Richard Hofstadter (hōf´stăt´ər, hŏf´–, hôf´–), 1916–70, American historian, b. Buffalo, N.Y. He received his Ph.D. from Columbia in 1942 and began teaching there in 1946, becoming full professor in 1952 and De Witt Clinton professor of American history in 1959. One of the most brilliant of 20th-century American historians, he did not believe that economic self-interest was the sole motivator of human conduct and in his work stressed America's tradition of shared ideas and values. Hofstadter wrote widely on the nation's intellectual, social, and political history. He won Pulitzer Prizes for The Age of Reform (1956, repr. 1999) and Anti-Intellectualism in American Life (1963). His other major works include Social Darwinism in American Thought (1944, rev. ed. 1955, repr. 1992), The American Political Tradition (1948, rev. ed. 1973, repr. 1999), The Paranoid Style in American Politics (1965, repr. 1995), The Progressive Historians (1968, repr. 1979), The Idea of a Party System (1969), and America at 1750 (1971, repr. 1973).
See biography by D. S. Brown (2006).