Charles Austin Beard was probably the most influential and controversial historian of the first half of the twentieth century. He was the son of a prosperous farmer who took a keen interest in public affairs. When he was eighteen years old, his father bought the town’s weekly newspaper, The Knightstown Sun, which Beard and his brother supervised for the next four years. After graduating from DePauw University in 1898, he attended graduate school at Columbia University in New York and at Oxford in England. In 1900 he married another student of history, Mary Ritter.
While still a student in England, Beard published his first book, a study of the Industrial Revolution. At the same time he actively engaged in...
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