Michael Kammen Oct. 25, 1936 - Nov. 29, 2013 Pulitzer Winner Who Examined American Identity and History

By Schudel, Matt | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA), December 8, 2013 | Go to article overview

Michael Kammen Oct. 25, 1936 - Nov. 29, 2013 Pulitzer Winner Who Examined American Identity and History


Schudel, Matt, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)


Michael Kammen, a Pulitzer Prize-winning historian at Cornell University whose many books explored the Constitution, the concept of American identity and sweeping views of cultural and social history, died Nov. 29 in Ithaca, N.Y. He was 77.

His death was announced by Cornell, where he had taught since 1965. His family declined to provide the cause of death, saying he had been in "poor health for several years."

One of the most prolific and distinguished historians of his time, Mr. Kammen wrote or edited more than 25 books. He began as a scholar of the Colonial period and later branched out to publish incisive studies of American art and popular culture.

He was known for his thorough research, his stylish writing and his oft-stated belief that, after more than two centuries, the Revolution remained the essential formative event in American life.

"He was an extraordinary scholar and one of the most wide- ranging historians I've ever known," Gordon Wood, a professor at Brown University and a former graduate-school classmate of Mr. Kammen's, wrote in an email.

Mr. Kammen won the Pulitzer Prize for history in 1973 with "People of Paradox: An Inquiry Concerning the Origins of American Civilization." In that book, he identified a fundamental and volatile duality that had defined the American character throughout history: "the innocence as well as the evil in our natures."

Writing in The New York Times Book Review, historian Marcus Cunliffe said that "others before him have been struck by oppositions and doublenesses in American behavior," but Mr. Kammen had "taken the idea further than anyone else ... shown more intellectual curiosity, and written with greater gusto."

Another of Mr. Kammen's important works, "A Machine That Would Go of Itself: The Constitution in American Culture" (1986), won the prestigious Francis Parkman and Henry Adams prizes.

In that book, Mr. Kammen described how the Constitution had been both revered and misunderstood by generations of Americans, who "have taken too much pride and proportionately too little interest in their frame of government. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Michael Kammen Oct. 25, 1936 - Nov. 29, 2013 Pulitzer Winner Who Examined American Identity and History
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.