 – Famous photo: Saigon police chief Nguyen Ngoc Loan executes a Viet Cong officer with a pistol shot to head
  • 01/02/1978 – Harriet Tubman is 1st black woman honored on a US postage stamp
  • 01/02/1979 – Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini returns to Iran after 15 yrs in exile
  • 02/02/1536 – Pedro de Mendoza finds Argentine city of Buenos Aires
  • 02/02/1550 – English Edward Seymour duke of Somerset, freed
  • 02/02/1843 – US and British settlers in Oregon Country choose govt committee
  • 02/02/1848 – Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ends Mexican War; US acquires Texas California, New Mexico and Arizona for $15 million
  • 02/02/1848 – 1st ship load of Chinese arrive in SF
  • 02/02/1863 – Samuel Clemens becomes Mark Twain for 1st time
  • 02/02/1876 – Baseball’s National League forms with teams in Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati, Hartford, Louisville, New York, Philadelphia, St Louis
  • 02/02/1913 – NYC’s Grand Central Terminal opens
  • 02/02/1942 – LA Times urges security measures against Japanese-Americans
  • 02/02/1948 – President Truman urges congress to adopt a civil rights program
  • 02/02/1954 – Pres Eisenhower reports detonation of 1st H-bomb (done in 1952)
  • 02/02/1955 – 1st presidential news conference on network TV-Eisenhower on ABC
  • 03/02/1690 – 1st paper money in America issued (colony of Mass)
  • 03/02/1740 – Charles de Bourbon, King of Naples, invites Jews to return to Sicily
  • 03/02/1783 – Spain recognizes US independence
  • 03/02/1836 – Whig Party holds its 1st national convention (Albany NY)
  • 03/02/1855 – Wisconsin Supreme Ct declares US Fugitive Slave Law unconstitutional
  • 03/02/1860 – Thomas Clemson takes office as 1st US superintendent of agriculture
  • 03/02/1864 – Sherman’s march through Mississippi
  • 03/02/1865 – Hampton Roads Peace Conference, Lincoln and Stephens reach an impasse
  • 03/02/1870 – 15th Amendment (Black suffrage) passed
  • 03/02/1908 – Supreme Court rules a union boycott violates Sherman Antitrust Act
  • 03/02/1916 – Canada’s original Parliament buildings, in Ottawa, burns down
  • 03/02/1917 – US liner Housatonic sunk by German sub and diplomatic relations severed
  • 03/02/1919 – League of Nations 1st meeting (Paris)
  • 03/02/1930 – William Howard Taft, resigns as chief justice for health reasons
  • 03/02/1947 – 1st black reporter in Congressional press gallery (Percival Prattis)
  • 03/02/1962 – Pres Kennedy bans all trade with Cuba except for food and drugs
  • 03/02/1994 – Pres Bill Clinton lifts US trade embargo against Vietnam
  • 04/02/1586 – Robert Dudley, earl of Leicester, becomes governor of Neth
  • 04/02/1787 – Shays’ Rebellion (of debt-ridden Massachusetts farmers) fails
  • 04/02/1789 – 1st electoral college chooses Washington and Adams as Pres and VP
  • 04/02/1822 – Free American Blacks settle Liberia, West Africa
  • 04/02/1847 – 1st US telegraph co established in Maryland
  • 04/02/1854 – Alvan Bovay proposes name “Republican Party,” Ripon, Wisc
  • 04/02/1855 – Soldiers shoot Jewish families in Coro, Venezuela
  • 04/02/1861 – Confederate constitutional convention meets for 1st time, Montgomery Ala, Ga, Fla, La, Miss and SC elect Jefferson Davis pres of Confederacy
  • 04/02/1864 – 24th Amendment abolishes Poll tax
  • 04/02/1887 – Interstate Commerce Act authorizes federal regulation of railroads
  • 04/02/1914 – US Congress approves Burnett-anti-immigration law
  • 04/02/1942 – Clinton Pierce becomes 1st US general wounded in action in WW II
  • 04/02/1945 – FDR, Churchill and Stalin meet at Yalta
  • 04/02/1997 – Sec of State Margaret Albright announces she just discovered that her grandparents were Jewish
  • Marc Fisher: Radio Days SOMETHING IN THE AIR Radio, Rock, and the Revolution That Shaped a GenerationNYT, 1-28-07
  • Michael B. Oren: Midnight at the Oasis POWER, FAITH, AND FANTASY America in the Middle East, 1776 to the PresentNYT, 1-28-07
  • Jan Crawford Greenburg: ‘Supreme Conflict’ SUPREME CONFLICT The Inside Story of the Struggle for Control of the United States Supreme Court NYT, 1-23-07
  • Michael B. Oren: America and the Mideast, long before the Bushes POWER, FAITH, AND FANTASY America in the Middle East, 1776 to the PresentSan Francisco Chronicle, CA, 1-28-07
  • Sarah E. Igo: Inventing a ‘norm’: Sociologists, sexologists and pollsters painting America by numbers Averaged American: Surveys, Citizens, and the Making of a Mass Public AdvertisementBaltimore Sun, MD, 1-28-07
  • MARTIN GOODMAN: Sacrifice at the altar of empire Rome & Jerusalem – The Clash of Ancient CivilisationsScotsman, UK, 1-26-07
  • Robert Dallek on ” Is Bush already a lame duck?”: “A lame duck president is someone who in our recent history is in his second term. … He doesn’t have the clout to influence the Congress, to assert himself that effectively, even in the conduct of foreign policy, because people know he is only going to be there another two years.” – CNN, 1-23-07
  • John Kitchens on “Dozens in Charlotte protest Iraq war”: “It’s created more terrorists than it’s gotten rid of.” – Sarasota Herald-Tribune, FL, 1-28-07
  • February 2, 2007: Archie P. McDonald will speak Friday at an event hosted by Tyler Junior College’s School of University Studies, A Dutch-treat buffet will begin 6 p.m. Friday in the Piano Room at Traditions restaurant, 6206 S. Broadway Ave. The program will begin at 6:45 p.m – Tyler Morning Telegraph, TX, 1-25-07
  • February 25, 2007: William Leuchtenburg “The White House Looks South: Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman, Lyndon B. Johnson” at 5 PM –
  • February 14, 2007: Eric Foner, “American Reconstruction (1865-1877)” Time to be announced, McLain Auditorium, MHS – Larchmont Gazette, NY, 11-29-06
  • March 20, 2007: Alan Brinkley, The Harlem Renaissance, Time to be announced, McLain Auditorium, MHS – Larchmont Gazette, NY, 11-29-06
  • Feb. 23 to 25, 2007: John Gillingham: Camden Conference marks its 20th anniversary, Feb. 23 to 25, 2007, at the Camden Opera House – 8-15-06 – Sold-out Camden Conference offers satellite seating at Strand, ME, 10-29-06
  • North Gate Professional Seminar Reconstructing the Past: When History and Journalism Meet, The Graduate School of Journalism, University of California at Berkley, Saturday, April 21, 2007, 8:30 am — 4:30 pm, North Gate Library, Hearst at Euclid Avenue, Berkeley – Event Details
  • C-Span2, Book TV : Christopher Hitchens, Francine Prose, Edmund Morris, James Atlas, 2006 Miami Book Fair: Biography Panel, Sunday, January 28 at 8:10 pm – C-Span2, BookTV
  • PBS: The American Experience: “The Berlin Airlift” Monday, January 29, 2007 at 9pm ET – PBS
  • History Channel: “Fort Knox: Secrets Revealed,” Sunday, January 28, @ 8pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “The Plague” Monday, January 29, @ 2pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Bloodlines: The Dracula Family Tree, ” Monday, January 29, @ 4pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Digging For The Truth :Lost Empire of Genghis Khaan,” Monday, January 29, @ 9pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Alaska: Dangerous Territory” Tuesday, January 29, @ 2pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Lost Worlds :Braveheart’s Scotland” Tuesday, January 30, @ 9pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “The Exodus Decoded” Wednesday, January 31, @ 2pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Tsunami 2004: Waves of Death” Wednesday, January 31, @ 4pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Giganto: The Real King Kong,” Thursday, February 1, @ 8pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “The History of Sex :From Don Juan to Queen Victoria,” Thursday, February 1, @ 11pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Jonestown Paradise Lost :,” Friday, February 2, @ 2pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “The Lost Evidence :18 – Battle of the Bulge,” Friday, February 2, @ 8pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Dogfights,” Marathon Saturday, January 27 @ 1-5pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “The True Story of Black Hawk Down,” Saturday, January 20 @ 5pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Digging For The Truth,” Marathon Saturday, February 3, @ 1-5pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Fort Knox: Secrets Revealed,” Saturday, February 3, @ 5pm ET/PT
  • Michael B. Oren: POWER, FAITH, AND FANTASY #10 (1 week on list) – 2-4-07
  • Evan Thomas: SEA OF THUNDER, #20 – 2-4-07
  • New online database archive for the preservation of Civil War correspondences, is a searchable database of soldiers and their correspondences.
  • Echoes in the Ice: Collages of Polar Explorers by Rik van Glintenkamp: In recognition of International Polar Year, the Harvard Museum of Natural History (HMNH) announces a unique exhibition celebrating intrepid explorers and their travels to the farthest “ends” of the Earth. Opens January 26, 2007 – Harvard Museum of Natural History, Harvard University
  • James M. McPherson: This Mighty Scourge: Perspectives on the Civil War (Oxford University Press), January 2007
  • Dominic Green: Three Empires on the Nile: The Victorian Jihad, 1869-1898 (Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group), January 2007
  • Geoffrey Roberts: Stalin’s Wars: From World War to Cold War, 1939-1953 (Yale University Press), January 2007
  • David A. Bell: The First Total War: Napoleon’s Europe and the Birth of Warfare as We Know It, (Houghton Mifflin Company), January 2007
  • Dinesh D’Souza: Enemy at Home: The Cultural Left and Its Responsibilty for 9/11 (Doubleday Publishing), January 16, 2007
  • Edward Luce: In Spite of the Gods: The Rise of Modern India (Doubleday Publishing), January 16, 2007
  • Chalmers Johnson: Nemesis: The Last Days of the American Republic [American Empire Project], (Henry Holt & Company, Incorporated), February 6, 2007
  • Geoffrey Perret: Commander in Chief: How Truman, Johnson, and Bush Turned a Presidential Power into a Threat to America’s Future (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), February 6, 2007
  • Benton Rain Patterson: With the Heart of a King: Elizabeth I of England, Philip II of Spain, and the Fight for a Nation’s Soul and Crown (St. Martin’s Press), February 6, 2007
  • Andrew Roberts: History of the English-Speaking Peoples since 1900, HarperCollins Publishers), February 6, 2007
  • Margaret MacMillan: Nixon in China: The Week That Changed the World, (Random House Adult Trade Publishing Group), February 13, 2007
  • John McManus: Alamo in the Ardennes: The Untold Story of the American Soldiers Who Made the Defense of Bastogne Possible, (Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated), March 2007
  • Portuguese historian Antonio de Oliveira Marques dies at 73 – AP, 1-24-07

Posted on Sunday, January 28, 2007 at 7:27 PM

January 22, 2007

    Presidential Campaign 2008 Watch

  • Andrew Polsky on “Hillary Clinton launches trailblazing presidential bid”: “A woman candidate could find it easier to run in peacetime, rather than wartime, but Sen. Clinton’s tried to position herself as a serious person on national security. But that means she’s staked out difficult position on the war that won’t make it easy for her to get Democratic nomination.” – AP, 1-20-07
  • Richard Norton Smith: Says it would be better “for Obama’s sake, not to mention for the country’s” if he had more experience. It would also be better if the campaign season were long enough for voters to fully gauge his character and aptitude for the presidency, Smith says. As Obama’s supporters often point out, Lincoln was a former member of the Illinois Legislature who had served briefly in Congress before becoming president. But the parallels in the men’s careers are no indication of success for Obama, Smith says. Sometimes the election of inexperienced candidates whose charisma is their greatest asset “produced great presidents, and sometimes it produced decidedly mediocre ones,” he says. – USA Today, 1-16-07
  • Garry Wills “Are Voters Ready For A Woman Or African American In The White House?”: “They talk about ‘judicial temperament ,’ somebody who’s able to weigh things fairly, I think he probably has that, perhaps more than she does. She has, a reputation anyway, of having very strong emotional reactions to people.” – CBS2 Chicago, IL, 1-16-07
  • Jonathan Sarna on “Does a McCain-Lieberman ticket make sense?”: “The 2006 election in Connecticut demonstrated that Lieberman still commands a significant Jewish following, but not as strong a following as he enjoyed in 2000. Lieberman’s support of the Iraq war, his views on religion in public life, and his endorsement of Republican efforts to prevent the removal of Terri Schiavo’s feeding tube distanced him from some Jewish voters.” – MSNBC 1-8-07
  • Julian Zelizer and Robert Dallek: Talkin’ ‘Bout My New Generation – U.S. News & World Report, DC, 12-31-06
  • Robert Dallek: He’s making a connection to Kennedy, and Kennedy also represented a new generation–young, vital, dynamic, very bright, articulate, and upbeat, a new face on the scene. What also serves Obama well is the tremendous frustration and disappointment with Bush.” – U.S. News & World Report, DC, 12-31-06
  • 22/01/1371 – King Robert II Stuart of Scotland crowned
  • 22/01/1814 – 1st Knights Templar grand encampment in US held, NYC
  • 22/01/1863 – Union Gen Burnside’s “Mud March”
  • 22/01/1905 – Bloody Sunday: Russian demonstrators fired on by tsarist troops
  • 22/01/1944 – During World War II, Allied forces begin landing at Anzio Italy
  • 22/01/1945 – Heavy US air raid on Okinawa
  • 22/01/1946 – US president sets up CIA, Central Intelligence Agency
  • 22/01/1973 – Roe vs Wade: US Supreme Court legalizes some abortions
  • 22/01/1973 – US, North and South Vietnam and Vietcong sign boundary accord
  • 23/01/1492 – “Pentateuch” (Jewish holy book) 1st printed
  • 23/01/1552 – 2nd version of Book of Common Prayer becomes manditory in England
  • 23/01/1556 – Most deadly earthquake kills 830,000 in Shensi Province, China
  • 23/01/1571 – Queen Elizabeth I opens Royal Exchange in London
  • 23/01/1793 – Humane Society of Philadelphia (1st aid society) organized
  • 23/01/1845 – Uniform US election day for president and VP authorized
  • 23/01/1849 – Mrs Elizabeth Blackwell becomes 1st woman physician in US
  • 23/01/1907 – Charles Curtis of Kansas becomes 1st Native American US senator
  • 23/01/1933 – 20th amendment changes date of presidential inaugurations to 1/20
  • 23/01/1950 – Israeli Knesset resolves Jerusalem is capital of Israel
  • 23/01/1961 – Supreme Court rules cities and states have right to censor films
  • 23/01/1964 – 24th Amendment ratified, barring poll tax in federal elections
  • 23/01/1973 – Pres Nixon announces an accord has been reached to end Vietnam War
  • 24/01/1656 – 1st Jewish doctor in US, Jacob Lumbrozo, arrives in Maryland
  • 24/01/1847 – 1,500 New Mexican Indians and Mexicans defeated by US Col Price
  • 24/01/1964 – 24th Amendment to US Constitution goes into effect and states voting rights could not be denied due to failure to pay taxes
  • 25/01/1327 – King Edward III accedes to British throne
  • 25/01/1533 – England’s King Henry VIII marries Anne Boleyn (approximate date)
  • 25/01/1554 – Sir Thomas Wyatt gathers an army in Kent, rebels against Queen Mary
  • 25/01/1721 – Czar Peter the Great ends Russian-orthodox patriarchy
  • 25/01/1775 – Americans drag cannon up hill to fight British (Gun Hill Road, Bronx)
  • 25/01/1787 – Shays’ Rebellion suffers a setback when debt-ridden farmers, led by Capt Daniel Shays, fail to capture an arsenal at Springfield, Mass
  • 25/01/1851 – Sojourner Truth addresses 1st Black Women’s Rights Convention (Akron)
  • 25/01/1858 – Mendelssohn’s “Wedding March” 1st played, at wedding of Queen Victoria’s daughter Princess Victoria, to crown prince of Prussia
  • 25/01/1863 – General Joseph Hooker replaces Burnside as head of Army of Potomac
  • 25/01/1877 – Congress determines presidential election between Hayes-Tilden
  • 25/01/1882 – Bilu, a Russian Zionist organization, forms
  • 25/01/1890 – National Afro-American League forms in Chicago
  • 25/01/1905 – Largest diamond, Cullinan (3106 carets), found in South Africa
  • 25/01/1907 – Julia Ward Howe is 1st woman elected to Natl Inst of Arts and Letters
  • 25/01/1919 – Founding of League of Nations, 1st meeting 1 year later
  • 25/01/1961 – 1st live, nationally televised presidential news conference (JFK)
  • 25/01/1969 – US-North Vietnamese peace talks begin in Paris
  • 25/01/1988 – VP Bush and Dan Rather clash on “CBS Evening News” as Rather attempts to question Bush about his role in Iran-Contra affair
  • 26/01/1784 – Ben Franklin expresses unhappiness over eagle as America’s symbol
  • 26/01/1802 – Congress passes an act calling for a US Capitol library
  • 26/01/1861 – Louisiana becomes 6th state to secede
  • 26/01/1862 – Lincoln issues General War Order #1, calling for a Union offensive McClellan ignores order
  • 26/01/1863 – 54th Regiment (Black) infantry forms — War Dept authorizes Mass governor to recruit black troops
  • 26/01/1870 – Virginia rejoins US
  • 26/01/1907 – 1st federal corrupt election practices law passed
  • 26/01/1926 – Television 1st demonstrated (J L Baird, London)
  • 26/01/1939 – Filming begins on “Gone With the Wind”
  • 26/01/1942 – 1st US force in Europe during WW II go ashore in Northern Ireland
  • 26/01/1948 – Executive Order 9981, end segregation in US Armed Forces signed
  • 26/01/1980 – Israel and Egypt establish diplomatic relations
  • 26/01/1998 – Pres Clinton says “I want to say one thing to the American people I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky”
  • 27/01/1785 – 1st US state university chartered, Athens Georgia
  • 27/01/1823 – Pres Monroe appoints 1st US ambassadors to South America
  • 27/01/1870 – After accepting 15th amendment, VA is readmitted to Union
  • 27/01/1880 – Thomas Edison patents electric incandescent lamp
  • 27/01/1888 – National Geographic Society organizes (Wash DC)
  • 27/01/1926 – US Senate agrees to join World Court
  • 27/01/1941 – Peruvian agent Rivera-Schreiber warns of Jap assault on Pearl Harbor
  • 27/01/1944 – Leningrad liberated from Germany in 880 days with 600,000 killed
  • 27/01/1945 – Russia liberates Auschwitz and Birkenau Concentration Camp (Poland)
  • 27/01/1973 – US and Vietnam sign cease-fire, ending longest US war and milt draft — William Rogers and Nguyen Duy Trinh sign US-N Vietnam treaty
  • 27/01/1977 – Pres Carter pardons most Vietnam War draft evaders (10,000)
  • 27/01/1977 – 1st broadcast of “Roots” mini-series on ABC TV
  • 27/01/1988 – Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously approves nomination of Judge Anthony M Kennedy to US Supreme Court
  • 27/01/1992 – Pres candidate Bill Clinton (D) and Genifer Flowers accuse each other of lying over her assertion they had a 12-year affair
  • 28/01/1547 – 9-year-old Edward VI succeeds Henry VIII as king of England
  • 28/01/1581 – James VI signs 2nd Confession of Faith in Scotland
  • 28/01/1858 – John Brown organized raid on Arsenal at Harper’s Ferry
  • 28/01/1865 – Pres Jefferson Davis names 3 peace commissioners
  • 28/01/1878 – Yale Daily News published, 1st college daily newspaper
  • 28/01/1915 – 1st US ship lost in WW I, William P Frye (carrying wheat to UK)
  • 28/01/1915 – US Pres Wilson refuses to prohibit immigration of illiterates
  • 28/01/1916 – 1st Jewish Supreme Court justice, Louis Brandeis, appointed by Wilson
  • Dinesh D’Souza: None (but Me) Dare Call It Treason THE ENEMY AT HOME The Cultural Left and Its Responsibility for 9/11NYT, 1-22-07
  • Dinesh D’Souza: THE ENEMY AT HOME The Cultural Left and Its Responsibility for 9/11, First Chapter – NYT, 1-22-07
  • Robert Kagan on Michael B. Oren: How America Met the Mideast The U.S. encounter with the Middle East began centuries before the Iraq War, propelled by idealists eager to tranform the region in their own image POWER, FAITH, AND FANTASY America in the Middle East, 1776 to the Present Wa Po, 1-21-07
  • H.W. Brands on David Greenberg: Silent Cal The taciturn Coolidge’s term spoke volumes about the modern presidency CALVIN COOLIDGEWa Po, 1-21-07
  • Gary Mormino: The Panhandle’s evolution, as seen through a historian’s eyes Land of Sunshine, State of Dreams: A Social History of FloridaWalton Sun, FL, 1-27-07
  • Michael Honey: ‘Going Down Jericho Road:’ MLK’s Last Fight – NPR, 1-15-07
  • Michael Oren: Video of his appearance on Jon Stewart’s Daily Show – Daily Show, 1-17-07
  • W. Fitzhugh Brundage on “Confederate general’s legacy gets new look on his 200th birthday”: “Now there are all sorts of other ways in which Southerners identify themselves — Salvadorans, Mexicans, Asians — (and) the politics and economics of the region are no longer based on white supremacy. It makes all the sense in the world that for more and more Southerners, Robert E. Lee is just a footnote.” – Houston Chronicle, TX, 1-20-07
  • Leo Ribuffo at the University of Georgia’s Carter Conference”: “You can argue he was Clinton without too much sex appeal.” – Online Athens, GA, 1-20-07
  • David Hackett Fischer: To introduce former President Carter at Brandeis, Jan. 23 in the Gosman Gymnasium, for a speech open only for members of the Brandeis community – The Brandeis Hoot, 1-19-07
  • February 25, 2007: William Leuchtenburg “The White House Looks South: Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman, Lyndon B. Johnson” at 5 PM –
  • February 14, 2007: Eric Foner, “American Reconstruction (1865-1877)” Time to be announced, McLain Auditorium, MHS – Larchmont Gazette, NY, 11-29-06
  • March 20, 2007: Alan Brinkley, The Harlem Renaissance, Time to be announced, McLain Auditorium, MHS – Larchmont Gazette, NY, 11-29-06
  • Feb. 23 to 25, 2007: John Gillingham: Camden Conference marks its 20th anniversary, Feb. 23 to 25, 2007, at the Camden Opera House – 8-15-06 – Sold-out Camden Conference offers satellite seating at Strand, ME, 10-29-06
  • C-Span2, Book TV : 2006 Miami Book Fair: Thomas Evans “The Education of Ronald Reagan” Sunday, January 22 at 8:25 pm – C-Span2, BookTV
  • C-Span2, Book TV : 2006 Miami Book Fair: Charles Shields “Mockingbird: A Portrait of Harper Lee” Sunday, January 22 at 8:40 pm – C-Span2, BookTV
  • C-Span2, Book TV : General Assignment: Michael Oren, “Power, Faith, and Fantasy: America in the Middle East: 1776 to the Present” Sunday, January 22 at 10 pm – C-Span2, BookTV
  • PBS: The American Experience: “JOHN AND ABIGAIL ADAMS” Monday, January 22, 2007 at 9pm ET – PBS
  • History Channel: “Ancient Discoveries :Heron of Alexandria,” Sunday, January 21, @ 10pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Ancient Discoveries :Ships,” Sunday, January 21, @ 11pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Digging For The Truth,” Marathon Monday, January 22, @ 3-8pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Digging For The Truth :Atlantis: New Revelations,” Monday, January 22, @ 9pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Special :Rome: Engineering an Empire” Tuesday, January 23, @ 2pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Ancient Discoveries :11 – Siege of Troy” Tuesday, January 23, @ 9pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Man Moment Machine :Alexander the Great and the Devastating Catapult” Tuesday, January 23, @ 10pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Last Days on Earth” Wednesday, January 17, @ 2pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Decoding The Past :Tibetan Book of the Dead,” Thursday, January 25, @ 9pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Decoding The Past :Mysteries of the Bermuda Triangle,” Friday, January 26, @ 2pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Shootout :Okinawa: The Last Battle of WWII,” Friday, January 26, @ 9pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Dogfights,” Marathon Saturday, January 27 @ 1-5pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “The True Story of Black Hawk Down,” Saturday, January 20 @ 5pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Digging For The Truth :Atlantis: New Revelations,” Saturday, January 27, @ 8pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Digging For The Truth :Atlantis: New Revelations,” Saturday, January 27, @ 8pm ET/PT
  • Hampton Sides: BLOOD AND THUNDER An Epic of the American West #12 (3 weeks on list) – 1-28-07
  • Evan Thomas: SEA OF THUNDER, #14 (2 weeks on list) – 1-28-07
  • Nathaniel Philbrick: Mayflower, # 35 – 1-28-07
  • James M. McPherson: This Mighty Scourge: Perspectives on the Civil War (Oxford University Press), January 2007
  • Dominic Green: Three Empires on the Nile: The Victorian Jihad, 1869-1898 (Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group), January 2007
  • Geoffrey Roberts: Stalin’s Wars: From World War to Cold War, 1939-1953 (Yale University Press), January 2007
  • David A. Bell: The First Total War: Napoleon’s Europe and the Birth of Warfare as We Know It, (Houghton Mifflin Company), January 2007
  • Dinesh D’Souza: Enemy at Home: The Cultural Left and Its Responsibilty for 9/11 (Doubleday Publishing), January 16, 2007
  • Edward Luce: In Spite of the Gods: The Rise of Modern India (Doubleday Publishing), January 16, 2007
  • Chalmers Johnson: Nemesis: The Last Days of the American Republic [American Empire Project], (Henry Holt & Company, Incorporated), February 6, 2007
  • Geoffrey Perret: Commander in Chief: How Truman, Johnson, and Bush Turned a Presidential Power into a Threat to America’s Future (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), February 6, 2007
  • Benton Rain Patterson: With the Heart of a King: Elizabeth I of England, Philip II of Spain, and the Fight for a Nation’s Soul and Crown (St. Martin’s Press), February 6, 2007
  • Andrew Roberts: History of the English-Speaking Peoples since 1900, HarperC
  • ollins Publishers), February 6, 2007

  • Margaret MacMillan: Nixon in China: The Week That Changed the World, (Random House Adult Trade Publishing Group), February 13, 2007
  • John McManus: Alamo in the Ardennes: The Untold Story of the American Soldiers Who Made the Defense of Bastogne Possible, (Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated), March 2007

Posted on Sunday, January 21, 2007 at 6:45 PM

January 15, 2007

THIS WEEK IN HISTORY: This Week in History:

  • 15/01/1535 – Henry VIII declares himself head of English Church
  • 15/01/1777 – People of New Connecticut (Vermont) declare independence from England
  • 15/01/1780 – Continental Congress establishes court of appeals
  • 15/01/1870 – Donkey 1st used as symbol of Democratic Party, in Harper’s Weekly
  • 15/01/1942 – FDR asks commissioner to continue baseball during WW II
  • 15/01/1943 – World’s largest office building, Pentagon, completed
  • 15/01/1950 – 4,000 attend National Emergency Civil Rights Conference in Wash DC
  • 15/01/1973 – 4 Watergate burglars plead guilty in federal court
  • 15/01/1976 – Sara Jane Moore sentenced to life for attempting to shoot Pres Ford
  • 16/01/1581 – English parliament passes laws against Catholicism
  • 16/01/1776 – Continental Congress approves enlistment of free blacks
  • 16/01/1777 – Vermont declares independence from NY
  • 16/01/1865 – Gen Wm Sherman issues Field Order #15 (land for blacks)
  • 16/01/1870 – Virginia becomes 8th state readmitted to US after Civil War
  • 16/01/1883 – Pendleton Act creates basis of US Civil Service system
  • 16/01/1920 – 1st assembly of League of Nations (Paris)
  • 16/01/1920 – 18th Amendment, prohibition, goes into effect; repealed in 1933
  • 16/01/1938 – Benny Goodman refuses to play Carnegie Hall when black members of his band were barred from performing
  • 16/01/1944 – Gen Eisenhower took command of Allied Invasion Force in London
  • 17/01/1821 – Mexico permits Moses Austin and 300 US families to settle in Texas
  • 17/01/1874 – Armed Democrats seize Texas govt ending Radical Reconstruction
  • 17/01/1893 – Queen Liliuokalani deposed, Kingdom of Hawaii becomes a republic
  • 17/01/1911 – Failed assassination attempt on premier Briand in French Assembly
  • 17/01/1945 – Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg, credited with saving tens of thousands of Jews from the Nazis, arrested by secret police in Hungary
  • 17/01/1945 – Liberation of Warsaw by Soviet troops (end of Nazi occupation)
  • 17/01/1945 – Auschwitz concentration camp begins evacuation
  • 17/01/1946 – United Nations Security Council holds its 1st meeting
  • 17/01/1948 – Trial of 11 US Communist party members begins in NYC
  • 17/01/1961 – Eisenhower allegedly orders assassination of Congo’s Lumumba
  • 17/01/1966 – Martin Luther King Jr opens campaign in Chicago
  • 17/01/1983 – Alabama Gov George C Wallace, becomes governor for record 4th time
  • 17/01/1987 – Pres Reagan signs secret order permitting covert sale of arms to Iran
  • 17/01/1991 – Operation Desert Storm begins-US led allies vs Iraq
  • 17/01/1991 – Operation Desert Storm: 1st US pilot shot down (Jeffrey Zahn)
  • 17/01/1998 – Pres Clinton faces sexual harrament charges from Paula Jones
  • 18/01/1486 – King Henry VII of England marries Elizabeth, daughter of Edward IV
  • 18/01/1671 – Pirate Henry Morgan defeats Spanish defenders, captures Panam
  • 18/01/1778 – Capt James Cook stumbles over Sandwich Islands (Hawaiian Islands)
  • 18/01/1817 – San Mart¡n leads a revolutionary army over Andes
  • 18/01/1854 – Filibuster William Walker proclaims Republic of Sonora in NW Mexico
  • 18/01/1862 – Confederate Territory of Arizona forms
  • 18/01/1871 – 2nd German Empire proclaimed by Kaiser Wilhelm I and Bismarck
  • 18/01/1919 – WW I Peace Congress opens in Versailles, France
  • 18/01/1943 – Jews in Warsaw Ghetto begin resistance of Nazis
  • 18/01/1944 – 1st Chinese naturalized US citizen since repeal of exclusion acts
  • 18/01/1945 – Warsaw freed by Soviet army
  • 18/01/1991 – Iraq launches SCUD missiles against Israel
  • 18/01/1993 – Martin Luther King Jr holiday observed in all 50 states for 1st time
  • 19/01/1419 – French city of Rouen surrenders to Henry V in Hundred Years War
  • 19/01/1793 – French King Louis XVI sentenced to death
  • 19/01/1840 – Antarctica discovered, Charles Wilkes expedition (US claim)
  • 19/01/1861 – Georgia becomes 5th state to secede
  • 19/01/1861 – MS troops take Ft Massachusetts an Ship Island
  • 19/01/1865 – Union occupies Fort Anderson, NC
  • 19/01/1871 – 1st Negro lodge of US Masons approved, New Jersey
  • 19/01/1920 – US Senate votes against membership in League of Nations
  • 19/01/1955 – 1st presidential news conference filmed for TV (Eisenhower)
  • 19/01/1981 – US and Iran sign agreement to release 52 American hostages
  • 19/01/1987 – Guy Hunt becomes Alabama’s 1st Republican governor since 1874
  • 19/01/1989 – Pres Reagan pardons George Steinbrenner for illegal funds for Nixon
  • 20/01/1778 – 1st American military court martial trial begins, Cambridge, Mass
  • 20/01/1785 – Samuel Ellis advertises to sell Oyster Island (Ellis Is), no takers
  • 20/01/1788 – Pioneer African Baptist church organizes in Savannah, Ga
  • 20/01/1801 – John Marshall appointed US chief justice
  • 20/01/1807 – Napoleon convenes great Sanhedrin, Paris
  • 20/01/1868 – Florida constitutional convention meets in Tallahassee
  • 20/01/1869 – Elizabeth Cady Stanton becomes 1st woman to testify before Congress
  • 20/01/1937 – 1st Inauguration day on Jan 20th, (held every 4th years there-after)
  • 20/01/1939 – Hitler proclaims to German parliament to exterminate all European Jews
  • 20/01/1945 – FDR sworn-in for an unprecedented 4th term as president
  • 20/01/1949 – Pres Truman announces his point 4 program
  • 20/01/1953 – 1st live coast-to-coast inauguration address (Eisenhower)
  • 20/01/1961 – Robert Frost recites “Gift Outright” at JFK’s inauguration
  • 20/01/1969 – Richard M Nixon inaugurated as president
  • 20/01/1981 – 52 Americans held hostage in Iran for 444 days freed
  • 20/01/1981 – Ronald Reagan inaugurated as president
  • 20/01/1989 – Bush inaugurated as 41st president and Quayle becomes 44th vice pres — Reagan becomes 1st pres elected in a “0” year, since 1840, to leave office alive
  • 20/01/1993 – Bill Clinton inaugurated as 42nd president
  • 21/01/1789 – 1st American novel, WH Brown’s “Power of Sympathy,” is published
  • 21/01/1861 – Jefferson Davis of Mississippi and 4 other southern senators resign
  • 21/01/1950 – NY jury finds former State Dept official Alger Hiss guilty of perjury
  • 21/01/1953 – John Foster Dulles appointed as Secretary of State
  • 21/01/1977 – Pres Jimmy Carter pardons almost all Vietnam War draft evaders
  • Caroline Elkins on Rachel Holmes : A Life Exposed AFRICAN QUEEN The Real Life of the Hottentot VenusNYT, 1-14-07
  • Kevin Boyle on Michael K. Honey: King’s Last Mission The civil rights movement was changed forever by a 1968 showdown that ended in tragedy GOING DOWN JERICHO ROAD The Memphis Strike, Martin Luther King’s Last CampaignWa Po, 1-14-07
  • Brian S. Wills: UVa-Wise historian examines Hollywood’s portrayal of Civil War – Kingsport Times News, TN, 1-15-07
  • Roberta Wohlstetter: WSJ celebrates her work on Pearl Harbor – WSJ editorial, 1-9-07
  • Jonathan Petropoulos: Reveals Fateful History of Nazi Princes Bloomberg News, 1-8-07
  • New Richard Posner book deals with plagiarism – Charles McGrath in the NYT, 1-7-07
  • Conrad Black & Margaret MacMillan: Black apologizes for tone of review of Nixon book by MacMillan – NYT, 1-8-07
  • David Greenberg: Admitting Failure, Without Being a Failure … President’s Dilemma NYT, 1-15-07
  • Howard Zinn: Interviewed about his new book – Znet, 1-7-06
  • John Hope Franklin: Miles to Go Before He Sleeps Historian and civil rights activist John Hope Franklin explains how the movement toward Martin Luther King’s dream has been significant—that we can expect a black president ‘soon’—but ‘not nearly as effective as it should be.’ – Newsweek, 1-13-07
  • Historian Lenworth Gunther: “Dr. King is slowly being taken out of his holiday, much like Christ has been taken out of Christmas. Unfortunately, the American phenomenon of commercialism has impacted this holiday. Like many others, it is a day to shop, a day off, a day to be cool. Bling-bling and bang-bang have taken over belief-belief. Coretta Scott King’s death is a flash point that we are losing the greatest generation of the modern civil rights movement, and the question now is who is going to pick up the baton? The fact that she is no longer with us frees people from the burden of having to be reminded of how she said the holiday should be observed. So, we can’t stop; we have to keep teaching.” – Akron Beacon Journal, OH, 1-14-07
  • John Hope Franklin: Guest Sunday on UNC-TV’s “North Carolina Bookwatch,” Franklin discussed his memoir, “Mirror to America.” –
  • January 15, 2007: Robert A. Pratt Noted Author and Civil Rights Historian to Speak at Young Harris College at 7:00 pm in the Susan B. Harris Chapel – Union Sentinel, GA, 1-11-07
  • February 25, 2007: William Leuchtenburg “The White House Looks South: Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman, Lyndon B. Johnson” at 5 PM –
  • February 14, 2007: Eric Foner, “American Reconstruction (1865-1877)” Time to be announced, McLain Auditorium, MHS – Larchmont Gazette, NY, 11-29-06
  • March 20, 2007: Alan Brinkley, The Harlem Renaissance, Time to be announced, McLain Auditorium, MHS – Larchmont Gazette, NY, 11-29-06
  • Feb. 23 to 25, 2007: John Gillingham: Camden Conference marks its 20th anniversary, Feb. 23 to 25, 2007, at the Camden Opera House – 8-15-06 – Sold-out Camden Conference offers satellite seating at Strand, ME, 10-29-06
ON TV: History Listings This Week:

  • C-Span2, Book TV : History on Book TV: James Hornfischer, “Ship of Ghosts: The Story of the USS Houston, FDR’s Legendary Lost Cruiser, and the Epic Saga of her Survivors” Sunday, January 14 at 8:00 pm – C-Span2, BookTV
  • C-Span2, Book TV : After Words: After Words: Gabor Boritt, author of “The Gettysburg Gospel: The Lincoln Speech That Nobody Knows” interviewed by James Swanson Sunday, January 14 at 9:00 pm – C-Span2, BookTV
  • C-Span2, Book TV : History on Book TV: Timothy Naftali, Co-author, “Khrushchev’s Cold War: The Inside Story of an American Adversary” Sunday, January 14 at 9:55 pm – C-Span2, BookTV
  • PBS: The American Experience: “Eyes on the Prize” Part 4 Monday, January 15, 2007 at 9pm ET – PBS
  • History Channel: “The Kennedy Assassination: Beyond Conspiracy,” Sunday, January 14, @ 8pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Last Days on Earth,” Sunday, January 14, @ 10pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Martin Luther King Jr. Day: The Making of a Dream,” Monday, January 15, @ 2pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Our Generation :Martin Luther King Assassination,” Monday, January 15, @ 2:30pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Conspiracy? :Who Killed Martin Luther King Jr.?,” Monday, January 15, @ 3pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Conspiracy? :RFK Assassination,” Monday, January 15, @ 4pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Houdini: Unlocking the Mystery,” Monday, January 15, @ 5pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Decoding The Past :Cults: Dangerous Devotion,” Monday, January 15, @ 8pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Jonestown Paradise Lost,” Monday, January 15, @ 9pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Man, Moment, Machine :JFK & the Crisis Crusader.” Tuesday, January 16, @ 10pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Targeted :Osama bin Laden” Wednesday, January 17, @ 2pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “The War against al Qaeda” Wednesday, January 17, @ 4pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Special :Da Vinci & the Code He Lived By,” Thursday, January 18, @ 2pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Special :Behind The Da Vinci Code,” Thursday, January 18, @ 4pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Decoding The Past :Vampires Secrets,” Thursday, January 18, @ 9pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Breaking Vegas,” Friday, January 19, @ 2pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Man, Moment, Machine,” Marathon Saturday, January 20 @ 1-5pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “The True Story of Black Hawk Down,” Saturday, January 20 @ 5pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Jonestown Paradise Lost,” Saturday, January 20, @ 8pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Decoding The Past :Cults: Dangerous Devotion,” Saturday, January 20, @ 10pm ET/PT
  • Evan Thomas: SEA OF THUNDER, #28 – 1-21-07
  • Nathaniel Philbrick: Mayflower, # 31 – 1-21-07
  • Hampton Sides: BLOOD AND THUNDER An Epic of the American West #32 – 1-21-07
  • James M. McPherson: This Mighty Scourge: Perspectives on the Civil War (Oxford University Press), January 2007
  • Dominic Green: Three Empires on the Nile: The Victorian Jihad, 1869-1898 (Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group), January 2007
  • Geoffrey Roberts: Stalin’s Wars: From World War to Cold War, 1939-1953 (Yale University Press), January 2007
  • David A. Bell: The First Total War: Napoleon’s Europe and the Birth of Warfare as We Know It, (Houghton Mifflin Company), January 2007
  • Dinesh D’Souza: Enemy at Home: The Cultural Left and Its Responsibilty for 9/11 (Doubleday Publishing), January 16, 2007
  • Edward Luce: In Spite of the Gods: The Rise of Modern India (Doubleday Publishing), January 16, 2007
  • Chalmers Johnson: Nemesis: The Last Days of the American Republic [American Empire Project], (Henry Holt & Company, Incorporated), February 6, 2007
  • Geoffrey Perret: Commander in Chief: How Truman, Johnson, and Bush Turned a Presidential Power into a Threat to America’s Future (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), February 6, 2007
  • Benton Rain Patterson: With the Heart of a King: Elizabeth I of England, Philip II of Spain, and the Fight for a Nation’s Soul and Crown (St. Martin’s Press), February 6, 2007
  • Andrew Roberts: History of the English-Speaking Peoples since 1900, HarperC
  • ollins Publishers), February 6, 2007

  • Margaret MacMillan: Nixon in China: The Week That Changed the World, (Random House Adult Trade Publishing Group), February 13, 2007
  • John McManus: Alamo in the Ardennes: The Untold Story of the American Soldiers Who Made the Defense of Bastogne Possible, (Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated), March 2007
  • Roberta Wohlstetter, 94, Military Policy Analyst, Dies – NYT, 1-11-07

Posted on Sunday, January 14, 2007 at 7:54 PM

January 8, 2007

  • Gerald R. Ford, 1913-2006: History Buzz Special Edition – HNN, 1-2-07
  • Highlights from the 2007 Annual Meeting of the American Historical Association – Rick Shenkman, HNN
  • 08/01/1790 – George Washington delivers 1st state of union address (or Jan 4)
  • 08/01/1815 – Battle of New Orleans-War of 1812 ended 12/24/1814 but nobody knew
  • 08/01/1853 – 1st US bronze equestrian statue (of Andrew Jackson) unveiled, Wash
  • 08/01/1867 – Legislation gives suffrage to DC blacks, despite Pres Johnson’s veto
  • 08/01/1918 – Mississippi becomes 1st state to ratify 18th amendment (prohibition)
  • 08/01/1918 – Pres Wilson outlines his 14 points for peace after WW I
  • 08/01/1925 – 1st all-female US state supreme court appointed, Texas
  • 08/01/1958 – Cuban revolutionary forces capture Havana
  • 08/01/1964 – President Lyndon B Johnson declares “War on Poverty”
  • 08/01/1975 – Judge Sirica orders release of Watergate’s John W Dean III, Herbert W Kalmbach and Jeb Stuart Magruder from prison
  • 09/01/1349 – 700 Jews of Basel Switzerland, burned alive in their houses
  • 09/01/1570 – Tsar Ivan the terrible kills 1000-2000 residents of Novgorod
  • 09/01/1839 – Daguerrotype photo process announced at French Academy of Science
  • 09/01/1861 – Mississippi becomes 2nd state to secede
  • 09/01/1861 – 1st hostile act of Civil War; Star of West fired on, Sumter, SC
  • 09/01/1905 – Bloody Sunday-demonstrators fired on by tsarist troops (1/22 NS)
  • 09/01/1945 – US soldiers led by Gen Douglas MacArthur invades Philippines
  • 10/01/1776 – “Common Sense” by Thomas Paine, published
  • 10/01/1811 – Louisiana slaves rebell in 2 parishes
  • 10/01/1861 – Florida becomes 3rd state to secede from US
  • 10/01/1863 – 1st underground railway opens in London
  • 10/01/1878 – US Senate proposes female suffrage
  • 10/01/1920 – League of Nations established
  • 10/01/1928 – Soviet Union orders exile of Leon Trotsky
  • 10/01/1943 – 1st US pres to visit a foreign country in wartime-FDR leaves for Casablanca, Morocco
  • 10/01/1946 – UN General Assembly meets for 1st time (London)
  • 10/01/1966 – Julian Bond denied seat in Ga legislature for opposing Vietnam War
  • 10/01/1967 – PBS (the National Educational TV) begins as a 70 station network
  • 11/01/1785 – Continental Congress convenes in NYC
  • 11/01/1803 – Monroe and Livingston sail for Paris to buy New Orleans; they buy La
  • 11/01/1861 – Alabama becomes 4th state to secede
  • 11/01/1897 – M H Cannon becomes 1st woman state senator in US (Utah)
  • 11/01/1986 – 1st black gov since reconstruction sworn in (Douglas Wilder of Va)
  • 11/01/1991 – Congress empowers Bush to order attack on Iraq
  • 12/01/1863 – President Davis delivers his “State of Confederacy” address
  • 12/01/1915 – House of Reps rejects proposal to give women right to vote
  • 12/01/1944 – Churchill and de Gaulle begin a 2-day wartime conference in Marrakesh
  • 13/01/1559 – Elizabeth I crowned queen of England in Westminster Abbey
  • 13/01/1630 – Patent to Plymouth Colony issued
  • 13/01/1733 – James Oglethorpe and 130 English colonists arrive at Charleston, SC
  • 13/01/1794 – Congress changes US flag to 15 stars and 15 stripes
  • 13/01/1869 – Colored National Labor Union, 1st Black labor convention
  • 13/01/1888 – National Geographic Society founded (Washington, DC)
  • 13/01/1898 – Emile Zola publishes his open letter (J’accuse) in defense of Dreyfus
  • 14/01/1601 – Church authorities burn Hebrew books in Rome
  • 14/01/1699 – Massachusetts holds day of fasting for wrongly persecuting “witches”
  • 14/01/1784 – Revolutionary War ends; Congress ratifies Treaty of Paris
  • 14/01/1864 – General Sherman begins his march to the South
  • 14/01/1878 – US Supreme court rules race separation on trains unconstitutional
  • 14/01/1943 – FDR and Winston Churchill confer in Casablanca concerning WW II
  • Evan Thomas: Sea of Thunder, First Chapter – NYT, 1-7-07
  • Alondra Nelson on Harriet A. Washington: Unequal Treatment How African Americans have often been the unwitting victims of medical experiments MEDICAL APARTHEID The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans From Colonial Times to the PresentWa Po, 1-7-07
  • Brian S. Wills: Combines two passions — history and movies — in his book, Gone with the Glory: The Civil War in CinemaSuffolk News-Herald, VA, 1-4-07
  • Gil Troy on Neill Ferguson: Flashpoints How local conflicts, pitting neighbor against neighbor, fuel worldwide violence The War of the WorldNews & Observer, NC, 12-30-06
  • Jon Wiener: You’re mistaken if you think declassifying government documents means making them available – LAT, 1-4-07
  • Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.: Folly’s Antidote – NYT, 1-1-07
  • Juan Cole: Saddam … The death of a dictator Salon, 12-30-06
  • Joseph Ellis: How would four of the greatest war leaders in history have handled Iraq? – LAT, 12-29-06
  • William H. Chafe: Reflects on his experience in post-Katrina New Orleans WaPo, 12-27-06
  • Jason Sokol: Book Looks at Integration’s Impact on White South There Goes My EverythingNPR, 1-6-06
  • Frederick Kagan: Boost Troop Levels, Says Alternative Iraq Report – NPR, 1-5-06
  • Douglas Brinkley: Writing a book about Gerald Ford to be Released in February – CBS News, 12-27-06
  • Conrad Crane: With Iraq in flames, a historian rethinks the way we fight the enemy Newsweek, 1-1-07
  • Jon Wiener: FBI files on John Lennon have been released to a US academic, ending a 25 year battle for access to the documents – UKTV, UK, 12-22-06
  • Paul Light on “Bush fights to stay relevant”: “There’s a reason why you don’t read any books about the last two years of a two-term president. The last years are focused almost entirely on the upcoming election. By the last year, he’s almost completely irrelevant. It’s gloomy, but it’s realistic.” – AP, 1-4-07
  • February 14, 2007: Eric Foner, “American Reconstruction (1865-1877)” Time to be announced, McLain Auditorium, MHS – Larchmont Gazette, NY, 11-29-06
  • March 20, 2007: Alan Brinkley, The Harlem Renaissance, Time to be announced, McLain Auditorium, MHS – Larchmont Gazette, NY, 11-29-06
  • Feb. 23 to 25, 2007: John Gillingham: Camden Conference marks its 20th anniversary, Feb. 23 to 25, 2007, at the Camden Opera House – 8-15-06 – Sold-out Camden Conference offers satellite seating at Strand, ME, 10-29-06
  • C-Span2, Book TV : Book TV presents After Words: Anthony Weller, author of “First Into Nagasaki: The Censored Eyewitness Dispatches on Post-Atomic Japan and its Prisoners of War” interviewed by Norman Hatch, Sunday, January 7 at 6:00 pm – C-Span2, BookTV
  • C-Span2, Book TV : History on Book TV: Evan Thomas, “Sea of Thunder: Four Commanders and the Last Great Naval Campaign 1941-1945” Sunday, January 7 at 10:00 pm – C-Span2, BookTV
  • PBS: The American Experience: “The Alaska Pipeline” Monday, January 8, 2007 at 9pm ET – PBS
  • History Channel: “Caligula: Reign of Madness,” Sunday, January 7, @ 10pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Lost Worlds :The Pagans,” Monday, January 8, @ 10pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “The Flag-Raisers of Iwo Jima” Tuesday, January 9, @ 2pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Pacific: The Lost Evidence :Okinawa” Tuesday, January 9, @ 4pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Pacific: The Lost Evidence :Iwo Jima” Tuesday, January 9, @ 5pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Pacific: The Lost Evidence :Saipan” Tuesday, January 9, @ 6pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Man, Moment, Machine :Galileo & the Sinful Spyglass” Tuesday, January 9, @ 10pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “True Caribbean Pirates” Wednesday, January 10, @ 2pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Return of the Pirates” Wednesday, January 10, @ 4pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Modern Marvels :Walt Disney World” Wednesday, January 10, @ 9pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Skeletons on the Sahara,” Thursday, January 11, @ 2pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Street Gangs: A Secret History,” Friday, January 12, @ 2pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “The Plague,” Saturday, January 13 @ 2pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Mega Disasters :San Francisco Earthquake,” Saturday, January 13 @ 6pm ET/PT
  • Nathaniel Philbrick: Mayflower, # 21 – 1-14-07
  • Evan Thomas: SEA OF THUNDER, #27 – 1-14-07
  • Hampton Sides: BLOOD AND THUNDER An Epic of the American West #28 – 1-14-07
  • James M. McPherson: This Mighty Scourge: Perspectives on the Civil War (Oxford University Press), January 2007
  • Dominic Green: Three Empires on the Nile: The Victorian Jihad, 1869-1898 (Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group), January 2007
  • Geoffrey Roberts: Stalin’s Wars: From World War to Cold War, 1939-1953 (Yale University Press), January 2007
  • David A. Bell: The First Total War: Napoleon’s Europe and the Birth of Warfare as We Know It, (Houghton Mifflin Company), January 2007
  • Dinesh D’Souza: Enemy at Home: The Cultural Left and Its Responsibilty for 9/11 (Doubleday Publishing), January 16, 2007
  • Edward Luce: In Spite of the Gods: The Rise of Modern India (Doubleday Publishing), January 16, 2007
  • Chalmers Johnson: Nemesis: The Last Days of the American Republic [American Empire Project], (Henry Holt & Company, Incorporated), February 6, 2007
  • Geoffrey Perret: Commander in Chief: How Truman, Johnson, and Bush Turned a Presidential Power into a Threat to America’s Future (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), February 6, 2007
  • Benton Rain Patterson: With the Heart of a King: Elizabeth I of England, Philip II of Spain, and the Fight for a Nation’s Soul and Crown (St. Martin’s Press), February 6, 2007
  • Andrew Roberts: History of the English-Speaking Peoples since 1900, HarperC
  • ollins Publishers), February 6, 2007

  • Margaret MacMillan: Nixon in China: The Week That Changed the World, (Random House Adult Trade Publishing Group), February 13, 2007
  • John McManus: Alamo in the Ardennes: The Untold Story of the American Soldiers Who Made the Defense of Bastogne Possible, (Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated), March 2007

Posted on Sunday, January 7, 2007 at 4:19 PM

Top Young Historians: 41- Mark Atwood Lawrence


Edited by Bonnie K. Goodman

41: Mark Atwood Lawrence, 1-22-07

Basic Facts

Teaching Position: Associate Professor, Department of History, University of Texas at Austin.
Area of Research: History of U.S. foreign relations, the Cold War, and Vietnam War
Education: 1999 Doctor of Philosophy, history, Yale University.
Major Publications: Lawrence is author of Assuming the Burden: Europe and the American Commitment
to Mark Lawrence JPGWar in Vietnam
(University of California Press, 2005), which won the 2006 George Louis Beer Prize and Paul Birdsall Prize of the American Historical Association. He has also written many chapters, articles, and reviews on the Vietnam War and other topics in U.S. diplomatic history. He is co-editor (with Fredrik Logevall of Cornell University) of The First Vietnam War: Colonial Conflict and Cold War Crisis, a volume of essays about the French war in Indochina (forthcoming from Harvard University Press in January 2007). He is also the editor, The New York Times Twentieth Century in Review: The Vietnam War (Fitzroy-Dearborn Publishers, 2002), a Two-volume collection of New York Times material (news stories, features, editorials, photos, and graphics) connected to the Vietnam War. Lawrence is currently working on a number of book project including: The Vietnam War: A Very Short Introduction, under advance contract with Oxford University Press for publication in 2007, The United States and the World: A History in Documents co-edited with Jeffrey Engel and Andrew Preston), under advance contract with Princeton University Press, and Broken Promises: American Politics and the Crumbling of the U.S. Relationship with the Third World, under advance contract with Princeton University Press.
Awards: Lawrence is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships including among others:
American Historical Association’s Paul Birdsall Prize in European military and strategic history for Assuming the Burden: Europe and the American Commitment to War in Vietnam, 2007;
American Historical Association’s George Louis Beer Prize in European international history for Assuming the Burden: Europe and the American Commitment to War in Vietnam, 2007;
Cassius Marcellus Clay Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2006-2008, Department of History, Yale University (two-year residential fellowship in New Haven), 2006;
President’s Associates Teaching Excellence Award, University of Texas at Austin. 2004;
Grant from Instructional Technologies Services, College of Liberal Arts, University of Texas at Austin, for development of on-line teaching materials for U.S. history. 2003;
Research grant from the John F. Kennedy Library, Boston, Massachusetts, 2003;
Nominated for Dad’s Association Centennial Teaching Fellowship, University of Texas at Austin, 2002;
Dean’s Fellowship (one-semester research leave), College of Liberal Arts, University of Texas at Austin, 2002;
Summer Research Assignment (summer research funding), Office of Graduate Studies, University of Texas at Austin, 2001;
Theron Rockwell Field Prize from Yale University Graduate School for outstanding dissertation (one of Yale’s two highest dissertation prizes, with $10,000 fellowship), 1999;
Hans Gatzke Prize from Yale University Department of History for outstanding dissertation related to European history, 1999;
John M. Olin Postdoctoral Fellowship in International Security Studies, Yale University, 1998.
Additional Info:
Formerly Lecturer, Department of History (1998-2000) and Teaching Fellow (1992-1994) at Yale University.
Lawrence worked for the “New York Times” and as a correspondent for the “Associated Press” in Brussels and Strasbourg in the early nineties. He also covered the European Union, NATO, Council of Europe, issues included European integration, reform in Eastern Europe and Russia, U.S.-European relations, Persian Gulf War, human rights, agriculture (1995-1996).

Personal Anecdote

“So you’re writing about the origins of the Vietnam War? Do we really need another study on that?” Coming from an accomplished historian of U.S. foreign relations, this was an unsettling question for a slightly insecure third-year graduate student just setting out on his dissertation research. I was aware, after all, that the matter had received more than its fair share of scholarly attention. It seemed like the Civil War or the Third Reich: niches for new research were few and far between, if they existed at all.

And yet I pressed ahead, partly, I can see now, out of naïveté about just how vast the Vietnam scholarship really was. (A trip to Barnes & Noble might have been enough to stop me in my tracks.) But my perseverance sprang, too, from a sense of genuine enthusiasm about the subject and a belief that it was somehow important to lots of people outside the academy. This was well before the Iraq War pushed Vietnam back to the center of popular debate about U.S. foreign policy. During the mid-1990s, the debate was about something different: how the global order should be reshaped after the end of the Cold War. It seemed worth exploring the behavior of the United States and its allies in another period of uncertainty, the years immediately following the Second World War. How in the process of establishing the trans-Atlantic alliance – the cornerstone of Western policy thereafter – did U.S. and West European leaders respond to simmering tensions in the colonial world? More specifically, how did decisions concerning the most economically developed parts of the world contribute to flawed decisions about other areas, not least Vietnam? These were the sorts of questions I hoped to answer.

My risky choices paid off. As I completed my dissertation, I discovered that the Vietnam War had strong appeal to job committees and publishers – perhaps the two most important constituencies for a young scholar. But more important I believe that I was correct in judging relations with the “third world” as the major problem for the United States in the years ahead. The September 11 attacks, the invasion of Afghanistan, and the Iraq war have generated a fascination with the developing world among policymakers, students, and the general public unparalleled since the 1960s. To elucidate the historical background of present-day dilemmas strikes me as a more vital task than ever before.

In a sad but also exhilarating way, then, it is a good time to be a historian of the Vietnam War. When handled with care, the numerous parallels between the Vietnam and Iraq conflicts can help illuminate risks and opportunities in the current situation. Few of us – present company included – have been able to resist the temptation to write about the analogy. But our more pressing task is to show that Vietnam and Iraq, far from historical oddities that echo one another across a chasm of decades, are part of the same broad historical process that has played out across a century – the eclipse of European colonialism and the struggle to establish viable and just postcolonial orders in successor states. The end of the Cold War was just a turn in the story, not a beginning or an end. Viewing the global history of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries in this way opens up a research agenda that will keep many of us busy for a long time to come.


By Mark Atwood Lawrence

  • “This book seeks to explain the origins of American involvement in Vietnam, but it also Assuming the Burden JPG endeavors to contribute to a new body of American history that, inspired by globalizing currents, attempts to place the United States within an international context. How, it asks, was the United States affected by the rest of the world even as it was affecting the world in ways that are relatively familiar? Answering this question is a considerable challenge, not lease because it requires intensive work in the archival holdings of multiple nations — a process that entailed many months of research, a good deal of travel, and mastery of the political cultures and decision-making processes of each government. The outcome, I hope, is a fresh way of understanding the roots of America’s war in Vietnam and some new ideas about how nations interact with each other to produce policy.” — Mark Atwood Lawrence in “Assuming the Burden Europe and the American Commitment to War in Vietnam”

About Mark Atwood Lawrence

  • “Rigorously researched and carefully argued. . . . Utilizing British, French, and American diplomatic, military and political records between the final years of the Second World War and 1950, Lawrence offers a broad-based and genuinely original analysis both of the role of foreign policy within and foreign pressure on America in this period.” — “The Journal of Military History” reviewing “Assuming the Burden Europe and the American Commitment to War in Vietnam”
  • “It would not be an exaggeration to call this one of the soundest international histories of any aspect of the World War II/early Cold War era.” — Robert McMahon, author of “The Limits of Empire” reviewing “Assuming the Burden Europe and the American Commitment to War in Vietnam”
  • “This is the new international history at its best, drawing on prodigious research in French, British and American primary sources and an imaginative and persuasive conceptual framework to fundamentally recast how we view this critical period in the history of the Vietnam wars and the Cold War.” — Mark Bradley, author of “Imagining Vietnam and America” reviewing “Assuming the Burden Europe and the American Commitment to War in Vietnam”
  • In this important book an impressive international group of historians sheds fresh light on the First Indochina War. The years 1945 to 1954 are not just a crucial, formative period for the Vietnamese-American relationship, but also a significant chapter in the international history of the twentieth century. This work will prove most welcome to scholars and general readers alike. — Robert J. McMahon, Ohio State University reviewing “The First Vietnam War: Colonial Conflict and Cold War Crisis”
  • The most important contribution in decades to the international history of the First Vietnam War. These essays by leading specialists The First Vietnam War: Colonial Conflict and Cold War Crisis JPG show how the Indochina War connected key participants and historical forces in the making of the post-1945 international system. This book belongs in the library of anyone interested in the Cold War, decolonization, Asian history, Vietnamese studies, and international history. — Christopher Goscha, Université du Québec à Montréal reviewing “The First Vietnam War: Colonial Conflict and Cold War Crisis”
  • A fresh collection of stimulating and impressive essays on the First Vietnam War. Lawrence and Logevall have brought together the leading scholars of the period in what will be essential reading for anyone interested in colonialism and the early Cold War. — Robert K. Brigham, Vassar College reviewing “The First Vietnam War: Colonial Conflict and Cold War Crisis”
  • A splendid collection of essays based on sources from across the world and covering a wide range of topics. An indispensable addition to the literature on the First Vietnam War. — George C. Herring, University of Kentucky reviewing “The First Vietnam War: Colonial Conflict and Cold War Crisis”
  • The First Vietnam War beautifully illustrates the complex interplay between the emerging Cold War, the disintegrating colonial order, and the vibrant social, political, and cultural forces inside Indochina. The volume confirms the promise of the new international history?-multi-archival, multi-national, and multi-causal. — Melvyn P. Leffler, University of Virginia reviewing “The First Vietnam War: Colonial Conflict and Cold War Crisis”
  • “His approach is really in-depth, but that just makes this course better. Very interested in students and open to suggestions.” — Anonymous Student

Posted on Sunday, January 21, 2007 at 6:17 PM

In Memory of Roy Rosenzweig (1950-2007)



In Memory of Roy Rosenzweig (1950-2007)

Bonnie Goodman

Ms. Goodman is a graduate student at Concordia University and an Assistant Editor at HNN.



Steve Brier
Joshua Brown
Jack Censer
Daniel Cohen
Marion Deshmukh
Gary Gerstle
Mack Holt
Mills Kelly
Meredith Lair
Elena Razlogova
Amanda Shuman
Peter Stearns

Chris Hale and Pillarisetti Sudhir
Lee White


Washington Post
George Mason University

Career Highlights

Reflections on his Career
About Roy Rosenzweig
Basic Facts


Washington Post ObituaryRoy A. Rosenzweig, 57, a social and cultural historian at George Mason University who became a prominent advocate for “digital history,” a field combining historical scholarship with digital media’s broad reach and interactive possibilities, died Oct. 11 at Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington County. He had lung cancer.

Dr. Rosenzweig, who taught history at GMU for the past 26 years, founded the university’s Center for History and New Media in 1994. As its director, he oversaw the creation of online history projects aimed mostly at high school and college students, including Web sites about U.S. history, the French Revolution and the history of science and technology.

Perhaps its most visible project was the September 11 Digital Archive, a collection of 150,000 items — including e-mails, digital voice mails, BlackBerry communications and video clips — made by average citizens at the time of the 2001 terrorist attacks. The center gave the materials to the Library of Congress in September 2003.

The center, part of GMU’s Department of History and Art History, has more than 40 full- and part-time staff members.

Dr. Rosenzweig was an author, filmmaker and documenter of oral histories. His books, including a social history of New York’s Central Park and the labor movement’s struggle in the 19th century for a shorter workday, underscored his interest in presenting what he called “perspectives of ordinary men and women” over the wealthy and powerful.

In the early 1990s, he helped create an award-winning U.S. history survey presented on CD-ROM. He then started the Center for History and New Media, which stemmed from his wish “to democratize the study of the past — both by incorporating forgotten voices and by presenting the fullest possible story of the past to diverse audiences.”

Edward L. Ayers, president of the University of Richmond, who conducted early digital history projects as a University of Virginia history professor, said Dr. Rosenzweig “was the real pioneer in this.”…

Click here to continue reading.

Official Statement from George Mason University

Roy Rosenzweig, a historian and pioneer of digital technology and new media, died from cancer on Oct. 11. Rosenzweig was the Mark and Barbara Fried Chair and director of the Center for History and New Media (CHNM), which he founded in 1994. CHNM has been at the forefront of efforts to use new media and digital technology to promote an inclusive and democratic understanding of the past while reaching new and diverse audiences.

Roy Rosenzweig JPG Just a few weeks ago, Rosenzweig was named as one of the Mason professors to lead CHNM in creating an online National History Education Clearinghouse. The online project will help K-12 history teachers become more effective educators and show their students why history is relevant to their daily lives.

Rosenzweig was involved in a number of different digital history projects, including web sites on U.S. history, historical thinking, the French Revolution, the history of science and technology, world history and the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

Earlier this year, Rosenzweig received the Distinguished Service Award from the Organization of American Historians in recognition of his contributions to significantly enriching the understanding and appreciation of American history.

Rosenzweig was a graduate of Columbia College and studied at St. John’s College of Cambridge, England before receiving his PhD from Harvard University. Before coming to George Mason in 1981, he was an assistant professor of history and humanities at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts, and a Mellon postdoctoral fellow in the Center for the Humanities at Wesleyan University in Connecticut.

In 2005, Rosenzweig’s web-based project,”History Matters,” earned him and the CHNM the James Harvey Prize of the American Historical Association. In 2003, he was awarded the second Richard W. Lyman Award for his work with CHNM, particularly the”History Matters” project and the September 11 Digital Archive.

Roy Rosenzweig JPG The $25,000 prize recognized scholarly achievement of unusual merit and impact and innovative use of information technology in humanistic scholarship and teaching. These projects are attempts to make new and rare historical documents free and accessible to anyone and explore how technology can be used to enhance the study of history.

In 1999, Rosenzweig was awarded the Outstanding Faculty Award, the commonwealth’s highest honor for faculty at public and private colleges and universities in Virginia.

He was the coauthor of numerous books, including”The Park and the People: A History of Central Park,” which won the 1993 Historic Preservation Book Award and the 1993 Urban History Association Prize for Best Book on North American Urban History. He also co-wrote”The Presence of the Past: Popular Uses of History in American Life,” which has won prizes from the Center for Historic Preservation and the American Association for State and Local History.

Rosenzweig was the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and lectured as a Fulbright professor. He also served as vice president for research of the American Historical Association.

In Appreciation

Amanda Shuman, PhD candiate in Chinese History, former studentIf it weren’t for Roy, I wouldn’t be where I am today. Roy’s advice, generosity, inspiration, and encouragement had a large impact on my life. I would probably not be pursing a PhD in history right now if I had never met Roy.

One night in late October 2002, I went to visit Roy in his office on the GMU campus. I had made an appointment with him per another history professor’s e-mail. I wanted to ask him about the History and New Media M.A. program. I always liked history and was an IT major and it seemed like the field was a perfect fit, though I wasn’t sure it was practical. In fact, I was debating between instructional technology or history teaching. In the midst of our discussion about the program and CHNM, Roy asked about where I was currently working. I told him how much I disliked my IT consulting job. I was thinking of taking some classes part-time and possibly going back to school full-time in the future, though I wasn’t sure how I would do this. Roy immediately encouraged me to apply for a job at CHNM. I was completely floored! I began working at CHNM soon thereafter.

In fall 2003, I took Roy’s Clio Wired class. Our final website project could be on any topic we wished. Despite having trouble finding websites as sample models for my proposed topic, Roy encouraged me to pursue it anyway. My final project was a little website proposal called”Westerners in China.” That was my first research project on Chinese history (ever). I enjoyed researching it so much that I subsequently took an East Asian history graduate class and Chinese language classes in preparation for a doctoral program in Chinese history. For two more years, I continued to work at CHNM. Roy was nothing but encouraging and even curious of my Chinese language studies. When I decided in 2005 to apply for PhD programs in Chinese history, he offered me application advice that was priceless and wrote recommendations for every school.

Roy was the pioneer in digital history and I am honored to have known him for that. Countless people have been inspired by what Roy has written, said, and accomplished. However, I feel especially blessed to have worked at CHNM and known him professionally as an extremely supportive and encouraging supervisor, co-worker, and professor, and personally as a colleague and friend.

Elena Razlogova, Assistant Professor, Department of History, Concordia University, Affiliated Scholar, CHNM; Associate Producer, Gulag: Many Days, Many Lives

Working with Roy, at the Center for History and New Media and as a student, gave one a unique understanding of the purpose and practice of history. Roy founded CHNM because he considered new media a useful means to democratize historical scholarship. In 1995, the Center consisted of the server in a closet, and I was its only employee. Since then, Roy brought together an amazing crew-CHNM now employs over 40 people-and infected us with his relentless work ethic. Some of us who”graduated” from the Center have since taken it as a model for our own ventures in collaborative digital history.

At the Center and elsewhere, Roy applied his unreconstructed”new left” radicalism to new digital realities. In a new medium, the Center’s projects continue Roy’s early work in labor and public history-they take voices and interpretations of ordinary people seriously. This is evident both in the earliest and latest CHNM projects-from the CD-Rom Who Built America, a US history survey”from the bottom up,” to the Hurricane Digital Memory Bank, on Hurricane Katrina. Roy chose to collaborate on most of his books, despite historians’ traditional preference for solitary research and writing. He argued for open access and”open source” scholarship at countless academic and government meetings, often with little result, but he never gave up. Thanks to him, articles in the American Historical Review are now open to the public.

To say that Roy was generous to students and junior colleagues would be an understatement. He read entire dissertations and book drafts for students and colleagues, even long after they had moved to other universities. Each time, he would write up pages of detailed suggestions for revision, complete with grammar and typo corrections. He was kind, but brought all of his diverse knowledge to bear on your project. One could always count on him to write a letter of recommendation or help with a grant application, no matter how exasperated he was with an inopportune or last-minute request. Once a university I had applied to unexpectedly requested a second long letter from him, to be emailed the same day, dealing specifically with my work in digital history. I went to his office, and he wrote it right then, in ten minutes, even though he was extremely busy. I got the job.

After working with Roy, it is easy to be a historian and a human being -one just needs to measure everything by his standards. But to those of us who knew him he is irreplaceable.

Joshua Brown, Executive Director, American Social History Project, City University of New York Graduate Center

Roy Rosenzweig JPG

Daniel Cohen, Assistant Professor in the Department of History and Art History at George Mason University and the Director of Research Projects at the Center for History and New Media

Where to begin? It’s the only possible response when asked to remember Roy Rosenzweig. Academics are fortunate if they are able to become pioneers or innovators in a single field; Roy managed to found or advance at least three fields: social history, public history, and digital history. And we often suspect that pioneers and innovators have character flaws associated with the dogged pursuit of the cutting edge: narcissism, aggression, humorlessness. Yet everyone who knew Roy was amazed at his unparalleled combination of brilliance, insight, and incredible hard work with humility, generosity, and laugh-out-loud wit.

Eight years ago I received a call from Roy, who had heard through a mutual acquaintance that I had moved to Washington. I only vaguely knew of Roy, and had no idea why he should want to talk to me, but nevertheless agreed to meet him for lunch. I’m so profoundly thankful I answered his call.

Roy and I ate at a restaurant near his house and had some nice conversation. I thought little of our casual meeting until a year later, when Roy called me to say that he had just gotten a grant and had remembered a few points I had made over lunch and how relevant they were to the grant proposal. The only thing I could remember from a year earlier was that Roy was bursting with energy and ideas and had consumed more coffee over lunch than I drink in a week. We met again for lunch and by the end of the meal he had convinced me to come work with him.

That’s how it began for me, and for countless others. Sitting on a panel with Roy at a conference, meeting randomly over coffee, receiving a congratulatory email from him about an article you had written. No matter how trivial the reason behind the first contact, Roy would remember you, and he would often move these minor encounters–the kind most of us have every day and think nothing of–onto a path toward collaboration and friendship.

I know of no one with as large an address book and as many friends as Roy. But he didn’t just collect these acquaintances superficially, for show or for his own career ends like so many people do on Facebook or LinkedIn. As his social histories of the United States also emphasize, he viewed every human being as a special resource who brings unique talents and ideas into the world, and he liked nothing more than to connect people with each other.

Almost every topic of conversation prompted a welcome referral from Roy:”You should talk to my friend so-and-so, who has done some really interesting work on that subject.” The history of family photos?”She wrote a great article on that.” Standards for library catalogs?”Met this guy at the Library of Congress.” Byzantine art? Documentary filmmaking? Preservation of eight-track tapes? Him, her, and you’re not going to believe this but here’s an email address for you. Now go contact them.

Roy Rosenzweig JPG

But Roy didn’t just bring his many acquaintances together. He reveled himself in collaborating with others. Roy found it deeply unfortunate that unlike in the sciences, the humanities suffered from a serious lack of collaboration. He scoffed at the mythical ideal of the intellectual toiling alone on the great book. Roy co-authored over a dozen major works, not to mention the scores of highly collaborative digital projects at the Center for History and New Media, which he founded at George Mason University in 1994.

A typical but still remarkable moment occurred when Roy received the Richard W. Lyman Award (presented by the National Humanities Center and the Rockefeller Foundation) in 2003 for”outstanding achievement in the use of information technology to advance scholarship and teaching in the humanities.” He got up on stage, used his computer to project a giant list of names onto a screen, and said,”These are all of the people I collaborated with on the projects that this award honors. These are the people that did the work, and I want to thank them.”

Of course, that was just Roy being his usual humble self. Roy’s collaborators will readily admit not only how wonderful but also how daunting it was to work with him. To paraphrase Paul Erdös, Roy was a machine for turning coffee into publications and websites. With his incredible mind and a large coffee nearly always by his side, he was able to produce such a wide and deep array of creative works. When we were writing a book together I would slowly plod along while insightful, beautiful prose seemed to pop off of his laptop at a disturbingly rapid pace. Working with him on a project forced you to elevate yourself, to do the best you could do.

Long before Roy became ill, the staff at the Center for History and New Media would ponder (when Roy was out of the room) what we would do decades hence, when we expected Roy would finally leave this world. In the spirit of Roy’s humor, some of us decided that we would simply have to preserve his brain in a giant vat of fresh-brewed coffee. Others took their cue from science fiction and thought we could transfer his mind onto silicon for the continued benefit of future generations.

If only we could have done so. But perhaps in a partial sense that is what has happened over the last decade. Roy’s thoughts and vision sit on the Center for History and New Media’s server, silently connecting with thousands of people every day, and his books and articles connect with thousands more.

If only those people could have met Roy Rosenzweig in person. He would have liked to have had coffee with them.
–“Remembering Roy Rosenzweig” originally posted on

Jack Censer, Dean, George Mason Universty

During his twenty-six years at George Mason University, Roy Rosenzweig accomplished one miracle after another. The department could claim little national distinction before Roy came; every accomplishment that transpired over the next quarter century bears his mark. Roy worked tirelessly on history, and there is no doubt his reputation drew luminaries like the late Lawrence Levine and newcomer Martin Sherwin to our ranks. Likewise George Mason’s master’s program, enhanced by Roy’s appeal to students, developed into one of the most productive in the nation. Roy likely oversaw over 100 students through the capstone tutorial of our program. He also directed many thesis students in history and the Cultural Studies Program as well. Yet without a doubt, Roy’s greatest achievement was the Center for History and New Media. Launched in 1994, the center took form first as a sign on Roy’s office door. The roots of this Center lay in Roy’s work in association with the American Social History Project at CUNY, led by Steve Brier and now Josh Brown on the revision and digitalization of Herb Gutman’s textbook on U.S. History. This joint collaboration produced a cd-rom that began the digital revolution in history. And it also gave rise to an incredible burst of activity that created a Center with a $2.5 million endowment and grant awards of many millions. The upward trajectory has never slackened.

Here I really want to focus on Roy as a person. Of course, he was a tireless worker. When Daniele Struppa, previous dean of our college, was hoping to create a digital project across the humanities, he asked Steve Brier how it might be possible to amass sufficient manpower. Steve’s answer sticks in my mind, “Well you’ve got Roy. That’s five people.” When Roy and I taught together on two occasions, his preparation for class and his feedback to students showed this same indefatigable level of activity and energy.

Roy could not do enough for people. At the dawn of the age of the personal computer when he understood these newfangled machines as did few other humanities faculty, Roy was a one-man help desk. I called him more than once, but he assisted anyone who asked. He could not turn away anyone in need. He even went computer shopping with colleagues on more than one occasion. He did have one flaw or strength, depending on one’s point of view. He was absolutely dedicated to Apple, and all PC purchasers did have to accept his admonitions about the poor judgment of such a purchase.

Roy loved a party, and he and his wife, Deborah, hosted countless ones. Several years ago they moved from a bungalow to a very spacious home that, like their first house, always seemed to be filled with people. They frequently took in out-of-town colleagues who needed a place to bed down in the D.C. area. Roy and Deborah’s home was, in fact, a magnet that helped to counteract the centrifugal force of this gigantic metropolitan area whose terrible traffic often threatens to push us apart.

My last meetings with Roy illustrated important facets of his amazing character such as his sense of duty and lack of self-importance. Several weeks ago, as he was struggling with illness, he found it difficult to accomplish all he expected to do in running the Center. At this point, I was dean of the college so he asked me, what would be the impact of his inability to fulfill all his duties. Anyone would have been entitled to some slack under these circumstances. Roy would have been well within his rights to presume that his prior contributions and fame spoke for themselves, but instead his humility led him to ask about his obligations. He had presumed no quarter, and the incident illuminated his deep humanity. And, in our last meetings, as he knew the end was approaching, he told me that he was sorry to have put me through this. Facing death, he worried about my feelings. His self-abnegation and concern for others was never more striking.

These stories of Roy’s empathy for other and lack of self centeredness as he fought cancer revealed yet another important character trait, perhaps the most inspiring of all: his courage. I really have never had a hero, but Roy became one to me. I never heard him complain or bemoan his fate, as I and most others would have done. Roy just wanted to live and continue contributing. His example, I hope, will inspire in me more stoicism and determination in the face of difficulties than I have heretofore mustered. This one last gift may leave an indelible mark.

I shall miss Roy to the end of my days, but I shall cherish the numberless experiences we had together. As he was my comrade for so many years, there will always be a void by my side. I hope to fill it with my memories and by trying to maintain my end of our unshakeable bargain to cherish the department and the university as well as the study of history

Meredith H. Lair, Assistant Professor, Department of History and Art History, George Mason Universty

Other people can speak more intelligently about Roy’s scholarship, more intimately about his friendship, than I. What I can say about Roy is that he set a standard of decency and kindness to which we should all aspire.

I began to suspect Roy was more than just a”big name” when I received notice that I had been rejected for a faculty position at Mason. Most search committees never take the time even to notify candidates that a position has been filled, but Roy wrote me personally. The letter was specific to me, not a form letter, and Roy included some handwritten personal remarks at the end. It was the nicest rejection letter I have ever received, so supportively written that it felt more like an affirmation of my work than a piece of unwelcome news. I mentioned the letter to an acquaintance of mine who had also unsuccessfully applied for the position. She replied that she too”had just gotten the world’s nicest rejection letter” specially tailored to her. He did it for everyone. Two years later, after I had joined the faculty in a different position at Mason, I served on a search committee with Roy and saw the process from the other side. Despite that fact that he had served on dozens of such committees, that he had read the dossiers of hundreds, perhaps thousands of hopeful scholars, and that he had written too many rejection letters to count, Roy still worried over the feelings and careers of the bright young historians he could not employ–people he would never meet, people with no titles or grant money to bestow, individuals who might otherwise seem interchangeable in a profession so ruthlessly competitive. They mattered to Roy. And I will always remember, from that uncertain time in my life, how much it meant to me that I meant something to him.

Roy has left many legacies: a new field of history, a brilliant body of scholarship, his students, the department and Center he helped to build. Most important, though, is the standard of conduct he set for all of us in the profession. A half-hour after I found out Roy had died, I was standing reluctantly at the gate for a flight to yet another conference. For my sadness, I did not want to go, but I found myself asking,”What would Roy do?” I think we would all do well, in our current grief and when the stresses of academe become too much, to ask ourselves that question. What would Roy do? And the answer comes: be patient, be kind, have a coffee, and do the work.

Peter Stearns, Provost, George Mason Universty

Roy was obviously one of the most distinguished faculty. He was truly an imaginative historian, from his first book that I still use to the pioneering work he did on the Center for History and New Media. He will be greatly missed personally and professionally, but we will be building on his accomplishments for a long time to come.

Marion Deshmukh, Department of History & Art History, George Mason University

Roy’s untimely death will leave an incredible void personally and professionally. Roy was instrumental in creating so many programs in the History Department and the university, from crafting courses leading to doctoral programs in cultural studies, in community college education, and in our PhD program in History and New Media, one of the most innovative in the country. As others have noted, Roy rarely turned down any request to colleagues or students, however burdensome. We always wondered when (and if) Roy slept—in his abbreviated life, cut short at its prime–Roy accomplished more than most of us can or will if we had ten lives.

Despite his many accomplishments: superb researcher and scholar, innovator in digital history, a terrific teacher and mentor to so many students, he was, as has also been noted, uncommonly modest and unassuming. He shunned the limelight, usually giving others far more credit for what he actually created, wrote, or conceptualized. His work for the AHA, OAH and countless other professional organizations attest to the wide respect he garnered from colleagues in the US and, indeed, throughout the world.

Being a close friend and colleague of Roy’s for decades, this is an especially sad time. The department is mourning one of the truly best people we have ever known. Given his accomplishments, however, his name and creative ideas will, indeed, must live on.

Steve Brier, Founding Director, American Social History Project/Center for Media and Learning

My friendship with Roy goes back more than a quarter century. We met at the Radical History Review in the late 1970s, where we were both editors, hit it off pretty quickly because we were both interested in non-traditional ways to do and present history, especially to the public, and decided we’d work together on what would become the Public History issue of the RHR. That volume was our first collaboration and became Presenting the Past, the first book published (in 1986) in the Critical Perspectives on the Past series at Temple University Press that I had the good fortune to co-edit with Roy and the late Susan Porter Benson for more than twenty years.

When Herb Gutman and I launched the American Social History Project in 1981, Roy was on the first (and every subsequent) directors/advisory/editorial board we set up to help us run and advise ASHP. Roy helped us get the first edition of the Who Built America? textbook finished in 1989 and 1991, in the years after Herb Gutman died, serving then as Supervising Editor and on the two subsequent editions, as co-author. He advised ASHP on every one of our multimedia projects, including films and videos as well as teacher guides and teacher training projects.

Roy and I entered the wonderful world of computers together, buying matching Kaypro II computers (which ran the now defunct CPM operating system) in 1982, Roy to do his own academic work and my ASHP colleagues and me to write the WBA? textbook. Our early shared use of computers led us to begin to poke around the emerging field of computer controlled media in the late 1980s. I was down in Arlington visiting one time in 1989, I believe, and Roy and I took the Metro into DC near Union Station to visit a new exhibit of computer controlled training tools and programs that some company or museum was displaying (I remember that one of the exhibits focused on a laserdisc for training fire fighters). Out of that exposure emerged the idea that we really wanted to explore the uses of multimedia to do history. ASHP had been doing films and videos throughout the 1980s, but the computer opened up immense new vistas for improving the teaching and learning of history. Very soon after that (in 1990) I got a call from Bob Stein, who headed a company called Voyager, who said he wanted to turn the WBA? textbook (actually, only the first volume was out at that point) into the first electronic textbook and we (meaning ASHP and Roy) were off on the wild Toad’s ride of creating what became the first history CD-ROM, which Voyager published in 1993. That’s the origins of Roy’s (and our) descent (or ascent, depending on your perspective) into the wonderful world of multimedia.  Everything that Roy did in digital media flowed out of that first collaborative experience, including his founding of the Center for History and New Media at GMU in 1994.

I spent a great deal of time down in Arlington with Roy at the Jackson house in those years writing and thinking about what the WBA? CD-ROM would look like. Sometime in that period (I can’t remember exactly when, but maybe 1992; my colleague, Josh Brown, says it was in the late 1980s), Deborah Kaplan, Roy’s partner and wife, despairing that Roy was never going to do anything other than work all the time on his computer, announced one night at the dinner table that she thought they both needed hobbies, things that would get them to focus on something other than their academic work. She suggested that they both think about what those new hobbies might be and we’d discuss it at dinner in a few nights. I was then witness to the following exchange (this is not a verbatim transcript, but it’s pretty damned close!):

Deborah (brightly): “Well, I’ve thought a lot about what my hobby should be and I’ve decided I’m going to take up gourmet cooking.”

Roy (sitting in uneasy silence):

Deborah (imploringly): “Roy, have you given this some thought? Have you come up with a hobby?”

Roy (hopefully): “Can the computer be my hobby?”

I laugh every time I think about this story (and as those who know me realize, I’ve probably told it a hundred times over the years). It speaks to Roy’s singlemindedness of purpose and his ridiculous intensity and capacity for work, which everyone who knew him admired and, at the same time, was daunted by. I learned after many years of collaborating with Roy on a variety of digital, print, and other kinds of projects that the best thing to do was sit back and admire that dedication and tenacity (and greatly benefit from it) and never, ever (unless you were a masochist) try to match it or him in output.

He was and will always be one of a kind, a brilliant, loving, intense, supportive and totally unique human being. He will be missed by all of us for a very long time, in large measure, because there is no one quite like him and there never will be. We miss you and we love you, Roy, and thank you for everything you did and gave us over these years. And, as Mike O’Malley said to me a few days after Roy died: “How are we supposed to get through things without Roy drawing up our To Do lists?”

Mills Kelly, Department of History & Art History, George Mason University

Yesterday we lost one of the greatest historians and greatest humans I’ll ever have the privilege to know. My colleague and friend Roy Rosenzweig passed away, surrounded by his family yesterday afternoon. Although I’ve known for a while that this was going to happen, I still can’t imagine the world without Roy.

I first met Roy through his words. In the late 1980s I was a PhD student at George Washington University and signed up for a course in American labor history, not because I have a great interest in the field, but because it fit my schedule. I only remember one book that I read that semester (I’m sure the others were good as well) and that was Roy’s Eight Hours for What We Will. That book was so good, I actually re-read it after the semester, just so I could enjoy it a second time, and it remains one of the few volumes of American history to have survived on the few bookshelves I can cram into my office here at George Mason.

I didn’t actually meet Roy for another decade. When I first became interested in how digital media might be transforming student learning in history courses in the late 1990s, the only historian’s work that really spoke to my interests and concerns was Roy’s. Somehow I found my way to the first website of the Center for History and New Media and was very impressed by the work that Roy and his colleagues at George Mason were doing. Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined that someday I would be named the Associate Director of the Center.

But in the fall of 2000 I saw an ad in Perspectives for a senior digital historian at Mason. The ad had a very short closing date, so rather than applying, I called Roy directly to find out what was going on with the search and whether I, a mere untenured assistant professor, might be considered for the position.

That was the first time I ever spoke to Roy and in many ways it sums up his most defining characteristic–his generosity. Instead of telling me that he couldn’t really give me many details of the search process, he took a good half an hour to explain, in detail, what was happening with that particular search. He very gently told me that, no, I could not be considered for that position, because the department had been given permission to make a senior hire and so they really needed to hire someone already tenured. But then he told me that the department had a second search going on–for a Western Civilization Coordinator–and that I really should apply for that, since much of my work in the scholarship of teaching and learning had been focused on my Western Civ courses. He also gave me a number of useful hints about how to pitch my letter of application to the search committee.

Those who knew Roy well know that he was almost never without a cup of coffee. Well, when I had my AHA interview, Roy was there–it was in a hotel room and the committee members mostly sat on the edges of the beds while I sat in a chair. Five minutes into the interview, Roy kicked over his cup of coffee that he had set on the floor, and we all spent a few minutes cleaning up. I remember thinking that the next person to interview would wonder what in the world had happened to the carpet in that room!

When I came to campus, it was Roy who really sold me on the job at Mason. After a full day of interviewing, he drove me to dinner with several future colleagues and asked me what he could do to help convince me to take the job. The fact that Roy wanted me to work here was the final straw–there was no way I could say no after that.

That was in 2001. For the past six years I have been one of literally dozens and dozens of beneficiaries of Roy’s guidance, friendship, counseling, support, and great good humor. None of the work in digital humanities that I have done since arriving here would have been possible without all of those things I received from Roy. He had so many good ideas, so many helpful suggestions, such an incredible work ethic, that everyone who was anywhere nearby got better just by being in his general vicinity.

During my first semester here, our then department chair, now dean Jack Censer told me once, “Don’t stand too close to Roy.” When I asked why, he said, “Because you’ll get pulled along in his wake and no one but Roy is capable of doing all the things he does in any given day.” Jack, who has known Roy since forever, was absolutely right. No one but Roy is capable of doing all that he did.

Al Gore may not have invented the Internet, but I think it is no exaggeration to claim that Roy invented Digital History as a field of serious scholarly endeavor. Before Roy got involved I’m sure there were others who were playing around with what digital media might mean to our professional practice. But it was Roy who made Digital History into a professional field. For that alone, the profession and many subsequent generations of history students will be forever indebted to this great man.

For myself, I will be inspired by his example for the rest of my life. I know that as long as I’m fortunate enough to be on this earth I will try to live up to the standard that Roy set. And I know that I’ll always fall short.

Roy, I’ll miss you more than I can ever express.

Mack P. Holt, Department of History & Art History, George Mason University

It has been a very sad week for us in the History Department at George Mason. Roy’s death has left a hole in our hearts as well as in our intellects. So many wonderful things could be said about him, and many of them already have been said by others. So, in this time of grieving, I want to reminiscence on a happier time, indeed one of the happiest times I ever experienced with Roy. It was on Saturday night, February 20, 1999. The setting was a colleague’s home, where most of the department and their spouses had gathered to honor Roy, accompanied by lots of food and drink. The occasion was his appointment as a College of Arts and Sciences Distinguished Scholar, the closest thing the college had to an endowed chair at the time, and the highest honor the college could give him. As I was also on the review committee appointed by the dean to advise on this appointment, I recall with pleasure one of the dozen or so outside letters by the some of the most distinguished historians in the country whom the dean solicited for their evaluations of Roy’s scholarly accomplishments. One of them began her letter with a striking statement: “Roy is a national treasure!”  I had never thought of Roy in this way (Roy as Grand Canyon? Roy as Julia Child?), but it certainly rang true then, as it still does. But on the night of February 20, 1999 we were gathered in a spirit of fun, pleasure, and boundless admiration for a colleague whom everyone adored. One of our former chairs, Marion Deshmukh, had started the tradition that on such occasions we should endeavor to create some doggerel, scribbled verse, or other creative party piece to honor the occasion. So on that night, I read aloud a limerick I had jotted down earlier in the day. It seemed fitting for the occasion and made me very proud and privileged to call Roy my friend and colleague. Upon re-reading it this week as I have been reflecting on Roy, it still seems fitting and says (in its own abominable way) what I still feel about him, indeed what we all feel.


There was once a historian named Roy
Who was very perceptively coy.
He wondered why history
Was always a mystery
In all that he heard as a boy.

So he decided to make history a vocation,
And studied the American nation.
Though much to his surprise
He discovered all the lies
That had been spread since the beginning of creation.

From Columbia to Harvard he ascended,
Where he his dissertation defended.
He looked at workers’ leisure
And all they did for pleasure
Eight hours every day, so he contended.

But he also met a lady from Brandeis
Whose hold over him began to aggrandize.
So he decided to woo her
And eventually pursue her,
Which made quite a match woman and man-wise.

So he set out in earnest to give chase,
But his beloved was setting the pace.
He found that too often
She was thinking of Jane Austin,
So he rarely made it to first base.

But wedlock and marriage are the ultimate blessing
Despite all the statistics so distressing.
To Washington and George Mason
They both soon did hasten,
Where they began a new life of professing.

Then Roy took off into Central Park
Which became his next major lark.
From the Tavern on the Green
To the eastern ravine,
He recorded it all, even muggers in the dark.

Then he launched the Center for History and New Media,
Which would transform poor old Clio he decreed. He, uh,
Made a CD-ROM that offended,
So the Wall Street Journal contended,
Because of gay cowboys and other such tedia.

But any distress Roy easily disguises
Because his CD-ROM won so many prizes.
And his history of the net
Will be his best work yet,
Or so one of his grad students surmises.

But what one notices of Roy is how hard he works.
There’s nothing or no one that he shirks.
The late hours he keeps
And rumors he occasionally sleeps
Are part of his charming quirks.

But Roy is a friend always unfailing and just,
A constant someone we can always trust.
Even as CAS Distinguished Scholar
He’s never too big for his collar,
Which makes Roy a King among us.

So tonight we have all gathered to attest
That Roy stands out from all the rest.
And though a trite cliché,
It’s true anyway:
We salute you Roy; you’re the best.

[February 20, 1999]

And you are the best, Roy. Rest in peace, dear friend.

Rosenzweig’s Reflections on his Career

American history traditionally has been written and presented from the perspective of the ‘victors’ Roy Rosenzweig JPG –the rich and powerful. My historical work–writing, editing, filmmaking, collecting oral history–contributes to more recent efforts to rewrite U.S. history to incorporate the lives and perspectives of ordinary men and women and to present that vision of our past to the largest possible audience.

In the past several years, I have devoted substantial attention to using new media and new technology to present and teach about the past. That has led to my work in developing two multimedia CD-ROMs in U.S. history, a CD-ROM on the French Revolution, and an Internet web site for teachers of the U.S. History Survey Course called ‘History Matters.’ Roy Rosenzweig JPG The web site for my Center for History and New Media ( provides an introduction to that work. The continuity with my earlier work is my interest in using new media to democratize the study of the past–both by incorporating forgotten voices and by presenting the fullest possible story of the past to diverse audiences.


By Roy Rosenzweig

  • The past is a reservoir of alternatives to the present, many survey respondents told us in pointing toward a possible use of the past for people to shape a civic arena. In perhaps the most far-reaching claim for history’s ability to make available all human experience to any individual, Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote that”Who hath access The Presence of the Past JPG to this universal mind is a party to all that is or can be done. What Plato has thought, he may think; what a saint has felt, he may feel what at any time has befallen any man, he can understand.” By recovering things from the past or by looking at the experience differently we can see how to think and act differently in the future. The past can challenge us with eloquent, brilliant, troubling material that widens our present experience and wisdom. It provides perspectives to engage, accounts to cross-examine, and opportunities to hone skills of empathy, compassion, and reflection. Good history teachers have long presented students with documents, artifacts, pictures, and films in which people address issues of identity, narrative, and agency thereby introducing students to variety of perspectives on moral issues, political alternatives, and ways of making individual and collective narratives. — Roy Rosenzweig (with David Thalen) in”The Presence of the Past: Popular Uses of History in American Life”
  • In Contemporary and historical accounts, those who lived in Central park before it became Central Park have generally been unrepresented or misrepresented, either ignored or disparaged as a debased population of savages. Legislative discussions and public reports contain only indirect hints that anyone at all lived on proposed park land. Guides to the city that described East Side settlements like Yorkville and Carmanville made no mention of the equally large community of park dwellers. A few newspaper reporters evinced slightly more interest, none of it sympathetic. On March 5, 1856, a Times reporter drew on the recurrent New York motif of a dual city of”sunlight Roy Rosenzweig JPG and shadows” to contrast the”human misery” in its lowest and filthiest depths” within the park boundaries to the luxury and elegance” that he expected to flourish when the finished park rivaled the Champs Elysées. He described the residents as”principally Irish families” living in”rickety…little one storie shanties…inhabited by four or five persons, not including the pig and the goats.” The Evening Post wrote that the duties of the new Central Park police would be”arduous,” since the park was the”scene of plunder and depredations,””the headquarters of the vagabonds and scoundrels of every description,” and the location of”gambling dens, the lowest type of drinking houses, and houses of every species of rascality.” An even more pervasive charge (really an assumption) was that the park dwellers had stolen the land itself, that they were squatters.Most subsequent writers have drawn their information (often embellishing along the way) from a single paragraph written by the park’s first engineer, Egbert Viele, who from the distance of forty years recalled the park as”the refuge of about five thousand squatters, dwelling in rude huts of their own construction, and living off the refuse of the city.””These people who had thus overrun and occupied the territory were principally of foreign birth, with but very little knowledge of the English language, and occupied the territory were principally of foreign birth, with but very little knowledge of the English language, and with very little respect for the law. Like the ancient Gauls, they wanted land to live on, and they took it.”

    The”pre-parkites,” as one commentator called them, left no firsthand accounts to counter these scornful reports, but it is possible to piece together an alternative portrait of the roughly sixteen hundred residents from manuscript censuses, city directories, tax lists, land records, church registers, and the maps and petitions generated by the acquisition of the park land. More than 90 percent of those who lived on that land were immigrants-mostly Irish or German-or African Americans, compared to about half of the overall population of the city and also uptown Manhatten. More than two-thirds of the adults worked at unskilled and service jobs-as laborers, gardeners, domestics, and the like-and most of the rest as tailors, carpenters, masons, or in other skilled trades. About one in ten ran a small business-a grocery or a butcher shop, for example. These aggregate figures challenge the existing portraits of the”pre-parkites” as criminals and vagabonds. — Roy Rosenszweig (with Elizabeth Blackmar) in”The Park and the People: A History of Central Park”

  • Historians need to join in lobbying actively for adequate funding for both current historical work and preservation of future resources. They should also argue forcefully for the democratized access to the historical record that digital media make possible. And they must add their voices to those calling for expanding copyright deposit-and opposing copyright extension, for that matter-of digital materials so as to remove some of the legal clouds hanging over efforts like the Internet Archive and to halt the ongoing privatization of historical resources. Even in the absence of state action, historians should take steps individually and within their professional organizations to embrace the culture of abundance made possible by digital media and expand the public space of scholarship-for example, making their own work available for free on the web, cross-referencing other digital scholarship, and perhaps depositing their sources online for other scholars to use. A vigorous public domain today is a prerequisite for a healthy historical record.More than a century ago, Justin Winsor, the third president of the AHA, concluded his Presidential Address- focused on a topic that would be considered odd today, that of preserving manuscript sources for the study of history-with a plea to the AHA”to convince the National Legislature” to support a scheme”before it is too late” to preserve and make known”what there is still left to us of the historical manuscripts of the country.” For founders of the historical profession such as Winsor, the need to engage with history broadly defined-not just how it was researched but also how it was taught in the schools or preserved in archives-came naturally; it was part of creating a historical profession. In the early twenty-first century, we are likely to be faced with recreating the historical profession, and we will be well served by such a broad vision of our mission. If the past is to have an abundant future, if the story of Bert Is Evil and hundreds of other stories are to be fully told, then historians need to act in the present. — Roy Rosenzweig in”Scarcity or Abundance? Preserving the Past in a Digital Era”
  • History is a deeply individualistic craft. The singly authored work is the standard for the profession; only about 6 percent of the more than 32,000 scholarly works indexed since 2000 in this journal’s comprehensive bibliographic guide,”Recent Scholarship,” have more than one author. Works with several authors–common in the sciences–are even harder to find. Fewer than 500 (less than 2 percent) have three or more authors.Historical scholarship is also characterized by possessive individualism. Good professional practice (and avoiding charges of plagiarism) requires us to attribute ideas and words to specific historians–we are taught to speak of”Richard Hofstadter’s status anxiety interpretation of Progressivism.” And if we use more than a limited number of words from Hofstadter, we need to send a check to his estate. To mingle Hofstadter’s prose with your own and publish it would violate both copyright and professional norms.

    Roy Rosenzweig JPG A historical work without owners and with multiple, anonymous authors is thus almost unimaginable in our professional culture. Yet, quite remarkably, that describes the online encyclopedia known as Wikipedia, which contains 3 million articles (1 million of them in English). History is probably the category encompassing the largest number of articles. Wikipedia is entirely free. And that freedom includes not just the ability of anyone to read it (a freedom denied by the scholarly journals in, say, jstor, which requires an expensive institutional subscription) but also–more remarkably–their freedom to use it. You can take Wikipedia’s entry on Franklin D. Roosevelt and put it on your own Web site, you can hand out copies to your students, and you can publish it in a book–all with only one restriction: You may not impose any more restrictions on subsequent readers and users than have been imposed on you. And it has no authors in any conventional sense. Tens of thousands of people–who have not gotten even the glory of affixing their names to it–have written it collaboratively. The Roosevelt entry, for example, emerged over four years as five hundred authors made about one thousand edits. This extraordinary freedom and cooperation make Wikipedia the most important application of the principles of the free and open-source software movement to the world of cultural, rather than software, production. — Roy Rosenzweig in”Can History be Open Source? Wikipedia and the Future of the Past,” The Journal of American History Volume 93, Number 1 (June, 2006): 117-46

About Roy Rosenzweig

  • “The quotes from actual survey interviews set to rest the myth that Americans are not interested in history. Instead, the Americans they surveyed challenge educators, museums, authors, and filmmakers to present history in authentic and experiential ways that engage them as active participants.” — Barbara Franco, Executive Director, Historical Society of Washington, D.C. reviewing”The Presence of the Past”
  • “Rosenzweig and Thelen have raised imaginative and important questions. They have written an important book that all historians should read and debate.” — Richard White, Stanford University, Journal of American History reviewing”The Presence of the Past”
  • “While the historical profession and its critics have pointed to a vast ignorance among the American people about the past, historians Roy Rosenzweig and David Thelen argue that it’s the commentators who have much to learn. Conducting a phone survey of 1,453 Americans from a variety of backgrounds, the authors soon discovered that their professional training had left them unprepared for how people actually thought about the past. A surprising number of Americans feel unconnected to the nation-centered version of history taught in classrooms, searching instead for an intimate encounter with the past through family histories, the collection of memorabilia, and museum excursions. But these examples of”popular historymaking” are more than just anachronistic remembrances, and Rosenzweig and Thelen recount the ways that Americans use their historical imaginations to live in the present and shape the future.A profound reconsideration of what counts as historical thinking, The Presence of the Past exposes some misconceptions at the heart of the so-called history wars. Historical professionals like Gary Nash, Charlotte Crabtree, and Ross Dunn who argue (in History on Trial) that academic standards must reflect the rich ethnic mixture of the nation miss the fact that most students are alienated from the classrooms that have made them regurgitate volumes of facts. Cultural conservatives like Lynne Cheney and William Bennett, who insist on a triumphant version of the national past, fail to recognize that most Americans do not see their lives as connected to purported heroes like George Washington. A wonderful and refreshing book, The Presence of the Past points toward a democratization of historical consciousness by tenderly exploring how ordinary people remember. — James Highfill, reviewing”The Presence of the Past”
  • It is customary for professional historians as well as some members of our” chatting classes” to dismiss ordinary Americans as historical illiterates. Not so, according to Rosenzweig and Thelen, both professors of history. After surveying 1,500 Americans regarding their attitudes toward the past, they offer some surprising conclusions. Of course, in a narrow sense, many Americans are deficient in their knowledge of history; that is, for example, they are unable to describe the causes of the War of 1812. But in a broader sense, the authors conclude that most Americans have a strong awareness of their historical heritage. Furthermore, they tend to integrate that heritage into their personal lives rather than viewing it as a distant, sterile, and irrelevant series of facts. In what is regarded as a race-obsessed culture, it is striking that many of the respondents to the survey seem to shy away from”identity politics,” preferring to interpret the past in terms of their individual experiences. — Jay Freeman reviewing”The Presence of the Past”
  • In this prodigiously researched, eloquent work, history professors Rosenzweig (George Mason University) and Blackmar (Columbia) have written an outstanding study of the evolution of Manhattan’s Central Park, from its early days as a carriage promenade for the rich to its development as a haven from urban stress for all classes of people. Construction of the park, which was conceived by the wealthy both as a boon to the public and as a means to enhance real estate values, began in 1856. The project displaced 1600 park site residents, including Seneca, an African American community; exploited the laborers who cleared the land; and was rife with disputes between Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, the architects who won the design competition. Although the emphasis is on the first 50 years of the park’s development, Robert Moses’s reign as park commissioner from 1934 to 1960 is adequately covered, as is the current controversial dependence on the private sector to finance this beautiful, democratic public space. — Publishers Weekly review of”The Park and the People: A History of Central Park”
  • What took 166 tons of dynamite, six million bricks, 19,000 cubic yards of sand, 20,000 men, and $5 million to build? If you answered New York’s Central Park, give yourself a perfect grade. The same is awarded this magnificent public works history, a masterpiece combining the story of the park, the history of New York, city and state politics, and the people of the city. Central Park was conceived in the 1840s, built in the depression era of 1857, and renovated during the Great Depression. The authors have exhausted primary and secondary sources to produce this definitive work, which surpasses an earlier photographic history, Circle of Seasons . From the work of park designers Frederic Law Olmsted and Calbert Vaux to New Deal park commissioner Robert Moses to the administration of Elizabeth Barlow Rogers, the volume is a rare combination of scholarship and readable text. The emphasis is on the 19th century and the park’s formative decades, including design, property acquisition, and the men whose labor created the world’s best-known park. Ignoring neither the vested interests of the propertied class who stood to benefit from the park nor the fear of crime in Central Park, Rosenzweig and Blackmar produce a model history–not just of the park but of the city and people who turn to it for amusement, recreation, relaxation, and more. — Boyd Childress, Auburn Univ. Lib., Ala. in Library Journal reviewing”The Park and the People: A History of Central Park”
  • “A lively and challenging exploration of the messages and methods of popular history…. [The book] offers candor, analysts, and useful models for future efforts.” — Journal of Social History review of”Presenting The Past : Essays on History and the Public”
  • “In the proliferating scholarship on American working-class history, leisure has been among the last themes to be taken up. Thus, the appearance of Roy Rosenzweig’s book is especially to be welcomed. It is an admirable study on several counts. For one thing, it fully exploits the advantages of local history … His exhaustive research has yielded rich materials, anabling him, for example, to show the changing composition of Worcester’s saloonkeepers and to chart the opening history of the city’s movie houses … especially impressive is his subtle assessment of the impact of the movies on Worcester’s working people.” — David Brody, Journal of American History reviewing”Eight Hours for What We Will: Workers and Leisure in an Industrial City, 1870-1920″
  • “Eight Hours For What We Will is a major contribution to modern American working-class history and to the history of a changing American popular and mass culture.” — Herbert Gutman, Distinguished Professor of History, City University of New York reviewing”Eight Hours for What We Will: Workers and Leisure in an Industrial City, 1870-1920″
  • “This is conceptually a very innovative and important book.” — Thomas A. McMullin, Historical Journal of Massachusetts reviewing”Eight Hours for What We Will: Workers and Leisure in an Industrial City, 1870-1920″
  • “Rosenzweig provides a fascinating study of the interplay of class, ethnicity, and economics in shaping the leisure culture of Worcester’s working class.” — Mark Aldrich, The Journal of Economic History reviewing”Eight Hours for What We Will: Workers and Leisure in an Industrial City, 1870-1920″

Basic Facts

Teaching Positions:

Mark and Barbara Fried Professor of History & New Media; College of Arts and Sciences Distinguished Professor of History; Director of Center for History and New Media, George Mason University, 1981 to present (Asst. Prof., 1981-85; Assoc. Prof., 1985-92; Prof. 1992-98);
Mellon Post-Doctoral Fellow, Center for the Humanities, Wesleyan Univ., 1980 to 1981;
Assistant Professor of History and Humanities, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, 1978 to 1980.

Area of Research:

20th-century US, digital history


Ph.D., History, Harvard Univ., 1978
Research student in history on Kellet Fellowship, St. John’s College of Cambridge Univ. (England), 1971-73
B.A., magna cum laude, Columbia College, N.Y., 1971.

Major Publications:

  • (With Stephen Botein, Warren Leon, and others) Experiments in History Teaching, Harvard-Danforth Center for Teaching and Learning, Harvard University (Cambridge, MA), 1977.
  • (With R. Broadman and J. Grady) A Study Guide for”Mission Hill and the Miracle of Boston,” Cine Research Associates, 1980.
  • Eight Hours for What We Will: Workers and Leisure in an Industrial City, 1870-1920, Cambridge University Press, 1983.
  • (Coauthor) Water and the Dream of the Engineers (documentary film), Cine Research Associates, 1983.
  • (With Broadman and Grady) What Has Happened to Our Water?: A Study Guide for the Film”Water and the Dream of the Engineers,” Cine Research Associates, 1985.
  • (With Betsy Blackmar) A Social History of Central Park, Cornell University Press (Ithaca, NY), 1990.
  • (With E. Blackmar) The Park and the People: A History of Central Park, Cornell University Press, 1992.
  • (With S. Brier and J. Brown; also visual editor) Who Built America? From the Centennial of 1876 to the Great War of 1914 (on CD-ROM), Voyager Co. (New York City), 1993.
  • (With D. Thelen) The Presence of the Past: Popular Uses of History in American Life, Columbia University Press (New York City), 1998.
  • (With Daniel J. Cohen), Digital History: A Guide to Gathering, Preserving, and Presenting the Past on the Web, University of Pennsylvania Press (Philadelphia, PA), 2005.

Editor, Contributor:

  • (Contributor) James Green, editor, Workers’ Struggles: Past and Present, Temple University Press (Philadelphia, PA), 1983.
  • (Contributor) Charles Stephenson and Robert Asher, editors, Life and Labor: Dimensions of American Working Class History, State University of New York Press (Albany, NY), 1984.
  • (Editor with Susan P. Benson and Steve Brier, and contributor) Presenting the Past: Essays on History and the Public, Temple University Press, 1986.
  • (Chief editor) Government and the Arts in Thirties America: A Guide to Oral Histories and Other Research Materials, George Mason University Press (Fairfax, VA), 1986.
  • (Editor with Leon) History Museums in the United States: A Critical Assessment, University of Illinois Press (Champaign, IL), 1989.
  • (Contributor) Thomas B. Frazier, editor, The Private Side of American History, Harcourt (San Diego, CA), 1987. 
  • (With others; also executive producer) Who Built America? From the Great War of 1914 to the Dawn of the Atomic Age in 1946 (on CD-ROM), Worth Publishers (New York City), 1999.
  • (Editor, with Jean-Christophe Agnew), A Companion to Post-1945 America, Blackwell (Malden, MA), 2002.

Coeditor of the series”Critical Perspectives on the Past,” Temple University Press, 1985–. Editor of”Newsnotes,” a feature inLabor History, 1979-87. Contributor of articles and reviews to periodicals, including International Journal of Oral History,Monthly Labor Review,Film Library Quarterly,Journal of American History, History Microcomputer Review,Nation, and New York Times Book Review. American Quarterly, member of editorial board, 1987-90, guest editor, 1998-99; member of editorial board, Radical History Review, 1977–, History Computer Review, 1996–, and Journal of Multimedia History, 1997–; coeditor, Federal One, 1981-90. Some of Rosenzweig’s work has been translated into Italian and German.


James Harvey Robinson Prize of American Historical Association for”outstanding contribution to the teaching and learning of history” for History Matters, Jan. 2005;
Virginia Foundation for the Humanities Award for Excellence in the Humanities, December 2004;
Forrest G. Pogue Award for Excellence in Oral History, March 2004;
Richard W. Lyman Award (presented by the National Humanities Center and the Rockefeller Foundation) for”outstanding achievement in the use of information technology to advance scholarship and teaching in the humanities,” 2003. Vice-President, Research Div., American Historical Association, 2003-5;
State of Virginia Outstanding Faculty Award, 1999;
“Edsitement” selection by NEH for”History Matters” Web site;
Historic Preservation Book Prize for Best Book of 1998 from Center for Historic Preservation, Mary Washington College and Award of Merit from American Association for State and Local History for The Presence of the Past;
James Harvey Robinson Prize of American Historical Association for”outstanding contribution to the teaching and learning of history” and finalist, Interactive Media Festival Award for Who Built America? CD-ROM;
Urban History Association Prize for Best Book in North American Urban History; Abel Wolman Prize for Best Book in Public Works History; Abbott Cumming Lowell Prize for Best Book of 1992 from Vernacular Architecture Forum; Historic Preservation Book Prize for Best Book of 1992 from Center for Historic Preservation; New York Historical Association Award for Best Manuscript on New York History, 1991 (for The Park and the People.)
Fulbright Commission, Senior Scholar, Australia, June-July, 1990;
John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship, 1989-90;
Forrest G. Pogue Award for Excellence in Oral History, November, 1987;
Albert J. Beveridge Research Grant from the AHA, 1987;
NEH Research Grant for”Central Park: A Social History,” 1986 to 1988;
Distinguished Faculty Award, GMU, 1986;
American Association for State and Local History Research Grant, 1985;
NEH Fellowship for College Teachers, 1984 to 1985;
Research Grant from NEH for Oral History of Government-Sponsored Arts Projects, 1983 to 1985;
Mellon Post-Doctoral Fellowship, Center for the Humanities, Wesleyan Univ., 1980 to 1981.

Additional Info:

Rosenzweig was also member of board of directors,Cine Research Associates, 1978-88, coproducer of the Roy Rosenzweig JPG historical documentary film Mission Hill and the Miracle of Boston, 1979; National Endowment for the Humanities, associate producer of Changing American City film series, 1981-83. Danforth Foundation, organizer and administrator of”Experiments in History Teaching Program,” 1976-77; American Social History Productions, member of board of directors, 1984–; Committee on History making in America, cofounder and member of steering committee, 1989-97; co-organizer and executive producer of the Internet course”History Matters: The U.S. Survey Course on the Web;” coexecutive producer of the interactive CD-ROM and Internet web site”Images of the French Revolution.” Guest lecturer at universities in the United States and abroad, including University of Tokyo, University of Virginia, Yale University, University of Melbourne, and Emory University; consultant to museums, government agencies, and community projects. George Mason University Press, member of editorial board, 1985-90.

Top Young Historians: 40 – Jane Dailey


Edited by Bonnie K. Goodman

40: Jane Dailey, 1-15-07

Basic Facts

Teaching Position: Associate Professor of History, University of Chicago, 2006–
Area of Research: Nineteenth and twentieth century United States, with an emphasis on the American South, Primarily a political historian, she has strong interests in African American history, legal history, and the politics of race.
Education: Ph.D., 1995, Princeton University
Major Publications: Dailey is the author of Before Jim Crow: The Politics of Race in Post-Emancipation Virginia (University of North Carolina Press, 2000), published as part of the  Gender and American Culture series, and Jim Crow America: A Norton Casebook in History (W. W. Norton & Co., forthcoming 2007). Dailey co-edited with Glenda Elizabeth Gilmore and Bryant Simon.Jumpin’ Jim Crow: Southern Politics from Civil War to Civil Rights (Princeton University Press, 2000). Dailey is currently working on Sex and Civil Rights, A history of the politics of race and sex in America from 1865 to ca. 1980. and The American Republic a two-volume United States history textbook, with Harry Watson of UNC; Dailey is responsible for second volume on the US, 1877-2004.
Awards: Dailey is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships including:
Berlin Prize Fellow, American Academy in Berlin, 2004-5;
Fellow, American Council of Learned Societies, 2004-5;
Fellow, John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, 2004-5;
Rice Undergraduate History Major Society Award for Outstanding Dedication to Students, 1998;
Center for the Study of Cultures Fellow, Rice University, 1996-7; Mellon Post-Enrollment Fellow, Princeton University, 1992-3;
Woodrow Wilson Fellow, Princeton Society of Fellows, 1991-2;
Mellon Fellow, Virginia Historical Society, 1991
Additional Info:
Dailey is formerly Associate Professor of History, Johns Hopkins University, 2001—2006 and Associate Director of the Program in Comparative American Cultures, Johns Hopkins University, 2001-3. She was also formerly Assistant Professor of History, Rice University (Tenured: 2000) 1994-2000, and was a Visiting Fellow in History, Princeton University, 1996-7.
Dailey has written numerous articles and book reviews for such publications as Journal of American History, Journal of Southern History, Law and History Review, American Historical Review, and Social History among others. Daily has also contributed book chapters including: “The Sexual Politics of Race in WWII America” in Kevin Kruse and Stephen Tuck, eds., Mobilizing the Movement (Oxford University Press, forthcoming 2007), and “Unintended Consequences: Protestants and Other Americans United for Separation of Church and State and the Question of School Prayer,” with Sarah Barringer Gordon (Prof. of Law and History, University of Pennsylvania), in Glenn Feldman, ed., How the South Became Republican (forthcoming, 2007).

Personal Anecdote

“Ignorance is the mother of wonder,” someone once said, and I’ve discovered that my favorite part of a project comes at the height of my ignorance, when I don’t yet know what I’m supposed to find banal. It is at that point, and not later, that every shard of the world I am starting to explore seems to hold endless and exciting possibilities. An example: on the last day of my first research trip for what has grown into my current book project, I noticed a file labeled “Miscellaneous Race” at the University of Southern Mississippi and called it up. This file contained a number of unusual articles, each of which encoded a portal to narratives of the past. There was, for instance, a rubber dog toy of a hooded Clansman that exhorted Fido to “Krush the Klan!” There was also a bumper-sticker, unattributed and undated (as bumper-stickers tend to be). Probably from 1968, it read: “George Wallace Uses Hair Straightener.” In many ways, my book manuscript, which looks at the interplay between white worries about miscegenation and racial knowledge and the African American freedom struggle, is an extended exegesis of this bumper-sticker. It is only at the beginning of a project, when one doesn’t know better than to look at everything with wide-open eyes, that we open such boxes marked “miscellaneous.”

Apart from opening such boxes, another way of shocking ourselves out of ignorance is to make friends with an alien. When we think we know our world, there are questions we don’t ask. A comparative perspective—looking at the same thing from far away—can make the too-familiar seem strange again. From that same research trip to Mississippi, I brought home piles of documents that deployed Biblical texts and religious language to express white opposition to desegregation, and to characterize “racial amalgamation” as against God’s will. The historiography of civil rights tends to dismiss this language as inconsequential, and to focus instead on the religious arguments in favor of desegregation. I might have been tempted to stick with the consensus were it not for my resident alien, who glanced at one of my documents and exclaimed, “Hey, these guys sound like my people!” (He works on Christian/Jewish/Muslim relations in medieval Europe.)


By Jane Dailey

  • “Faced with the obscenity and scope of the Jim Crow South, it is easy to see white supremacy as irresistible and to pass over attempts at interracial political cooperation between 1877 and 1900. But these attempts mattered just as much, and were often as heroic, as those of our more recent and eulogized past. . . . Knowing where we ended up, it has been difficult to imagine that we were ever elsewhere or that the route from there to here was not direct. By focusing intently on the hard-fought political battles of Readjuster Virginia, this book shows how significant these early encounters were. In particular, it demonstrates that late-nineteenth-century formulations of white supremacist racial ideology did not represent an easy continuation of past oppressions. It was not at all clear after the war that antebellum racial hierarchies could be reproduced in the context of the Reconstruction amendments to the federal Constitution, which outlawed slavery, embraced African Americans as citizens, and enfranchised black men. Although postwar southern society was eventually reranked according to racial hierarchy, the path from emancipation to Jim Crow was rockier than is sometimes realized, with many detours and switchbacks along the way. New forms of white dominance coalesced through the lived, and often conflictual, everyday experiences of black and white southerners after emancipation. The white supremacist South was not preordained, and its victory was never certain.” — Jane Dailey in “Before Jim Crow: The Politics of Race in Postemancipation Virginia” (Chapel Hill, 2000)

About Jane Dailey

  • “This is a fine book–an elegant blend of political and cultural history, and a model of what state-level political history ought to look like in the wake of recent advances in our understanding of identity.” — Suzanne Lebsock, University of Washington reviewing “Before Jim Crow: The Politics of Race in Postemancipation Virginia”
  • “Before Jim Crow is one of the most exciting books on the South I’ve read in years. Dailey not only recasts the history of post-Reconstruction southern politics by recovering the virtually forgotten history of the Readjusters (and the critical role black people played in the movement), but she reminds us that nothing is inevitable. Southerners might have taken another path, and only violence, intimidation, and a realignment of race undermined a more democratic future.” — Robin D. G. Kelley, New York University reviewing “Before Jim Crow: The Politics of Race in Postemancipation Virginia”
  • “In Before Jim Crow, Jane Dailey brilliantly recreates the world of the Readjusters in late nineteenth-century Virginia. Emphasizing the fluidity of southern politics after the Civil War, Dailey makes clear that the emergence of segregation and disfranchisement was not preordained. An indispensable book for anyone who wants to understand the opportunities and challenges involved in building an interracial democracy in the South.” — Peter Bardaglio, Goucher College reviewing “Before Jim Crow: The Politics of Race in Postemancipation Virginia”
  • “A nicely written and sharply observed study, which adds theoretical precision and empirical substance to the growing body of scholarship that treats race as a socially constructed, rather than a ‘natural,’ category of historical analysis.” — Journal of American Studies review of “Before Jim Crow: The Politics of Race in Postemancipation Virginia”
  • “Impressive. . . . A sophisticated and complex analysis. . . . A provocative and important work, one that should influence the study of race for years to come.” — Journal of Southern History review of “Before Jim Crow: The Politics of Race in Postemancipation Virginia”
  • “The narrative of the rise and fall of the Readjuster Party provides a mere backdrop against which Dailey explores several fascinating issues . . . . An important addition to the growing literature about race in the late nineteenth-century South.” — American Historical Review review of “Before Jim Crow: The Politics of Race in Postemancipation Virginia”
  • “This study aids in developing a more complete picture of race relations and the struggle for equality in nineteenth century America.” — Civil War Book Review review of “Before Jim Crow: The Politics of Race in Postemancipation Virginia”
  • “Before Jim Crow is an elegant, often sardonic study of the Readjuster movement.” — Times Literary Supplement review of “Before Jim Crow: The Politics of Race in Postemancipation Virginia”

Posted on Sunday, January 14, 2007 at 7:16 PM

Top Young Historians: 39 – Maya Jasanoff


Edited by Bonnie K. Goodman

39: Maya Jasanoff, 1-8-07

Basic Facts

Teaching Position: Assistant Professor, Department of History, University of Virginia, 2004-present
Area of Research: Modern Britain, British Empire, Imperialism and Colonization
Education: Ph.D., History, Yale University 2002
Major Publications: Jasanoff is the author of Edge of Empire: Lives, Culture, and Conquest in the East, 1750-1850
Maya Jasanoff JPG(Alfred A. Knopf, 2005. London: Fourth Estate, 2005), (Paperback: Vintage, 2006; HarperPerennial, 2006). An Italian translation for Il Saggiatore is under contract. Edge of Empire is the winner of the 50th Duff Cooper Prize, 2005. Shortlisted for the Longman/History Today Book of the Year Prize 2005 and for the Whitfield Book Prize of the Royal Historical Society. “Book of the year” choice in “The Economist,” “The Sunday Times,” “The Observer,” “The Guardian,” “The Independent.” “Editor’s choice” in “The New York Times Book Review.”
Jasanoff is currently working on Imperial Exiles: Loyalists in the British Empire, a book about the global diaspora of Loyalists after the American Revolution, in Canada, the Caribbean, Britain, Sierra Leone, and South Asia.
Awards: Jasanoff is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships including:
Fellow, Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers, 2006-2007 New York Public Library Fellow, John W. Kluge Center, Library of Congress 2006;
Postdoctoral Fellow, Society of Fellows, University of Michigan, 2002-2004;
Jacob K. Javits Fellowship 1998-2002;
Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship in the Humanities 1997-1998;
Frank M. Knox Memorial Fellowship 1996-1997;
Duff Cooper Prize, 2006;
Shortlist, Whitfield Book Prize, Royal Historical Society 2006;
Shortlist, Longman-History Today 2005 Book of the Year 2006;
Harrison Research Award (Faculty Sponsor), Center for Undergraduate Excellence, University of Virginia 2006;
National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Stipend 2005;
Hans Gatzke Prize for Outstanding Dissertation in European History, 2003;
Yale University;
Phi Beta Kappa 1996.
Additional Info:
Jasanoff was formerly a postdoctoral fellow in the Society of Fellows at the University of Michigan, 2002-2004.
Jasanoff has published numerous book reviews in general publications including the London Review of Books, and academic forums such as H-Net.

Personal Anecdote

My dissertation about British imperialism in India and Egypt was partly inspired by traveling around the former empire. So it was only fitting that I should actually start writing it while visiting a one-time British colony: with pen and paper one July day, on the roof-terrace of the British Hotel in Valletta, Malta.

The hotel overlooked Valletta’s spectacular Grand Harbour, ringed in the sixteenth century by elegant, severe stone walls. A couple of days before, a friend and I had seen it as it was designed to be seen: we sailed in, coasting past the pointed batteries and watchtowers, one mysteriously carved with a staring eye. We had arrived on a Maltese container ship named—could it be otherwise?-the Maltese Falcon. For the voyage from Genoa, we had had the run of the ship; the only other passengers were two truck-drivers who spent the whole journey closeted in the small lounge, curtains drawn, smoking and watching pirated action movies. On the bridge, the Iraqi skipper let us peer at his charts and quiz him about the instruments. The ship’s cook, Salvator , regaled us with his decades of sea-won wisdom, which he delivered in emphatic outbursts composed chiefly of nouns. One of the senior sailors, slicking another layer of green paint onto the deck while I sunbathed next to the empty turquoise “pool,” offered his own nuggets of enlightenment like milestones punctuating long stretches of silence.

The cargo ship turned out to be a suitable introduction to the rather lost-in-time quality of Valletta itself. (The Maltese Falcon has now been sold, and the national shipping company, Sea Malta, dissolved.) From 1800 to 1964 Malta was a British colony. The bar of the British Hotel, with its dust-caked bottles of cheap whisky and liqueurs, looked as if nobody had frequented it since the British had left. Under British rule, Valletta boasted a huge naval dockyard and served as the home port of Queen Victoria’s Mediterranean fleet. Now, that great naval tradition was evoked by two quite different warships, French and American, on NATO service. Maltese families strolled past to look at the dour, steel craft; off-duty officers got boisterously drunk in a nearby bar.

British influences lingered elsewhere. Converted British troop carriers from the 1940s now served as Malta’s signature public buses. Menus advertised fish fingers, chicken and chips, spaghetti bolognese, and, in one gourmet touch, chicken “Gordon Blue.” Where every other Mediterranean country comes to life again in the evening after a siesta, the Vallettans, in most un-Mediterranean style, closed up shop at siesta-time and never came back. (Indeed, the only place that seemed to serve reasonable evening meals was the café of the Maltese Labour Party.) To walk the streets on those baking July afternoons was to walk with echoes and ghosts, across a historical stage set.

I wrote about India while I was in Valletta, and Malta only figured in two or three sentences in my entire dissertation. But I will always remember how and where it first took shape—in the blaring sunlight by the Grand Harbour, in a city tinted by imperial memories.


By Maya Jasanoff

  • “So familiar is the late-nineteenth-century empire of crowns and trumpets (or, more accurately, pith helmets and bagpipes), of white church steeples among the palm trees, gin and tonics on club verandas, and rubicund Englishmen attended by bevies of native servants, that it is sometimes difficult to think back to an earlier period before the ideology of an imperial ‘civilizing mission’ was in place. This book endeavors to do just that. It steps back into a time and into places where people lived, loved, fought, and identified themselves in ways considerably more complicated than later imperial chauvinism, or even many present-day treatments of empire, might suggest. Edge of Empire JPG Most of all, this book is a plea for bringing a human dimension to imperial history, a topic that is often treated in the abstract, whether by sweeping chroniclers of conquest or by postcolonial critics of imperial discourse. These collectors and their world have vanished. But the objects they collected, moved, and brought together still tender proof of their passion. In Britain and in its former colonies-indeed, around the world—the artifacts give hard evidence of the human contacts that underpinned the otherwise intangible quantities of globalization and empire…. To the extent the history offered here seeks to reflect on a newer age of empire, it is to make an appeal for remembering the essential humanity of successful international relationships: for borrowing, learning, adapting, and giving. For collecting, and for recollecting.” — Maya Jasanoff in “Edge of Empire: Lives, Culture, and Conquest in the East 1750-1850” (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2005)

About Maya Jasanoff

  • “Maya Jasanoff stumbled on a new way of looking at empire almost by accident. She had embarked on a study of European collectors in India and Egypt, the sometimes significant but often marginal figures who purchased or plundered the artefacts of the ancient cultures that they encountered and shipped them back to Europe. In the course of what might have seemed a somewhat esoteric area of study, she began to see the often ill-tutored mania of the imperial collectors as a metaphor for the formation of the empire itself – not the planned seizure of distant lands or the remorseless expansion of capital, but the piecemeal and haphazard acquisition of territory that only developed the lineaments of a distinct imperial pattern with the benefit of hindsight…. This brilliant insight has produced a riveting and original book that gives an entirely fresh dimension to our understanding of the creation and expansion of empire.… Britain’s empire will never look quite the same again.” — Richard Gott in “The Guardian” reviewing “Edge of Empire: Lives, Culture, and Conquest in the East 1750-1850”
  • “A new history of empire, no longer either triumphalist or cast in the shades of black and white favoured by the post-colonialists, is beginning to be written. It assumes that the metropolis and the colonies were not self-contained realms (as the older `imperial history’ often assumed); it recognises that empires were made and ruled by individuals with often very different, even conflicting aspirations. Above all it recognises that all empires were precarious, porous, multicultural and multilingual, and that of all the political orders ever devised they, more than any other, defy simple description or heavy abstraction. Maya Jasanoff’s book – her first – is a brilliant contribution to this literature.Her theme is not how ‘Others’ were excluded by the imperial process, but the far more elusive, and in the end more illuminating ways in which so many were included in what she calls the ‘rhetoric and systems of empire’. Edge of Empire is about crossing boundaries; about the porousness of culture in the early years of the British Empire; about frontiers, both geographical and mental, and how they are constructed and reconfigured.” — Anthony Pagden in “The London Review of Books” reviewing “Edge of Empire: Lives, Culture, and Conquest in the East 1750-1850”
  • “Jasanoff…refuses to see Britain’s imperial history as a simple “saga of colonizers versus colonized”…. She also declines to share the “postcolonialists'” view of the British Empire as “an insidious behemoth” and argues that historians should be wary of making moral judgments from afar. Denying she is an apologist for any empire, past or present, she points out that “empires are a fact of world history. The important question for this book is not whether they are ‘good’ or ‘bad,’ but what they do, whom they affect, and how.”… Historians who are interested in the people who make history are usually better writers than those who prefer theories. And Jasanoff is certainly a fine writer. She delights in scenes from the past; she knows how to describe the sights and smells of an eighteenth- century bazaar as well as the personalities of her art collectors. She can visualize and imagine history, as well as study it in the archives and the seminar room, and this makes her book a particularly valuable account of the realities of empire.” — David Gilmour in “The New York Review of Books” reviewing “Edge of Empire: Lives, Culture, and Conquest in the East 1750-1850”
  • “Great class. Lectures were always very interesting and entertaining.”… “Probably one of the better professors at this school. Very clear and to the point during her lectures, extremely knowledgeable, and very approachable.”… “She’s the best lecturer I’ve had at UVA”… “Really good teacher and pretty good lecturer. She has a sense of humor about the topic.” — Anonymous Students

Posted on Sunday, January 7, 2007 at 2:46 PM

Gerald R. Ford, 1913-2006

Gerald R. Ford, 1913-2006: History Buzz Special Edition

GERALD R. FORD, 1913-2006:

Gerald R. Ford, 1913-2006: History Buzz Special Edition

    News and OP-EDs

  • TV Coverage: Douglas Brinkley will contribute to CBS News’ coverage and Michael Beschloss will to commentate on NBC’s Today Show – Orlando Sentinel, FL, 12-28-06
  • Richard Norton Smith: Former Dole Institute director expected to give Ford eulogy Citizens pay tribute to late president – Lawrence Journal World, KS, 12-29-06
  • Doug Wead: Gerald R. Ford: A Story of Inspiration –, FL, 12-27-06
  • Michael Beschloss: Ford’s Long Shadow An unlikely president, Gerald Ford steadied America and, in an unpublished interview, mused about her fate – Newsweek, 1-8-07
  • Michael Barone: Jerry Ford in History – US News & World Report, 12-31-06
  • Quotes on Ford’s Passing

  • Douglas Brinkley: “He was so relaxed. He’d fill up the pipe and light it and start talking to you. He’d look you right in the eye. What I always though about President Ford, after interviewing him these number of times, was that any police officer who talked to him would leave and say, this guy’s got nothing to hide… He said, ‘I got really far doing a few things, which was work hard, always tell the truth and show up for dinner on time. That’s all I’ve done my life and I’ve made it to the white house.'” – CBS 42, TX, 12-27-06
  • Douglas Brinkley: “Gerald Ford when he left Washington to head out to Rancho Mirage, after he said goodbye to people he didn’t ask the helicopter to be, to fly around the White House. He said with tears, fly it around the Capitol one more time. He was always a Congressional man.” – KHOU, TX, 12-27-06
  • Jim Kratsas, deputy director of the Gerald Ford Museum in Grand Rapids, Mich. on “Ford fit the bill in post-Watergate America”: “He came in during a Constitutional crisis and within less than two years, our country came from being down at a low point in our country’s history to celebrating its bicentennial. He took the helm of this country and took us down the path to forgetting Watergate.” – Norwich Bulletin, 12-27-06
  • Douglas Brinkley: He was a normal guy. He never wanted to be president. He was never trying to get a legacy. He didn’t try to spin history to make himself look better. The remarkable achievement of his post-presidency is that his ego was under control.” – Vail Daily News, CO, 12-29-06
  • Richard Norton Smith on Gerald Ford’s and Jimmy Carter post-presidential friendship: “There was that kind of comfortable back and forth. It extended to the wives and the families, and it became this very nice, autumnal reconciliation, which blossomed into a real friendship.” – NYT, 12-29-06
  • Carl Sferrazza Anthony: Ford served as “a balance point between the increasingly conservative wing of the Republican Party and the more liberal wing. He was always seeking middle ground.” – USA Today, 12-27-06
  • Carl Sferrazza Anthony on Anderson Cooper 360 discussing Gerald and Betty Ford’s marriage and bond: “On that day he inherited the presidency, when Nixon resigned, he immediately mentioned and thanked his wife in his speech, and basically said he has no obligation to anyone except one person, his wife. And that was unprecedented….
    He certainly was a man who had absolutely no reservations about kissing his wife in public. And I think, as president, that was really unprecedented. — CNN, 12-27-06
  • Carl Sferrazza Anthony on Betty Ford “Back in View, a First Lady With Her Own Legacy”: “The impact of her influence on the general public extended beyond her tenure in the White House. It was a situation of somebody coming along in history who, in simply being themselves, ends up crystallizing something that the nation at large is feeling.” – NYT, AP, 12-31-06
  • Yanek Mieczkowski on “Ford fit the bill in post-Watergate America”: “He liked to say the type of example he wanted to show in the White House was his own behavior. He did not see the press as his enemy, as Nixon did. His press conferences marked a dramatic departure from the defensive and tense press conferences of the Nixon years. Ford lacked that kind of national base and he wasn’t loved like (Ronald) Reagan was loved. But Ford was not a polarizing president. He used the presidency to unite the American people. One of his favorite sayings was, ‘I have many adversaries in Washington, but I have no enemies.'” – Norwich Bulletin, 12-27-06
  • Ellen Fitzpatrick on PBS’ Newshour with Jim Lehrer: “Gerald Ford came into office with a great deal of goodwill, a feeling of great relief that the republic was going to endure this constitutional crisis, that the system worked, that we were a government of laws, rather than of men, and that law would prevail, decency and goodness.
    One month into his presidency, Ford made the decision to pardon Richard Nixon of any crimes that he might be guilty of. And very rapidly that goodwill evaporated.
    It was a very difficult decision for him to make. He wrote about it. It’s been analyzed at length since, and it’s a controversial one. His standing in the polls absolutely plummeted.
    There was enormous suspicion that a deal had been made, that he had been — you know, that Nixon’s resignation had been extracted in exchange for this pardon. And all of the paranoia — some of it based in real concerns — that was part of Watergate settled upon Ford.
    It was a very difficult decision. In retrospect, he’s been praised for his courage and foresight by many in making it; other people still feel that it was a mistake.” – Newshour, 12-27-06
  • Richard Norton Smith on PBS’ Newshour with Jim Lehrer: “[President Ford} has said many times that he expected that it would be unpopular; I don’t think he really had an idea that it was going to be as unpopular.
    The next day he flew to Pittsburgh, and he spoke to a convention, and outside the hall were demonstrators chanting, “Jail Ford.” He certainty didn’t expect that.
    But, remember, however, he had already gotten a taste of that. The pardon of Richard Nixon, in my opinion, should not be seen in isolation. It’s the second act of a two-act drama, because two weeks before the pardon, he got in a plane and he flew to Chicago to the VFW convention.
    And as part of this healing process, he basically unveiled a Vietnam amnesty plan that would, in time, allow 200,000 young men who had evaded the draft to, as he put it, work their way back into American society.
    He said laughingly on the way out that at least he didn’t have to worry about too much interruption by applause, and it turned out that the speech was not well-received.” – Newshour, 12-27-06
  • Richard Norton Smith on PBS’ Newshour with Jim Lehrer: “This was a guy who never expected to be president, who decided from the outset that, however long or short a time he was there, it was going to be a season — if he could make it — of healing, and he would draw the poisons out of the body politic….
    Remember, at that point, he had no intention of running in 1976. So he could — in a sense, he could offer himself up. Now, he very quickly decided he kind of liked being president, and he’d like to have four years on his own.” — Newshour, 12-27-06
  • Michael Beschloss on PBS’ Newshour with Jim Lehrer: I think it was noble, because he knew that this was the price of doing the two things that probably were most important for him to do as president, which were to wind up Watergate as quickly as possible, and do the same with the Vietnam era.
    If that’s what it cost, if it meant that he would have a hard time winning election in 1976, that was the price he was willing to pay.” – Newshour, 12-27-06
  • Richard Norton Smith on PBS’ Newshour with Jim Lehrer: “There’s a wonderful story that sums it up, for me at least, George McGovern told me about early in the Ford presidency. He was invited to a stag dinner at the White House. Well, he’d never been invited to dinner at the White House. And he was so surprised that first he thought it must have been a mistake.
    And he said this to the president. And he said, you know, “When Lyndon Johnson was here and I opposed him on Vietnam, you can be sure I was never invited. And when Richard Nixon was here, you can be sure I was never invited.” And Ford said, “I know, George; that’s why I invited you.”
    And I think that kind of just plain decency and ability to see people not as political caricatures or ideological creatures, but as human beings, I think that is something that a lot of us feel has been lost. And Gerald Ford symbolizes the best of that era.” – Newshour, 12-27-06
  • Quotes on Ford’s Legacy

  • Yanek Mieczkowski, Dowling College: Ford’s pardon “weakened his political capital and made Democrats more willing to resist him…the pardon was like a “ghost that hung over Ford and his party for the rest of the decade.” – WZZM, MI, 12-26-06
  • Larry Sabato, director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia: “Ford looks better and better in history. He really was a president who brought us together at a very difficult time. He succeeded Richard Nixon. The presidency was at a low point. The country was at a low point. And, just through his sheer decency, and the fact that he was so well liked by [both parties], he actually did bring the country together, even though people disagreed about his pardon of President Nixon, and disagreeing about the end of the Vietnam War and all kinds of other things.” – Voice of America, 12-29-06
  • John Robert Greene: “Gerald Ford was the least affecting, the least image-controlled president, the most genuine president, I think, of the 20th century. What you saw was what you got.” – Voice of America, 12-29-06
  • Stephen Hess, a political scholar at the Brookings Institution in Washington: “The nation could not have stood the battering that a court trial would have produced for months, if not years. Had he not pardoned Nixon, given how close the election ultimately turned out to be, he was likely to have defeated Jimmy Carter. His legacy was important in allowing the nation to get over a very rough period of time, and move forward with some dispatch and some real civility. He was a decent man, an honorable man when the nation really did need a person like that.” – Voice of America, 12-29-06
  • Sean Wilentz, Princeton University scholar: “Ford will probably be remembered — too generously, I think — as the man who settled the country down after the ‘long national nightmare’ of Watergate. I would say that Ford ranks somewhere in the middle of the pack. He was a modest, good-natured man of center-right views, often open to compromise. All the calm, good intentions in the world could not salvage his efforts to govern from the middle, or keep the harder-edged forces he brought in, notably Donald Rumsfeld and his associate, Dick Cheney, from maneuvering the administration to the right.Ford tried his best, determined not to fail — but the political realities in post-Watergate America were too disturbed — and singular — to secure the moderate mandate he sought.” — AP, 12-30-06
  • Douglas Brinkley: “After his death, fathers were able to turn to their kids and say, ‘That was a good man.’ You can’t say that about a lot of politicians.” – AP, 12-30-06
  • David Greenberg: “In some ways, the closest model to Ford would be Eisenhower. He was less of a leader than Eisenhower, but they were both kind of caretaking presidents. They were both conservative, but not right-wing ideologues.” – AP, 12-30-06
  • John Robert Greene, a Ford biographer and historian at Cazenovia College: “Ford dug in his heels as best he could to stop the erosion of presidential power.” – NYT, 12-30-06
  • Richard Reeves, Historian reverses criticism of Ford Later scandals show pardoning Nixon was the right decision: “Presidents aren’t paid by the hour. We pay them for their judgment on the one or two big decisions they make. On the biggest decision in his presidency, Gerald Ford got it right. He said that if Nixon was being dragged from one courtroom to another in different civil and criminal actions, that’s the only thing the country would focus on, and the country would have been impossible to govern…. But over the years, with what happened with O.J. Simpson and Monica Lewinsky, he’s been proven right. I think he showed vision and judgment. There’s no way anybody would have paid attention to anything else.” – The Orange County Register, 12-28-06
  • Douglas Brinkley on CBS’ The Early Show on “Ford Lived To See Nixon Pardon Vindicated”: “About when he turned 90, (Ford) started inviting historians to Rancho Mirage (Calif.), people like myself. Bob Woodward started saying the pardon was a good thing. Richard Reeves, a journalist who was his fiercest critic, started saying the pardon was a good thing. And Ted Kennedy said it was a good thing. There became this sort of overwhelming feeling of liberals that this conservative Midwesterner had done the right thing in pardoning Nixon. That’s when the revisionism kicked off, and now we’re seeing the kind of second phase of it…
    Ford was “the furthest thing from a legacy monger. His view was, history didn’t owe him anything. He was a man who loved his country, did his job, pardoned Nixon, got us out of Vietnam, did a few other important things along the way. … Now, in death, people are recognizing how unusual he was. I think part of the reason we’re embracing him is we’ve become such a polarized society. Democrats and Republicans are fighting so much. And, here’s a centrist, we’re kind of honoring this smart, Midwest centrist.
    It bothered him enough that he wanted to get back in the game after he left the White House in 1977. From ’77 to ’80, he kept eyeing the presidency. He kept thinking, ‘Maybe I’ll go for it again.’ And, in fact, at the Republican convention in Detroit in 1980, he was talked about as the vice president for Ronald Reagan.” – CBS News, 1-2-07
  • Quotes on Ford’s State Funeral

  • Douglas Brinkley on funeral ceremonies for President Gerald Ford: “I think this funeral is being planned just the way Gerald Ford anticipated and planned it himself, which is to keep things low-keyed. Don’t overdo my greatness.” – WLNS, MI, 12-29-06
  • Gil Troy: Video Coverage of the Ford State Funeral on CTV, 1-2-07 – Low Bandwidth High Bandwidth

Posted on Tuesday, January 2, 2007 at 4:30 PM

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