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

By Robert Allen Rutland | Go to book overview

John Hope Franklin

Paul Finkelman

In the fall of 1971, I headed off for the University of Chicago to begin a Ph.D. in history. From my parents' home in upstate New York, the fastest route was to cross into Canada at Niagara Falls and then reenter the United States at Detroit. Long-haired, bearded, and with all my possessions stuffed into an aging car, I fully expect to be hassled at both crossings.

Entering Canada turned out to be pretty simple. I was just passing through, and Canadian customs went smoothly. I sped on through southern Ontario, simultaneously excited and apprehensive at the prospect of graduate study. Crossing back to the United States at Detroit was another matter. At the height of the Vietnam War, I was precisely the kind of bluejeaned, work-shirted, scruffy kid the customs officials could have fun with. As I pulled up to the boarder, the customs officer sternly asked me who I was, where I was coming from, and where I was headed with all that “"stuff" ” in my car. I proudly told him I was headed for the University of Chicago to start graduate school in history. The guard scrutinized me for a moment and then asked, “Do you know John Hope Franklin?” The question astounded me. “He will be my adviser, ” I answered, as I reached for the letter in my briefcase confirming this fact. He looked at me a moment longer and then waved me on.

Thus, before I even arrived at graduate school I had learned something of the mysterious power of John Hope Franklin.


The Scholar as Public Figure

John Hope Franklin ranks as one of our greatest historians. He is, as Stanford's George M. Fredrickson noted, “a historian's historian, a scholar who has stuck to the ideal of a historical truth beyond ideology and done so

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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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