Clio's Favorites: Leading Historians of the United States, 1945-2000

By Robert Allen Rutland | Go to book overview

Bernard Bailyn

Jack N. Rakove

In 1949, at the age of twenty-seven, four years out of the U.S. Army and three years into his graduate education, Bernard Bailyn was appointed an instructor in the Department of History at Harvard University. Fifty years later, though officially retired, he was still actively teaching at Harvard, not only offering courses to entering graduate students but also conducting an ambitious seminar for younger scholars on Atlantic history— an area of research that he had pioneered at the start of his career and returned to in the 1970s. 1. In between, he garnered two Pulitzer Prizes, a National Book Award, and a Bancroft Prize; served as president of the American Historical Association in 1981; and gave the Jefferson Lecture in the Humanities in 1998.

The GI Bill of Rights (the postwar educational boon for veterans) helped thousands of servicemen. But few matched “Bud” Bailyn's accomplishments. Born on September 10, 1922, in Hartford, Connecticut, Bailyn was graduated from Williams College in 1945 (although in fact he received his degree without returning to Williams from service in the United States Army). At Harvard, Bailyn was appointed to three endowed chairs, in-

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1.
For biographical information, see A. Roger Ekirch, “Bernard Bailyn, ” in Twentieth- Century American Historians, ed. Clyde N. Wilson, Dictionary of Literary Biography (Detroit: Gale, 1983), 17:19-—26, and Michael Kammen and Stanley N. Katz, “Bernard Bailyn, Historian and Teacher, ” in The Transformation of Early American History: Society, Authority, and Ideology, ed. James A. Henretta, Michael Kammen, and Stanley N. Katz (New York: Knopf, 1991), 3-—15. In writing this essay about my own teacher, I should note that I draw as well upon personal impressions that date to my first encounter with Bailyn in September 1969, as well as conversations over the years with other students, especially Pauline Maier and Gordon Wood and his friend, associate, and editor at Knopf, Jane N. Garrett. I have written two previous essays on Bailyn: an overall assessment of his writings, “`How Else Could It End?': Bernard Bailyn and the Problem of Authority in Early America, ” in The Transformation of Early American History, ed. Henretta et al., 51-—69; and “Encountering Bernard Bailyn, ” Humanities 19 (1998): 9-—13.

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Clio's Favorites: Leading Historians of the United States, 1945-2000
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Clio's Favorites - Leading Historians of the United States, 1945-—2000 *
  • Contents v
  • Introduction 1
  • Bernard Bailyn 5
  • Merle Curti 23
  • David Herbert Donald 35
  • John Hope Franklin 49
  • Richard Hofstadter 68
  • Howard Roberts Lamar 84
  • Gerda Lerner 98
  • Arthur S. Link 111
  • Edmund S. Morgan 126
  • David M. Potter 138
  • Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr 156
  • C. Vann Woodward 170
  • A Bout the Contributors 183
  • Acknowledgments 185
  • Index 187
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