Richard Hofstadter (Magill's Literary Annual 2007)
David Brown begins this excellent biography with the observation that Richard Hofstadter’s name continues to evoke “a certain mystique.” Unquestionably Hofstadter was one of the most respected and influential historians of twentieth century. He was awarded two Pulitzer Prizes, and one of his works, The American Political Tradition and the Men Who Made It (1948), has sold more than a million copies. More than three decades after his death, all but one of his books remains in print, and his works continue to be popular among college students and history buffs. He was particularly successful in making the study of history relevant by demonstrating the seamless web between the past and the present.
While Brown describes his book as “an extended conversation with the formal writings of Richard Hofstadter,” he also did an admirable amount of research in other literary and archival sources. He frequently quotes from the collected essays in The Hofstadter Aegis (1974), edited by Stanley Elkins and Eric McKitrick. Brown acknowledges his special debt to Susan Baker’s Radical Beginnings: Richard Hofstadter and the 1930’s (1985), and he also utilized the historiographical essays by Paula Fass and Jack Pole. Brown consulted the forty-seven boxes of Hofstadter’s person papers at Columbia University, as well as the large archival collection of his brother-in-law, Harvey Swandos, at the University of Massachusetts. Even more,...
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Bibliography (Magill's Literary Annual 2007)
Commentary 122, no. 4 (November, 2006): 73-76.
Commonweal 133, no. 11 (June 2, 2006): 23-24.
The Nation 283, no. 13 (October 23, 2006): 36-40.
National Review 58, no. 22 (December 4, 2006): 53-54.
The New Republic 235, nos. 2/3 (July 10-17, 2006): 21-28.
The New York Times Book Review 155 (August 6, 2006): 18-21.
The Wilson Quarterly 30, no. 3 (Summer, 2006): 104-105.
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