Eric Foner: The Evolution of Liberalism

HISTORY BUZZ: HISTORY NEWS RECAP

History Buzz

Source: The Browser, 7-18-11

The historian chooses five books illustrating how concepts of American liberalism have changed over the past 50 years, and tells us about the tension that lies at the heart of liberalism today

Eric Foner’s FiveBooks

As a historian, what do you make of the American left’s turn back to the term progressivism?

Ever since Reagan and the first Bush turned liberal into a term of abuse, it’s very hard to find politicians who will forthrightly proclaim themselves liberals. The term progressive is a substitute. It sounds good. How can anyone be against things that are progressive as opposed to retrograde? Of course, the term progressive relates to the Progressive Era of a century ago, when certain views that we associate with liberalism entered the political spectrum. Things like governmental regulation of corporations and provision of basic social security for people. If you read the platform of Theodore Roosevelt’s 1912 Progressive Party, it laid out much of the agenda for 20th century liberalism through the New Deal.

 

Modern liberals and turn-of-the-century progressives share a similar view of the role of government in society. But going back to the term progressive is a little misleading. Earlier progressives had no interest, by and large, in race issues. They accepted segregation. And they were uninterested in civil liberties, which has become a basic element of modern liberalism. They were statists – they weren’t interested in standing up against the state. So today’s progressivism is different from what progressivism meant a century ago.

 

What would you define as the core tenets of today’s progressivism?

 

As I see it, the core tenets are somewhat at odds with each other. On the one hand you have the belief in governmental assistance to the less fortunate, governmental regulation of economic activity and very modest governmental efforts to redistribute wealth to assist those further down the social scale. So it’s active government, in the pursuit of social goals, when it comes to the economy. On the other hand, modern liberalism emphasises privacy, individual rights and civil liberties – keeping government out of your life when it comes to things like abortion rights. In other words, in the private realm liberalism is for autonomy and lack of government intervention. And also I think today’s liberalism is strongly identified with the rights of various minority groups within American society. This multicultural element was not really part of liberalism until the radical movements of the 1960s. One of the reasons I chose these books is that I think liberalism has changed significantly since the 1960s. It is no longer the same thing it was in the era of Theodore Roosevelt or even Franklin Roosevelt….READ MORE

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Professor Manning Marable’s Scholarship Lives On in Malcolm X Biography

Source: The Record, Columbia University News, 4-20-11

In 1988, Manning Marable was teaching a course in African American politics at Ohio State University when he noticed numerous inconsistencies in The Autobiography of Malcolm X, the standard text about the black Muslim leader written with Alex Haley.

Manning Marable (Image credit: Philippe Cheng)
Manning Marable

Image credit: Philippe Cheng

Marable, who would join the Columbia faculty five years later, resolved then to begin what he called “a modest political biography” of the charismatic figure, assassinated in 1965 in the Audubon Ballroom in Washington Heights by rival members of the militant Islamic sect the Nation of Islam.

The 594-page work, Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention, was released on April 4 and immediately acclaimed as the definitive biography of a misunderstood man who, since his death at age 39, has become a legend. Marable died just days before its publication. He suffered from sarcoidosis, an autoimmune disease, and had undergone a double lung transplant last summer.

Marable, the M. Moran Weston/Black Alumni Council Professor of African American Studies and professor of history, political science, and international and public affairs, was the “epitome of scholarly devotion and capable of such balanced, insightful judgment,” said Provost Claude M. Steele. “We are all deeply saddened by this loss and the knowledge that he will not be here to enjoy the acclaim his most recent work will surely bring.”

The tragic timing of his death, at age 60, produced an outpouring of tributes. Eric Foner, who led the search committee that brought Marable to Columbia in 1993 to establish the Institute for Research in African American Studies (IRAAS), called Marable “the model of a public intellectual.”

“His scholarship had an amazing range—from broad overviews of African American history to incisive analyses of key individuals like [W.E.B.] Du Bois and, now, Malcolm X,” said Foner, the Dewitt Clinton Professor of History. “He made the institute a place where people of every outlook and every race and ethnicity felt entirely comfortable. There was no party line—just a shared commitment to studying the black experience and relating that history to the world we live in.”…READ MORE

Eric Foner & Ron Chernow Win Pulitzer Prizes

HISTORY AWARDS & APPOINTMENTS:

  • Ron Chernow Wins Pulitzer Prize For Washington Biography: The worlds of journalism and literature turned their attention to the prestigious Pulitzer Prizes Monday when the committee announced the 2011 winners. Ron Chernow won the prize for biography, for his book “Washington: A Life.” Tom spoke with Chernow about the life of America’s first president in October…. – Pulitzer
  • Eric Foner wins the Pulitzer Prize for history: Yesterday, Eric Foner was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in History for his book “The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery.” Foner, DeWitt Clinton Professor of History at Columbia University, is the author of “Reconstruction: America’s Unfinished Revolution, 1863-1877,” among other books. “The Fiery Trial” focuses on Lincoln and his dealings with the issue of slavery. Speakeasy interviewed Foner via email shortly after his Pulitzer win was announced…. – WSJ, 4-19-11

Eric Foner: Awarded Prestigious Lincoln Prize

HISTORY AWARDED

Source: WaPo, 2-10-11

Prominent historian Eric Foner will receive the 2011 $50,000 Lincoln Prize for his book, “The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery” according to an announcement this morning by prize sponsors Gettysburg College and the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. He will receive the award on May 11 at the Union League Club in New York.

Foner, the DeWitt Clinton professor of history at Columbia University, wrote in Fiery Trial about the evolving attitude of Lincoln toward slavery and slaves as the Civil War unfolded. The 16th President, who always said he abhorred slavery, initially sought to eradicate it by promoting colonization of other countries by former slaves. Later he changed that opinion and sought full citizenship for African Americans in this country.

A Kirkus review said, “Foner is particularly impressive in explaining the hesitations, backward steps and trial balloons …that preceded [Lincoln’s] embrace of emancipation.” The Library Journal wrote, “To Foner, Lincoln both operated within and transcended the politics of slavery in his day. His capacity for growth was the lodestar of his greatness as an instrument for freedom.”…READ MORE

RELATED

History Doyens: This Week…. Eric Foner

History Doyens: Eric Foner

HISTORY DOYENS

Edited by Bonnie K. Goodman

Eric Foner, 10-18-10

What They’re Famous For

Eric Foner, DeWitt Clinton Professor of History at Columbia University, is one of this country’s most prominent historians. He received his doctoral degree at Columbia under the supervision of Richard Hofstadter. He is only the second person to serve as president of the three major professional organizations: the Organization of American Historians, American Historical Association, and Society of American Historians.

Eric Foner JPG Professor Foner’s publications have concentrated on the intersections of intellectual, political and social history, and the history of American race relations. His best-known books are: Free Soil, Free Labor, Free Men: The Ideology of the Republican Party Before the Civil War (1970; reissued with new preface 1995) Tom Paine and Revolutionary America (1976); Nothing But Freedom: Emancipation and Its Legacy (1983); Reconstruction: America’s Unfinished Revolution, 1863-1877 (1988) (winner, among other awards, of the Bancroft Prize, Parkman Prize, and Los Angeles Times Book Award); The Reader’s Companion to American History (with John A. Garraty, 1991); The Story of American Freedom (1998); and Who Owns History? Rethinking the Past in a Changing World (2002). His new book The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery, was just published in the fall of 2010.

Eric Foner is a winner of the Great Teacher Award from the Society of Columbia Graduates (1991), and the Presidential Award for Outstanding Teaching from Columbia University (2006). He was named Scholar of the Year by the New York Council for the Humanities in 1995. In 2006, he received and the Kidger Award for Excellence in Teaching and Scholarship from the New England History Teachers Association.

“Rarely have the study and teaching of history aroused such intense controversy as today. Public interest in how history is conceptualized and taught is to be applauded; however, the increasingly strident calls to reverse the recent achievements of a more heterogeneous profession, a broadened curriculum, and a more nuanced understanding of the American past must be resisted.”

(Excerpted from ericfoner.com)

Personal Anecdote

Eric Foner: Why he became an historian (Part 1)

The HISTORY NEWS NETWORK (http://hnn.us) recorded this appearance of Eric Foner at the annual meeting of the American Historical Association on the morning of January 6, 2007, as part of the panel “Lives in History: Four Master Historians Reflect on Their Careers.”

Eric Foner: Why he became an historian (Part 2)

Quotes

By Eric Foner

 

  • On January 1, 1863, after a winter storm swept up the east coast of the United States, the sun rose in a cloudless sky over Washington, D.C. At the White House, Abraham Lincoln spent most of the day welcoming guests to the traditional New Year’s reception. Finally, in the late afternoon, as he had pledged to do 100 days before, the President retired to his office to sign the Emancipation Proclamation. Excluded from its purview were the 450,000 slaves in Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, and Missouri (border slave states that remained within the Union), 275,000 in Union-occupied Tennessee, and tens of thousands more in portions of Louisiana and Virginia under the control of federal armies. But, the Proclamation decreed, the remainder of the nation’s slave population, well over 3 million men, women, and children, “are and henceforth shall be free.”Reconstruction: America's Unfinished Revolution, 1863-1877  JPG Throughout the North and the Union-occupied South, January I was a day of celebration. An immense gathering, including black and white abolitionist leaders, stood vigil at Boston’s Tremont Temple, awaiting word that the Proclamation had been signed. It was nearly midnight when the news arrived; wild cheering followed, and a black preacher led the throng in singing “Sound the loud timbrel o’er Egypt’s dark sea, Jehovah hath triumphed, his people are free.” At a camp for fugitive slaves in the nation’s capital, a black man “testified” about the sale, years before, of his daughter, exclaiming, “Now, no more dat! . . . Dey can’t sell my wife and child any more, bless de Lord!” Farther south, at Beaufort, an enclave of federal control off the South Carolina coast, there were prayers and speeches and the freedmen sang “My Country ‘Tis of Thee.” To Charlotte Forten, a young black woman who had journeyed from her native Philadelphia to teach the former slaves, “it all seemed . . . like a brilliant dream.” Even in areas exempted from the Proclamation, blacks celebrated, realizing that if slavery perished in Mississippi and South Carolina, it could hardly survive in Kentucky, Tennessee, and a few parishes of Louisiana.

    Nearly two and a half centuries had passed since twenty black men and women were landed in Virginia from a Dutch ship. From this tiny seed had grown the poisoned fruit of plantation slavery, which, in profound and contradictory ways, shaped the course of American development. Even as slavery mocked the ideals of a nation supposedly dedicated to liberty and equality, slave labor played an indispensable part in its rapid growth, expanding westward with the young republic, producing the cotton that fueled the early industrial revolution. In the South, slavery spawned a distinctive regional ruling class (an “aristocracy without nobility” one Southern-born writer called it) and powerfully shaped the economy, race relations, politics, religion, and the law. Its influence was pervasive: “Nothing escaped, nothing and no one.”3 In the North, where slavery had been abolished during and after the American Revolution, emerged abolition, the greatest protest movement of the age. The slavery question divided the nation’s churches, sundered political ties between the sections, and finally shattered the bonds of Union. On the principle of opposing the further expansion of slavery, a new political party rose to power in the 1850s, placing in the White House a son of the slave state Kentucky, who had grown to manhood on the free Illinois prairies and believed the United States could not endure forever half slave and half free. In the crisis that followed Lincoln’s election, eleven slave states seceded from the Union, precipitating in 1861 the bloodiest war the Western Hemisphere has ever known.

    To those who had led the movement for abolition, and to slaves throughout the South, the Emancipation Proclamation not only culminated decades of struggle but evoked Christian visions of resurrection and redemption, of an era of unbounded progress for a nation purged at last of the sin of slavery. Even the staid editors of the New York Times believed it marked a watershed in American life, “an era in the history . . .of this country and the world.” For emancipation meant more than the end of a labor system, more even than the uncompensated liquidation of the nation’s largest concentration of private property (“the most stupendous act of sequestration in the history of Anglo-Saxon jurisprudence,” as Charles and Mary Beard described it).4 The demise of slavery inevitably threw open the most basic questions of the polity, economy, and society. Begun to preserve the Union, the Civil War now portended a far-reaching transformation in Southern life and a redefinition of the place of blacks in American society and of the very meaning of freedom in the American republic.

    Eric Foner JPG

    In one sense, however, the Proclamation only confirmed what was already happening on farms and plantations throughout the South. War, it has been said, is the midwife of revolution, and well before 1863 the disintegration of slavery had begun. Whatever politicians and military commanders might decree, slaves saw the war as heralding the longawaited end of bondage. Three years into the conflict, Gen. William T. Sherman encountered a black Georgian who summed up the slaves’ understanding of the war from its outset: “He said . . . he had been looking for the ‘angel of the Lord’ ever since he was knee-high, and, though we professed to be fighting for the Union, he supposed that slavery was the cause, and that our success was to be his freedom. “5 Based on this conviction, the slaves took actions that propelled a reluctant white America down the road to abolition.

    As the Union Army occupied territory on the periphery of the Confederacy, first in Virginia, then in Tennessee, Louisiana, and elsewhere, slaves by the thousands headed for the Union lines. Union enclaves like Fortress Monroe, Beaufort, and New Orleans became havens for runaway slaves and bases for expeditions into the interior that further disrupted the plantation regime.

    Eric Foner in “Reconstruction: America’s Unfinished Revolution, 1863-1877”About Eric Foner

  • “Do we need yet another book on Lincoln?… Well, yes, we do—if the book is by so richly informed a commentator as Eric Foner. Foner tackles what would seem to be an obvious topic, Lincoln and slavery, and manages to cast new light on it…. Because of his broad-ranging knowledge of the 19th century, Foner is able to provide the most thorough and judicious account of Lincoln’s attitudes toward slavery that we have.” — David S. Reynolds – The New York Times Book Review The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery JPG
  • “While many thousands of books deal with Lincoln and slavery, Eric Foner has written the definitive account of this crucial subject, illuminating in a highly original and profound way the interactions of race, slavery, public opinion, politics, and Lincoln’s own character that led to the wholly improbable uncompensated emancipation of some four million slaves. Even seasoned historians will acquire fresh and new perspectives from reading The Fiery Trial.” — David Brion Davis, Sterling Professor of History Emeritus, Yale University, author of Inhuman Bondage: The Rise and Fall of Slavery in the New World
  • “Definitive and breathtaking: with dazzling clarity and authority, demonstrating a total command of his sources and a sense of moral justice that transcends history, Foner has done nothing less than provide the most persuasive book ever written on Lincoln’s vital place in the fight for freedom in America. This volume stands alone in the field. It is not only the best account ever written on the subject; henceforth, it should be regarded as the only account.” — Harold Holzer, author of Lincoln President-Elect
  • “Eric Foner has done it again. The Fiery Trial explores the pivotal subject of Lincoln and slavery free from the mists of hagiography and the muck of denigration. With his usual stylish mastery, Foner advances enlightened debate over our greatest president, the origins and unfolding of the Civil War, and the abolition of southern slavery. His book marks an auspicious intellectual beginning to the sesquicentennial of the American Iliad.” — Sean Wilentz, author of The Rise of American Democracy: Jefferson to Lincoln
  • Starred Review. Original and compelling….In the vast library on Lincoln, Foner’s book stands out as the most sensible and sensitive reading of Lincoln’s lifetime involvement with slavery and the most insightful assessment of Lincoln’s—and indeed America’s—imperative to move toward freedom lest it be lost. An essential work for all Americans. — Library Journal
  • Reconstruction: America’s Unfinished Revolution, 1863-1877 is a “long, brilliant and stylish book . . . of signal importance, not only to understanding one of the most controversial periods in American history but to comprehending the course of race relations in this country during the last century.”… Reconstruction “is the most comprehensive and convincing account of the effort to build a racially democratic and just society from the fiery ruins of slavery.” — Gary Nash, Los Angeles Times Book Review
  • “in a deliberate effort to overturn stereotypes, [Foner] offers an admiring picture of the freedman during the postwar years… he has performed a real service in bringing blacks front and center in the Reconstruction drama, where they belong.” — David Herbert Donald, the New Republic
  • Foner “asserts that Reconstruction had a direct bearing on the civil rights movement and suggests that the period speaks to the still-persisting denial of freedom to blacks that lingers in so many parts of society…. Foner becomes the pre-eminent historian of Reconstruction.” — William S. McFeely, New York Times Book Review
  • Foner “is excellent at delineating the dominant ideologies and linking them to political events. . . . Foner also recognizes the early importance of intersectional political parties in resisting and containing sectional confrontation, but he emphasizes their demise in the face of popular sectional ideologies. . . . This is an important and invigorating work.” — J. H. Silbey, American Historical Review about “Politics and Ideology in the Age of the Civil War”
  • The Story of American Freedom “is layered in complexity. It approaches brilliance in relating the efforts of many Americans to advance freedom for everyone, of others to advance it for themselves…. Foner relishes ‘freedom’ as much as the next man — Robert H. Ferrell, National Review
  • “And, like the pragmatic American that he is, is not inclined to define it. Definition, after all, means assigning limits, which is precisely what Foner does not want to do. On the contrary, his particular contribution has been to illustrate the chameleon-like quality of freedom and to suggest the diverse, elusive, mercurial nature of the concept…. it is no small thing for a high-profile American historian to undertake a work of creative synthesis. It was also courageous for someone with intellectual roots in the mid-nineteenth century to write a book containing over 200 pages on the twentieth. What Foner has produced is not a simple, linear story, but one in which the nature and meaning of its central concept, freedom, is constantly up for grabs.” — Daniel Snowman in History Today about “The Story of American Freedom”

    Basic Facts

    Teaching & Professional Positions:

    Eric Foner JPGDeWitt Clinton Professor of History, Columbia University, l988-present;
    Professor, Department of History, Columbia University, l982-88;
    Professor, Department of History, City College and Graduate Center, City University of New York, 1973-82;
    Pitt Professor of American History and Institutions, Cambridge University, l980-8l;
    Fulbright Professor of American History, Moscow State University, Spring l990;
    Harmsworth Professor of American History, Oxford University, 1993-94;
    Leverhulme Visiting Scholar, Queen Mary, University of London, Spring 2008.

    Area of Research:

    The Civil War and Reconstruction, slavery, and 19th-century America

    Education:

    Ph.D. – Columbia University 1969
    B.A. First Class – Oriel College, Oxford University 1965
    B.A. – Columbia College 1963

    Major Publications:

    • Free Soil, Free Labor, Free Men: The Ideology of the Republican Party before the Civil War, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 1970, reprinted, 1995.
    • Nat Turner (“Great Lives Observed” series), Prentice-Hall (Englewood Cliffs, NJ), 1971.
    • Tom Paine and Revolutionary America, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 1976.
    • Politics and Ideology in the Age of the Civil War, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 1980.
    • Nothing but Freedom: Emancipation and Its Legacy, Louisiana State University Press (Baton Rouge, LA), 1983.
    • Reconstruction: America’s Unfinished Revolution, 1863-1877 (“New American Nation” series), Harper and Row (New York, NY), 1988.
    • A Short History of Reconstruction, 1863-1877, Harper and Row (New York, NY), 1990.
    • (With Olivia Mahoney) A House Divided: America in the Age of Lincoln, W. W. Norton (New York, NY), 1990.
    • The Tocsin of Freedom: The Black Leadership of Radical Reconstruction, Gettysburg College (Gettysburg, PA), 1992.
    • Freedom’s Lawmakers: A Directory of Black Officeholders during Reconstruction, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 1993, revised edition, Louisiana State University Press (Baton Rouge, LA), 1996.
    • Slavery and Freedom in Nineteenth-Century America, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 1994.
    • (With Olivia Mahoney) America’s Reconstruction: People and Politics after the Civil War, HarperPerennial (New York, NY), 1995.
    • The Story of American Freedom, W. W. Norton (New York, NY), 1998.
    • Who Owns History? Rethinking the Past in a Changing World, Hill & Wang (New York, NY), 2002.
    • The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery W. W. Norton (New York, NY), 2010

    Editor / Joint Editor:

    • America’s Black Past: A Reader in Afro-American History, Harper and Row (New York, NY), 1971.
    • Harry L. Watson, Liberty and Power: The Politics of Jacksonian America, Hill and Wang (New York, NY), 1990.
    • The New American History (“Critical Perspectives on the Past” series), Temple University Press (Philadelphia, PA), 1990, revised edition, 1997.
    • (With John A. Garraty) The Reader’s Companion to American History, Houghton Mifflin (Boston, MA), 1991.
    • Thomas Paine: Collected Writings, Library of America, 1995.
    • (With wife, Lynn Garafola) Dance for a City: Fifty Years of the New York City Ballet, Columbia University Press (New York, NY), 1999.
    • (With Alan Taylor; and general editor of entire series) American Colonies (“Penguin History of the United States” series, book one), Viking (New York, NY), 2001.

    Contributor to Books:

    Author of introductions and forewords in books by others, including the foreword of For the Hell of It: The Life and Times of Abbie Hoffman, University of California Press; Contributor to the Encyclopedia of African-American Culture and History and of articles and reviews to numerous periodicals, including the New York Times, New York Review of Books, Journal of American History, Journal of Negro History, and New York History.

    Awards:

    Prizes for Reconstruction: Los Angeles Times Book Award for History; Bancroft Prize; Parkman Prize; Lionel Trilling Award; Owsley Prize. Finalist, National Book Award; Finalist, National Book Critics’ Circle Award.
    Outstanding Reference Book, New York Public Library; and Library Journal, for Reader’s Companion to American History.
    Awards for A House Divided exhibition, Chicago Historical Society: Lawrence W. Towner Award, Illinois Humanities Council; James Harvey Robinson Prize, AHA.
    Award of Merit, American Association for State and Local History, for America’s Reconstruction exhibition.
    Order of Lincoln, Lincoln Academy of Illinois, 2009.
    John Jay Award for Distinguished Professional Achievement, Columbia College Alumni Association, 2007.
    President, Society of American Historians, 2006-07.
    Presidential Award for Outstanding Teaching, Columbia University, 2006.
    Kidger Award for Excellence in Teaching and Scholarship, New England History Teachers Association, 2006
    Silver Gavel Award, American Bar Association, 2005 for “Brown at Fifty,” special issue, The Nation, ed. Eric Foner and Randall Kennedy.
    Featured in Current Biography, August 2004, 50-55
    Featured in History Today, January 2000, 26-29
    Class of 2006 Distinguished Professor Award, April 2004
    First Place, Electronic Product of 2003, for Columbia American History Online, Association of American Publishers.
    Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters, Iona College, 2002.
    President, American Historical Association, 2000.
    Elected Corresponding Fellow, British Academy, 1996.
    Scholar of the Year, N. Y. Council for the Humanities, 1995.
    President, Organization of American Historians, 1993-94.
    Great Teacher Award, Society of Columbia Graduates, 1991.
    Elected member, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, l989.
    National Endowment for the Humanities Senior Fellowships, l982-83, 1996-97.
    Guggenheim Fellowship, l975-76.
    American Council of Learned Societies Fellowship, l972-73.

    Additional Info:

    Foner is one of only two persons to serve as President of the Organization of American Historians, American Historical Association, and Society of American Historians.
    Eric Foner JPGHe has also been the curator of several museum exhibitions, including the prize-winning “A House Divided: America in the Age of Lincoln,” A House Divided exhibit, Chicago Historical Society, and America’s Reconstruction, traveling exhibition, originating at Virginia Historical Society.
    Authored articles, essays and book reviews in numerous academic and popular journals, magazines, and newspapers.
    Rewrote Hall of Presidents presentation, Disney World, 1993.
    Historical Consultant, The Civil War, Broadway musical, 1999.
    He serves on the editorial boards of Past and Present and The Nation, and has written for the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, London Review of Books, and many other publications, and has appeared on numerous television and radio shows, including Charlie Rose, Book Notes, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, The Colbert Report, Bill Moyers Journal, Fresh Air, and All Things Considered, and in historical documentaries on PBS and the History Channel. He was the on-camera historian for “Freedom: A History of Us,” on PBS in 2003.

Posted on Sunday, October 17, 2010 at 6:03 PM

History Buzz October 11, 2010: Medical Historian Susan Reverby Uncovers Guatemalan Syphilis Experiment

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. Her blog is History Musings

RELATED LINKS & ANNOUNCEMENTS

IN FOCUS:

HISTORY NEWS:

  • Simon Schama’s appointment as history tsar an insult, says Mary Beard: The appointment of historian and presenter Simon Schama as the Coalition Government’s new history tsar has been condemned as insincere and insulting by a leading academic. Simon Schama, the historian, will advise the Government to ensure that all pupils learn Britain’s ‘island story’ before leaving school. Prof Mary Beard, classics professor at Cambridge University, described the announcement as an example of Michael Gove, the education secretary, “playing to the populist gallery”. She described the idea that a celebrity could be “parachuted” in to solve problems as insulting to British teachers and as an insincere stunt to grab attention…. – Telegraph, UK, 10-8-10
  • Tony Platt: Nuremburg Laws now on display at the National Archives “symbolically important”: The laws signed by Adolf Hitler taking away the citizenship of German Jews before the Holocaust were placed on rare public display Wednesday at the National Archives. The Nuremberg Laws were turned over to the archives in August by The Huntington, a museum complex near Los Angeles where they were quietly deposited by Gen. George Patton at the end of World War II. The papers will be on display in a separate gallery from the U.S. Constitution and Declaration of Independence through Oct. 18…. – AP (10-6-10)
  • Group of historians petition the National Park Service to restore Blair Mountain historic status: A group of distinguished historians, educators, and filmmakers has published an open letter to the Department of the Interior to protest the National Park Service’s decision to remove the Blair Mountain battlefield in Logan County, West Virginia, from the National Register of Historic Places…. – HNN Staff (10-6-10)
  • John C. Cutler, Tuskegee and Guatemalan Syphilis Doctor, in His Own Words: Many media outlets have noted that John C. Cutler, the late doctor who led the U.S. Public Health Service syphilis experiment on Guatemalan inmates and later participated in the Tuskegee experiment, defended the latter well into the 1990s, most famously for a 1993 PBS Nova documentary entitled The Deadly Deception.
    Cutler: The Tuskegee study has been grossly misunderstood and misrepresented this way. And the fact was that it was concern for the black community, trying to set the stage for the best public health approach possible and the best therapy, that led to the study being carried out….
    We were dealing with a very important study that was going to have the long-term results of which were actually to improve the quality of care for the black community so that these individuals were actually contributing to the work towards the improvement of the health of the black community rather than simply serving as merely guinea pigs for the study. And of course I was bitterly opposed to killing off the study for obvious reasons…. – HNN Staff (10-3-10)
  • Guatemalan syphilis experiment: in the name of public health?: Of course everyone has heard by now the appalling discovery unearthed by Wellesley College professor, Susan Reverby on how the US Public Health Service (a medical branch of the US government) conducted clearly unethical and dangerous syphilis experiments in Guatemala in the mid-40s…. – Examiner.com (10-2-10)
  • Wellesley’s Susan Reverby Unearths Government Research: Digging in the archives at the University of Pittsburgh, Wellesley College medical historian Susan M. Reverby knew what she found was important enough to keep it *out* of the book she was writing on the history and myths surrounding the infamous Tuskegee Syphilis Study. She did not expect what she finally wrote up to make it to the White House, through the State Department and to Guatemala…. – News Blaze (10-2-10)
  • U.S. Apologizes for Syphilis Tests in Guatemala: From 1946 to 1948, American public health doctors deliberately infected nearly 700 Guatemalans — prison inmates, mental patients and soldiers — with venereal diseases in what was meant as an effort to test the effectiveness of penicillin… – NYT (10-1-10)
  • Son of Dead Sea Scrolls Expert Is Convicted: The son of a prominent professor at the University of Chicago was convicted on Thursday of impersonating a New York University professor and other scholars who disagreed with his father’s theories on the origin of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Jurors took half a day to find the son, Raphael Haim Golb, a 50-year-old real estate lawyer, guilty on 30 of 31 counts, including identity theft, criminal impersonation and aggravated harassment…. – NYT (10-1-10)

OP-EDs:

  • Jeffrey N. Wasserstrom: Liu Xiaobo: His Writings, His Life, His Win: I’ve never met Liu Xiaobo. I only know him through his powerful writings—and through watching compelling interviews with him, most notably in the prize-winning documentary The Gate of Heavenly Peace, a film about the 1989 protests. The film spawned a wide-ranging website that includes a section on the movie’s main characters—a very good first destination for anyone trying to get up to speed on the past activities and recent trials of the latest Nobel Peace Prize winner…. – Dissent (10-8-10)
  • Timothy Snyder: Why Laptops in Class are Distracting America’s Future Workforce: As these first few weeks of the college semester begin, professors look out expectantly into grand lecture halls, where they see, rather than faces of students, the backs of open laptops. The students, for their part, are looking intently at the laptop screens. What are they doing as they stare forward with such apparent focus?…. – CS Monitor (10-7-10)

REVIEWS & FIRST CHAPTERS:

  • Alan Brinkley: Anatomy of an Uprising: GIVE US LIBERTY A Tea Party Manifesto By Dick Armey and Matt Kibbe, BOILING MAD Inside Tea Party America, By Kate Zernike THE WHITES OF THEIR EYES The Tea Party’s Revolution and the Battle Over American History By Jill Lepore
    Jill Lepore, a historian of the American Revolution and a staff writer at The New Yorker, has written a brief but valuable book, “The Whites of Their Eyes: The Tea Party’s Revolution and the Battle Over American History,” which combines her own interviews with Tea Partiers (mostly from her home state, Massachusetts) and her deep knowledge of the founders and of their view of the Constitution. The architects of the Constitution, she makes clear, did not agree about what it meant. Nor did they believe that the Constitution would or should be the final word on the character of the nation and the government. It was the product of much compromise, and few were satisfied with all its parts…. – NYT, 10-8-10
  • Bill Bryson: If Walls Could Talk: AT HOME A Short History of Private Life Many adults have a fantasy that if they could go back to college — now that the desire to party, drink and sleep around has faded to a burnished memory — they’d get so much more out of it. The publishing industry often reflects this wish. Every season brings offerings that are right at home on anyone’s continuing-ed syllabus: innovative, original ways to study world history through lenses trained on the minutiae of salt or cod, earthworms or spices, tea or telephones. Now, finally, for those of us who wrestled with Rocks for Jocks, pined amid Physics for Poets and schlepped through college on 101s of any and every subject — the beloved survey courses — here’s that most popular professor, Bill Bryson, with a fascinating new book, “At Home: A Short History of Private Life.” NYT, 10-8-10
  • When the City Defined Who’s Who: ETHAN MORDDEN mulled titling his latest social and cultural history “From Mrs. Astor to Truman Capote, or the Rise of New Yorkism in American Life.” Instead, he settled on a more generic (and inviting) title with a more specific subtitle: “The Guest List: How Manhattan Defined American Sophistication — From the Algonquin Round Table to Truman Capote’s Ball” (St. Martin’s Press, $29.99)…. – NYT, 10-8-10
  • Tony Blair: The Convert: A JOURNEY My Political Life The years since the end of the cold war divide into two very different ages. The first, the 1990s, was dominated by the rise of free markets and free trade across the globe. The second, since 9/11, has been defined by terrorism, counterterrorism, war and Islamic radicalism. Bill Clinton is the symbol of the first decade and George W. Bush of the second. Tony Blair is the only major political figure to span both eras, beginning his political life in the corridors of Davos and ending it in the mud flats of Basra. He tells both tales in his engrossing memoir, “A Journey,” but they never fuse into one larger story…. – NYT, 10-8-10
  • Robert G. Kaiser: Book review: ‘Magic and Mayhem: The Delusions of American Foreign Policy From Korea to Afghanistan’ by Derek Leebaert: How refreshing to read a smart, polemical book that is deliciously rude to many grand poohbahs of our time while making good sense about the mess the United States now finds itself in across the globe. On these grounds alone Derek Leebaert deserves our gratitude. But with “Magic and Mayhem,” he performs a greater service by ringing a persuasive alarm bell about the dangers inherent in our repeated attempts to put things right in countries we don’t really understand and cannot control, from Korea six decades ago to Afghanistan right now. And he does it without any of the ideological tendentiousness so typical of our public debate these days…. – WaPO, 10-8-10
  • Lawrence Jackson: Book Review: Eugene Robinson’s ‘Disintegration: The Splintering of Black America’: Eugene Robinson’s new book, “Disintegration,” opens with an account of a Washington dinner party dripping with influential Americans whom the reader can only assume are white. But these kingmakers, gathering shortly after the election of Barack Obama, turn out to be black…. – WaPo, 10-8-10
  • In Bob Woodward’s ‘Obama’s Wars,’ Neil Sheehan sees parallels to Vietnam: In another of his superbly reported insider accounts, “Obama’s Wars,” Bob Woodward recounts how a new president may well have embroiled himself in a war that could poison his presidency — just as his predecessor, George W. Bush, destroyed his with a foolhardy war in Iraq and Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon were ruined by the war in Vietnam. The grim mountains and deserts of Afghanistan are a boneyard of invading foreign armies. The British rulers of colonial India sent an Anglo-Indian army into Afghanistan in 1839 to establish it as a buffer state against the advances of imperial Russia in Central Asia. The enterprise faltered against Afghan resistance, and the main garrison at Kabul — about 4,500 troops and 12,000 family members and camp followers — decided to retreat back to India in January 1842. Afghan tribesmen fell upon them in the snows of the mountain passes and slaughtered them without pity. Only one man, a doctor named William Brydon, reached safety. A few others were spared as prisoners and subsequently rescued…. – WaPo, 10-3-10
  • Nicholas Phillipson: The Wealth of an Intellect: Adam Smith: An Enlightened Life Against this backdrop, it comes as something of a surprise to discover “Adam Smith: An Enlightened Life” by Nicholas Phillipson (Yale, $32.50). Mr. Phillipson, an honorary fellow in history at the University of Edinburgh, has written an unabashedly intellectual biography in which Smith’s economics thinking is only part — at times, a smallish part — of a larger, inherently philosophical story…. – NYT, 10-2-10
  • Andrew Cayton Reviews Ron Chernow: Learning to Be Washington: WASHINGTON A Life Today, books about Washington continue to appear at such an astonishing rate that the publication of Ron Chernow’s prompts the inevitable question: Why another one? An obvious answer is that Chernow is no ordinary writer. Like his popular biographies of John D. Rockefeller and Alexander Hamilton, his “Washington” while long, is vivid and well paced. If Chernow’s sense of historical context is sometimes superficial, his understanding of psychology is acute and his portraits of individuals memorable. Most readers will finish this book feeling as if they have actually spent time with human beings. Given Chernow’s considerable literary talent and the continued hunger of some Americans for a steady diet of tales of Washington and his exploits, what publisher could resist the prospect of adding “Washington: A Life” to its list?…. – NYT, 9-30-10Excerpt
  • Ron Chernow: Dusting Off an Elusive President’s Dull Image: WASHINGTON A Life When George Washington was sworn in as the first president of the United States, he had only one original tooth left. It was “a lonely lower left bicuspid,” according to Ron Chernow’s vast and tenaciously researched new biography. But Mr. Chernow was not content merely to write about the tooth and its larger implications, which range from questions about Washington’s apparent reticence in later life (did his dental troubles keep him from speaking?) to his harshly pragmatic attitude toward slavery (he purchased slaves’ teeth, perhaps for use in dentures). Mr. Chernow also paid a personal visit to the tooth at the medical library where it is stored…. – NYT, 9-28-10
  • CAROLINE ELKINS reviewing Ingrid Betancourt: Deliverance: EVEN SILENCE HAS AN END My Six Years of Captivity in the Colombian Jungle In her gripping memoir, “Even Silence Has an End,” Betancourt captures the despondency wrought by Fat Martha’s pronouncement with a blend of power and self-awareness that inscribes not just this one disturbing moment but her account’s every page. “Like Alice in Wonderland, I was falling, falling into a bottomless well,” she writes. “This was my black hole. I was being sucked down, dragged down into the bowels of the earth. I was alive only so that I could witness myself dying.”… – NYT, 9-30-10
  • David S. Reynolds Reviews Eric Foner: Learning to Be Lincoln: THE FIERY TRIAL Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery Do we need yet another book on Lincoln, especially in the wake of all the Lincoln volumes that appeared last year in commemoration of the 200th anniversary of his birth? Well, yes, we do — if the book is by so richly informed a commentator as Eric Foner, the DeWitt Clinton professor of history at Columbia. Foner tackles what would seem to be an obvious topic, Lincoln and slavery, and manages to cast new light on it…. – NYT, 9-30-10

FEATURES:

  • Scholar uses Berkshires for black history project: Mississippi-born Frances Jones-Sneed moved to western Massachusetts feeling like a foreigner in the snowy hamlets of the Berkshire Mountains. She and her husband, who had taken a teaching job there, were one of the area’s few black families.
    Then Jones-Sneed was hired as a history professor at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts in North Adams. There, she stumbled upon lost figures of the area’s rich black history.
    With the help of students, she found a slave who sued for freedom, a late 19th-century baseball player who later ended up in the Baseball Hall of Fame, and a Civil War chaplain who challenged Lincoln over discrimination against black soldiers…. – Boston Herald, 10-5-10

PROFILES:

  • Janet Stone: Retired professor pens history of AASU: Janet Stone, Armstrong professor of history emerita and university historian, has published “From the Mansion to the University: A History of Armstrong Atlantic State University 1935-2010.” The 400-page hardcover book was researched over several years and includes material starting with the founding of the college in 1935 to the day that current president Linda M. Bleicken took office in July 1. Illustrated with images of Armstrong across the decades, the book includes 13 chapters and an epilogue…. – Savannah Now, 9-28-10

QUOTES:

  • Gil Troy: Israel: A Belly-Dance Video and the Specter of Delegitimization But other reasons are not so concrete. They are in the air, says McGill University history professor Gil Troy, wafting on currents detectable to the antennas that Jews have developed over thousands of years of living with anti-Semitism.
    “Israel is the only country whose very existence is still being debated,” he says. Troy believes Israel is “the only country that still seems to be on probation.” Consider Pakistan, also founded in 1948: when its chief nuclear scientist sells the bomb to rogue states, as A.Q. Khan did more than once, “people don’t jump from criticizing that action to questioning why Pakistan was created in the first place,” Troy says.
    The need to nurture U.S. support against Iran was only one reason Netanyahu came around to the Obama Administration’s bid for talks, says Troy. “The second is this question of delegitimization.” And though not all criticism of Israel amounts to opposition to its existence, he says, some people “use these Facebook incidents, they use aberrations, they use the flotilla to say, ‘Aha. It’s no good. We should end it.’” It meaning Israel, where the middle-aged recall being taught as schoolchildren to chant, “The whole world is against us,” with a brave defiance that comes less easily to adults. – Time, 10-8-10
  • Why is This GOP House Candidate Dressed as a Nazi?: Historians of Nazi Germany vehemently dispute this characterization. “These guys don’t know their history,” said Charles W. Sydnor, Jr., a retired history professor and author of “Soldiers of Destruction: The SS Death’s Head Division, 1933-45,” which chronicles an SS division. “They have a sanitized, romanticized view of what occurred.” Sydnor added that re-enactments like the Wiking group’s are illegal in Germany and Austria. “If you were to put on an SS uniform in Germany today, you’d be arrested.”
    Christopher Browning, a professor of history at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, said, “It is so unhistorical and so apologetic that you don’t know to what degree they’ve simply caught up innocent war memorabilia enthusiasts who love putting on uniforms.”… – The Atlantic, 10-8-10
  • As Games Begin, India Hopes to Save Its Pride: “You see the mismanagement all around,” said Jaya Kakkar, a professor of history at the Shyam Lal College of Delhi University. “There is no accountability. Every day they say all is well, but all is not well. We are paying for all this, and this is what we are getting? These games have become a national shame.”… NYT (10-2-10)
  • A History Professor Responds To Our Posts About Texas Textbooks: I greatly enjoyed reading your work exposing the craziness surrounding the Fox promotion of the Christian/Islam fake controversy surrounding Texas textbooks. As a history professor I constantly struggle with the fact that historians are the only professionals that are told by others, untrained in the profession, how they should teach or study their craft. The obvious fact is that the board members… in Texas like (State Board of Ed member Cynthia) Dunbar, simply don’t like the fact that Muslims are mentioned in a favorable light. Any serious historian knows that there is no bias in history books that emphasize Muslims. In my experience the bias is the other way. Most students that I teach here have no clue about the contributions Muslims have made to knowledge, science, history, or culture. It is my hope that by exposing this drivel we can begin to work towards a day when the Texas State Board of Education is an appointed group of experts trained in their field instead of a bunch of elected idiots whose knowledge of history doesn’t go much further than the average lay person. We do a disservice to our students by holding their curriculum hostage to electoral politics. Keep up the great work! – Fox, 9-27-10

INTERVIEWS:

  • Jon Wiener: Uncovering The ‘Truth’ Behind Lennon’s FBI Files: Oct. 9, 2010 would have been John Lennon’s 70th birthday. Fresh Air remembers the legendary musician with excerpts from interviews conducted with people who knew him, and people who studied his life. This discussion with Jon Wiener was originally broadcast on Jan. 25, 2000… – NPR, 10-8-10
  • A Lesson In Firefighting History: Robert Siegel speaks with Mark Tebeau, an urban historian at Cleveland State University, about the history of fire marks in the United States. Fire marks indicated whether a homeowner was insured for fire protection. Tebeau is also the author of Eating Smoke: Fire in Urban America…. – NPR, 10-8-10
  • Professor to interview former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Education: Timothy Slekar, professor of education and head of the Division of Education, Human Development, and Social Sciences at Penn State Altoona, will conduct a radio interview with former United States Assistant Secretary of Education Diane Ravitch on Tuesday, October 12, 2010 at 11 a.m. on WRTA 1240 AM in the Altoona area. Ravitch is an education historian, an education policy analyst and currently serves as a research professor in New York University’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. The interview will be streamed on the Web at http://socialstreamingplayer.crystalmedianetworks.com/radio/wrta?from=external online. – Penn State Altoona, 10-8-10

AWARDS &APPOINTMENTS:

  • Retired UCR professor to be honored by Queen Elizabeth II: Henry Snyder, UC Riverside professor of history emeritus, will be presented with the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire medal Oct. 16 in Los Angeles…. – Southwest Riverside News Network, 10-9-10
  • Historian Gordon-Reed Named MacArthur Foundation ‘Genius Grant’ Recipient: Acclaimed historian and law professor Annette Gordon-Reed is among 23 winners of 2010 MacArthur fellowships: Acclaimed historian and law professor Annette Gordon-Reed is among 23 winners of MacArthur fellowships, announced Monday by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Winners collect $500,000 in grants that are paid out over five years. Gordon-Reed, the winner of a Pulitzer Prize for “The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family,” holds professorships in law and history at Harvard University. Gordon-Reed’s writings have been credited with reshaping conceptions of colonial and early-American interracial relations through the examination of Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings, the slave who had children Jefferson is alleged to have fathered.
    The MacArthur Foundation website entry for Gordon-Reed says that, by “disentangling the complicated history of two distinct founding families’ interracial bloodlines,” the historian has been “shaping and enriching American history with an authentic portrayal of our colonial past.” – Diverse Education, 9-28-10

SPOTTED:

  • John Brewer: British historian discusses countrymen’s love of art and travel: John Brewer, professor of literature and history at the California Institute of Technology, delivered his lecture “From Grand Tour to Tourism?: Neo-classicism, Modern Sentiment and the Business of Travel in the Eighteenth and Early Nineteenth Centuries” in Rapaporte Treasure Hall Tuesday, offering students a trip through Europe and through time. Brewer spoke of the “Grand Tour” in great depth: Young aristocratic men in 18th century Britain made this voyage, often accompanied by their tutors. It was a rite of passage before these men became landlords or husbands and had to fulfill more serious duties…. – The Brandeis Shoot, 10-8-10
  • Historian, professor Woody Holton lectures on Abigail Adams: Abigail Adams was not just a First Lady, but was also an early feminist, learned audience members at Woody Holton’s lecture on Sunday afternoon. The lecture, which took place in the Brown-Alley room, was sponsored by the Friends of Boatwright Memorial Library in honor of “Abigail Adams,” the new book by the historian and associate professor of history and American studies. Holton told the audience of about 50 people that he had a very canned lecture prepared, which he had already given about 60 times, and so was going to speak about something different, which was Abigail’s relationship with the other women in her life…. – The Collegian — University of Richmond, 10-6-10

ANNOUNCEMENTS & EVENTS CALENDAR:

  • THE NEW-YORK HISTORICAL SOCIETY MAKES ITS MOST IMPORTANT COLLECTIONS RELATING TO SLAVERY AVAILABLE ONLINE: Rich trove of material becomes easily accessible at www.nyhistory.org/slaverycollection The New-York Historical Society is proud to announce the launch of a new online portal to nearly 12,000 pages of source materials documenting the history of slavery in the United States, the Atlantic slave trade and the abolitionist movement. Made readily accessible to the general public for the first time at www.nyhistory.org/slaverycollections, these documents from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries represent fourteen of the most important collections in the library’s Manuscript Department….
  • Understanding the Iran-Contra Affairs,” is the only comprehensive website on the famous Reagan-era government scandal, which stemmed from the U.S. government’s policies toward two seemingly unrelated countries, Nicaragua and Iran. Despite stated and repeated denials to Congress and to the public, Reagan Administration officials supported the militant contra rebels in Nicaragua and sold arms to a hostile Iranian government. These events have led to questions about the appropriateness of covert operations, congressional oversight, and even the presidential power to pardon…. – irancontra.org
  • Tony Platt: Nuremburg Laws now on display at the National Archives “symbolically important”: The laws signed by Adolf Hitler taking away the citizenship of German Jews before the Holocaust were placed on rare public display Wednesday at the National Archives. The Nuremberg Laws were turned over to the archives in August by The Huntington, a museum complex near Los Angeles where they were quietly deposited by Gen. George Patton at the end of World War II. The papers will be on display in a separate gallery from the U.S. Constitution and Declaration of Independence through Oct. 18…. – AP (10-6-10)
  • Thousands of Studs Terkel interviews going online: The Library of Congress will digitize the Studs Terkel Oral History Archive, according to the agreement, while the museum will retain ownership of the roughly 5,500 interviews in the archive and the copyrights to the content. Project officials expect digitizing the collection to take more than two years…. – NYT, 5-13-10
  • Digital Southern Historical Collection: The 41,626 scans reproduce diaries, letters, business records, and photographs that provide a window into the lives of Americans in the South from the 18th through mid-20th centuries.

ON TV:

BEST SELLERS (NYT):

BOOKS COMING SOON:

  • Ron Chernow: Washington: A Life, (Hardcover), October 5, 2010
  • George William Van Cleve: A Slaveholders’ Union: Slavery, Politics, and the Constitution in the Early American Republic, (Hardcover), October 1, 2010.
  • John Keegan: The American Civil War: A Military History, (Paperback), October 5, 2010
  • Bill Bryson: At Home: A Short History of Private Life, (Hardcover), October 5, 2010
  • Robert M. Poole: On Hallowed Ground: The Story of Arlington National Cemetery, (Paperback), October 26, 2010
  • Robert Leckie: Challenge for the Pacific: Guadalcanal: The Turning Point of the War, (Paperback), October 26, 2010
  • Manning Marable: Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention, (Hardcover), November 9, 2010
  • Elizabeth White: The Socialist Alternative to Bolshevik Russia: The Socialist Revolutionary Party, 1917-39, (Hardcover), November 10, 2010
  • Elizabeth White: The Socialist Alternative to Bolshevik Russia: The Socialist Revolutionary Party, 1917-39, (Hardcover), November 10, 2010
  • G. J. Barker-Benfield: Abigail and John Adams: The Americanization of Sensibility, (Hardcover), November 15, 2010
  • Edmund Morris: Colonel Roosevelt, (Hardcover), November 23, 2010
  • Michael Goldfarb: Emancipation: How Liberating Europe’s Jews from the Ghetto Led to Revolution and Renaissance, (Paperback), November 23, 2010

DEPARTED:

  • Former history professor Rhys Isaac dead at 72: Rhys Isaac, former Distinguished Visiting Professor of Early American History at the College, has died of cancer. He was 72. Isaac, who won a Pulitzer Prize in 1983 for his book “The Transformation of Virginia, 1740 -1790,” enjoyed an exemplary career in teaching and research, most especially in his scholarship on Colonial North America. He remains the only Australian historian ever to win a Pulitzer…. – William and Mary News, 10-7-10
  • Moshe Lewin, scholar of the Soviet Union, dies at 88: Moshe “Misha” Lewin, professor emeritus of history, died August 14, in Paris, France. He was 88 years old. Dr. Lewin was born in Wilno, Poland in 1921 to ethnic Jewish parents who died in the Holocaust. He moved to the Soviet Union in 1941 ahead of the invading Nazis and enlisted in the Soviet army in 1943. He received his BA from Tel Aviv University, Israel in 1961. That same year he received a research scholarship to study at the Sorbonne in Paris, where he earned a PhD in 1964. He served for one year as director of study at L’École des hautes études in Paris, before becoming a senior fellow at Columbia University in New York City. Prior to his arrival at Penn in 1978, Dr. Lewin was a research professor for 10 years at Birmingham University in England. As a professor of history at Penn, Dr. Lewin was awarded a Guggenheim fellowship in 1995. He retired and was accorded emeritus status that same year…. – UPenn Almanac (10-5-10)
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