Join our mailing list

* indicates required

Tags Matching:

obituaries


  • Originally published 03/26/2014

    A Fond Farewell to Jonathan Schell

    Schell represented a WASP cultural sensibility and poured it into the beginnings of a transracial, global civil society.

  • Originally published 12/10/2013

    William Pencak, R.I.P.

    William Pencak spend most of his career at Penn State before moving to the University of South Alabama in his retirement.

  • Originally published 09/03/2013

    In Praise of Douglas Kinnard

    The general, who died on July 29, told the truth about the Vietnam War in his 1977 book "The War Managers."

  • Originally published 08/21/2013

    James Sterling Young, oral historian, dies at 85

    James Sterling Young, who established the country’s only program dedicated to compiling comprehensive oral histories of the American presidency, and who also amassed a vast oral history of Senator Edward M. Kennedy’s career, died on Aug. 8 at his home in Advance Mills, Va. He was 85.His death was announced by the Miller Center at the University of Virginia, which studies politics, policy and the presidency. The center houses the Presidential Oral History Program, of which Professor Young was the founder and longtime chairman.An award-winning historian of 19th-century American politics, Professor Young, who retired in 2006, was at his death an emeritus professor of government and foreign affairs at Virginia. He was previously a faculty member and administrator at Columbia University....

  • Originally published 08/20/2013

    Duke military historian I.B. Holley dies at 94

    Longtime history professor I.B. Holley, who spent more than six decades on the Duke campus, died last week.  He was 94.One of the nation's leading military historians, Holley remained active in the classroom and in research even following his retirement in 1989. He still frequented Duke University Libraries and, until recently, still taught in the freshman seminar program, according to department chair John Martin. In 2008, at age 89, he published "The Highway Revolution, 1895-1925: How the United States Got Out of the Mud."...

  • Originally published 08/15/2013

    MIT obit of Pauline Maier

    The eminent historian Pauline Maier, whose award-winning books cast new light on Revolutionary-era America and the foundations of U.S. democracy, died Aug. 12 in Cambridge, Mass., after a battle with lung cancer. She was 75.Maier, who served as the William Kenan Jr. Professor of History at MIT, had been a member of the Institute’s faculty since 1978. Her work often recast conventional wisdom about 18th-century America, reconstructing long-forgotten public debates over the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution while bringing crucial figures in American political history into sharper focus....

  • Originally published 08/12/2013

    Margaret Pellegrini, one of last surviving Munchkins, dies

    Margaret Pellegrini, 89, who played the flowerpot Munchkin in the 1939 movie, died Wednesday, a spokesman for the Munchkins told news outlets, including CNN.Spokesman Ted Bulthaup said that Pellegrini, one of the Sleepy Head kids in the film, suffered a stroke at her Phoeniz area home on Monday....Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/2013/08/08/4396713/margaret-pellegrini-one-of-last.html#storylink=cpy..

  • Originally published 08/08/2013

    Julius Chambers, a fighter for civil rights, dies at 76

    Julius L. Chambers, a civil rights lawyer who endured firebombings of his house, office and car in winning case after case against racial segregation, including one that led to a landmark Supreme Court decision allowing forced busing, died on Friday at his home in Charlotte, N.C. He was 76.Geraldine Sumter, a law partner, confirmed the death, saying Mr. Chambers had had a heart attack in April and had been in declining health.Mr. Chambers began championing civil rights well before he succeeded Thurgood Marshall and Jack Greenberg as president and director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund in 1984. Two decades earlier, he had left an internship at the fund to open a one-man law practice in Charlotte specializing in civil rights, its office in a cold-water walk-up. It grew to become North Carolina’s first integrated law firm....

  • Originally published 08/08/2013

    John Woodward, Leader of British Navy in Falkland Islands War, Dies at 81

    Adm. John Woodward, who became Britain’s most acclaimed naval officer since World War II when he commanded the Royal Navy battle group sent to retake the Falkland Islands in the South Atlantic after they were seized by Argentina in 1982, died on Sunday in Bosham, West Sussex, on England’s south coast. He was 81.His death was announced by Britain’s Ministry of Defense.The Falklands, a British territory comprising a group of windswept islands 250 miles off Argentina’s southeast coast, had been a source of dispute between Britain and Argentina for 150 years when an Argentine military dictatorship staged an invasion in April 1982. The landings on the islands — which the Argentines call the Malvinas but were named by the British in 1690 for Viscount Falkland, treasurer of the British Navy — brought a major military response by the government of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in support of nearly 2,000 settlers, most of British descent....

  • Originally published 07/20/2013

    Helen Thomas, blunt chronicler of presidents from Kennedy era to Obama

    WASHINGTON — Helen Thomas, whose keen curiosity, unquenchable drive and celebrated constancy made her a trailblazing White House correspondent in a press corps dominated by men and later the dean of the White House briefing room, died Saturday at home in Washington. She was 92.Her death was announced by the Gridiron Club, one of Washington’s leading news societies. Ms. Thomas was a past president of that organization.Ms. Thomas covered every president from John F. Kennedy to Barack Obama for United Press International and, later, Hearst Newspapers. To her colleagues, she was the unofficial but undisputed head of the press corps — her status ratified by her signature line at the end of every White House news conference, “Thank you, Mr. President.”...

  • Originally published 07/09/2013

    Edmund S. Morgan, historian who shed light on Puritans, dies at 97

    Edmund S. Morgan, an award-winning historian who illuminated the intellectual world of the Puritans, explored the paradox of freedom and slavery in colonial Virginia and, in his 80s, wrote a best-selling biography of Benjamin Franklin, died on Monday in New Haven. He was 97.His death was confirmed by his editor, Robert Weil.Like his mentor and fellow atheist, the Harvard historian Perry Miller, Professor Morgan found his richest material in the religious thought of Puritan New England and endless fascination in the theological debates and spiritual struggles of men like John Winthrop, Roger Williams and Ezra Stiles.“I think that any group of people who have a system of belief that covers practically everything, and who act upon it, are bound to be interesting to any scholar,” he said in a 1987 interview with The William and Mary Quarterly....

  • Originally published 07/08/2013

    Woman who took Stone of Destiny back to Scotland dies

    A leading figure in a plot to return the Stone of Destiny to Scotland more than 60 years ago has died.Kay Matheson was one of a group of four students who took the relic from Westminster Abbey on Christmas Day 1950.The stone was taken back to Scotland from where it had been removed by Edward I in 1296 as a spoil of war.Ms Matheson, who drove a car carrying the stone through police road blocks, died in Wester Ross at the age of 84....

  • Originally published 06/18/2013

    William Z. Slany, historian who exposed Nazi theft of Jewish property, dies at 84

    William Z. Slany, a top State Department historian who helped oversee a study in the 1990s that exposed Nazi looting of Jewish property and that led to $8 billion in belated compensation for Holocaust victims and their families, died May 13 at his home in Reston. He was 84.The cause was heart ailments, said his former wife, Beverly Zweiben.Dr. Slany was the State Department’s chief historian from 1982 until his retirement in 2000. He drew the most attention for a massive, two-part study that burrowed into the history of Nazi Germany to expose the methodical theft of Jewish property.The stolen assets encompassed jewelry and other valuables belonging to victims of the regime’s persecution. The looting was so extreme as to include gold teeth taken from concentration camp victims....

  • Originally published 06/06/2013

    Alixa Naff, scholar and historian of the Arab-American experience, dies at 93

    McLEAN, Va. — Alixa Naff, an early and pioneering historian who documented the lives of the first wave of Arab-American immigrants a century ago, has died after a brief illness. She was 93.Naff died Saturday at her home in Mitchellville, Md., according to two of her friends who were with her that day.Naff, who immigrated from what is now Lebanon when she was a toddler, is perhaps best known for a collection of oral histories and artifacts that she donated to the Smithsonian and which is still available for scholarly research at the National Museum of American History.“Through her research, Alixa Naff greatly contributed to the understanding of the early Arab immigrant experience in the United States from 1880 through the 1950s,” the Smithsonian said in a statement Wednesday....

  • Originally published 06/04/2013

    Taronda Spencer, 54: Spelman College archivist, historian

    As the archivist at Spelman College, Taronda Spencer was responsible for preserving the past. At the same time, she had a tremendous impact on the future of the college and its students.A 1980 graduate of Spelman, Spencer became the institution’s archivist in 1998 and the college’s historian in 2000. In those roles she routinely helped researchers, and anyone else who may have been looking, find information among the collections of papers and memorabilia that belong to the school.“Taronda’s job as the college archivist was unique,” said Beverly Guy-Sheftall, professor of women’s studies and founding director of the Spelman College Women’s Research and Resource Center. “We were looking for someone who had the qualifications of a college archivist, but who would also work within the Women’s Center unit, because we were also interested in fostering research on African-American women.”...On May 17, two days before graduation, Taronda Elise Spencer, of Atlanta, fell ill while at a Spelman function that evening. She died later that night after suffering a massive heart attack. She was 54....

  • Originally published 06/03/2013

    Ann J. Lane, pioneer in women's history dies at 81

    Ann J. Lane, 81, of New York City, died on May 27, 2013. She was born in Brooklyn on July 27, 1931, the daughter of Harry and Betty Brown Lane. Lane completed all of her schooling in New York City. She earned a BA from Brooklyn College in English in 1952, an MA in sociology from New York University in 1958, and a PhD in history from Columbia University in 1968.Lane served as Assistant Professor of History at Douglass College of Rutgers University from 1968 to 1971, and then as Professor of History and Chair of the American Studies Program at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York, from 1971 to 1983. She was a research fellow at The Mary Ingraham Bunting Institute of Radcliffe College, Harvard University from 1977-1983.Early in her career, Lane specialized in southern and African American History, the fruits of which appeared in two works published in 1971, The Brownsville Affair: National Outrage and Black Reaction, a monograph on a 1906 racial incident involving black soldiers and white citizens, and The Debate Over Slavery: Stanley Elkins and His Critics, an edited work on an important historiographical controversy for which she also wrote the introduction.

  • Originally published 05/26/2013

    Robert E. Carlson, 91; taught at West Chester University

    Robert E. Carlson, 91, a longtime West Chester resident and history professor who led Chester County's 1982 tricentennial celebration, died Thursday, May 16, of respiratory failure at Riddle Memorial Hospital in Media.Born in Johnstown, he earned a bachelor's degree in history from the University of Pittsburgh in 1943.That year, he was commissioned an ensign in the U.S. Navy. He was honorably discharged with rank of lieutenant junior grade in June 1946. He served as a watch and gunnery officer aboard the destroyer USS Hambleton....

  • Originally published 05/24/2013

    William Miles, maker of films about black history, dies at 82

    William Miles, a self-taught filmmaker whose documentaries revealed untold stories of black America, including those of its heroic black soldiers and of life in its signature neighborhood, Harlem, where he himself grew up, died on May 12 in Queens. He was 82.The cause was uncertain, but Mr. Miles had myriad health problems, including Parkinson’s disease and dementia, said his wife of 61 years, Gloria.Mr. Miles was part historical sleuth, part preservationist, part bard. His films, which combined archival footage, still photographs and fresh interviews, were triumphs of curiosity and persistence in unearthing lost material about forgotten subjects....

  • Originally published 05/23/2013

    Historian William Z. Slany, RIP

    William Z. Slany, the former Historian of the Department of State and a champion of efforts to declassify the secret history of U.S. foreign policy, passed away earlier this month.Dr. Slany served in the State Department’s Office of the Historian for 42 years, and was The Historian for the last 18 of those years, until his retirement from the Department in September 2000, according to a notice circulated by David H. Herschler, the Deputy Historian of the State Department.In his capacity as Historian of the Department, Dr. Slany helped prepare 16 volumes of the Foreign Relations of the United States series, the official documentary record of U.S. foreign policy, and he oversaw the publication of 125 FRUS volumes.  He led an interagency study to prepare a two volume account of “Nazi gold” and other stolen assets from World War II.  He participated in the development and implementation of the 1991 statute that formally required the State Department to present a “thorough, accurate, and reliable” record of U.S. foreign policy and diplomatic history....

  • Originally published 05/20/2013

    Kenneth Waltz, international relations theory giant, dies at 88

    Kenneth N. Waltz, a pre-eminent thinker on international relations who was known for his contrarian, debate-provoking ideas, not least his view that stability in the Middle East might be better served if Iran had a nuclear weapon, died on May 12 in Manhattan. He was 88.The cause was complications from pneumonia, said Columbia University, where Mr. Waltz was a senior research scholar.Leslie H. Gelb, emeritus president of the Council on Foreign Relations, characterized Mr. Waltz as one of five “giants” who shaped the study of international relations as a discrete discipline, the others being Hans Morgenthau, Henry A. Kissinger, Samuel P. Huntington and Zbigniew Brzezinski.The field developed in the 1950s, when the experiences of two world wars and the beginning of the cold war drove scholars to try to explain more precisely how nations interacted. The goal was to build a conceptual framework on which international politics could be analyzed, something earlier courses on military and diplomatic history had not offered....

  • Originally published 05/08/2013

    E.B. Smith, U-Md. history professor, dies at 93

    E.B. Smith, a retired University of Maryland history professor, died of congestive heart failure at the Hospice of the Chesapeake in Harwood on April 30, the day before his 93rd birthday. He lived at Tracys Landing on the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay.A daughter-in-law, Barbara Smith, confirmed his death.Dr. Smith joined the faculty at Maryland in 1968 and became a professor emeritus in 1990. He specialized in the Civil War and had written about the pre-Civil War presidencies of Zachary Taylor, Millard Fillmore and William Buchanan and about the Civil War-era politician Francis Preston Blair, a founder of Silver Spring....

  • Originally published 04/18/2013

    Henry A. Prunier, 91, U.S. Soldier Who Trained Vietnamese Troops, Dies

    Henry A. Prunier taught Vo Nguyen Giap, the Vietnamese general who withstood the armies of France and the United States, how to throw a grenade.The lesson came in July 1945, after Mr. Prunier and six other Americans had parachuted into a village 75 miles northwest of Hanoi on a clandestine mission to teach an elite force of 200 Viet Minh guerrillas how to use modern American weapons at their jungle camp.The Americans, members of the Office of Strategic Services, the United States’ intelligence agency in World War II, wanted the guerrillas’ help in fighting the Japanese, who were occupying Indochina. The Viet Minh welcomed the American arms in their struggle for Vietnamese independence....

  • Originally published 04/09/2013

    The Secret to Margaret Thatcher's Success

    Image via Wiki Commons.The death of Margaret Thatcher, the former leader of British Conservative Party and Britain’s only female prime minister, will intensify the continuous debate over her legacy. No other modern British political leader has proved so controversial. She divided -- and continues to divide -- academic and public opinion more than any of her recent predecessors.

  • Originally published 04/05/2013

    Roger Ebert, legendary film critic, dies at 70

    Roger Ebert, the Chicago movie critic whose weekly TV show with crosstown rival Gene Siskel made him one of the most widely recognized and influential voices on film, died April 4 of cancer at a rehabilitation facility in Chicago. He was 70.His longtime newspaper, the Chicago Sun-Times, reported his death.When Mr. Ebert didn’t like a movie, he said so, sometimes sarcastically and always with passion. He and Siskel, a Chicago Tribune film critic, were accessible and entertaining, forgoing both celebrity flash and brain-busting film theory in favor of simplicity: two guys sitting in the balcony of a fake theater, talking about summer blockbusters and indie films with a passion that occasionally spilled over into personal insults....

  • Originally published 04/01/2013

    Rabbi Herschel Schacter Is Dead at 95; Cried to the Jews of Buchenwald: ‘You Are Free’

    The smoke was still rising as Rabbi Herschel Schacter rode through the gates of Buchenwald.It was April 11, 1945, and Gen. George S. Patton’s Third Army had liberated the concentration camp scarcely an hour before. Rabbi Schacter, who was attached to the Third Army’s VIII Corps, was the first Jewish chaplain to enter in its wake.That morning, after learning that Patton’s forward tanks had arrived at the camp, Rabbi Schacter, who died in the Riverdale section of the Bronx on Thursday at 95 after a career as one of the most prominent Modern Orthodox rabbis in the United States, commandeered a jeep and driver. He left headquarters and sped toward Buchenwald....

  • Originally published 04/01/2013

    Robert Remini has passed away

    Noted American political historian/biographer and former Historian of the U.S. House of Representatives Robert V. Remini of Wilmette IL passed away on March 28 due to complications from a recently suffered stroke. He was 91.Dr. Remini was born in 1921 in New York City, the son of the late William Remini and Lauretta Tierney Remini. He was the older brother of the late Vincent and William Remini. After graduating from Fordham University, he served as a Lieutenant in the U.S Navy in the Atlantic during WWII before returning to New York to obtain his Masters and Doctorate in History from Columbia University. During these studies in 1948, he married his kindergarten friend and classmate Ruth Kuhner, who passed away in 2012. Together they were the proud parents of Elizabeth Nielson of Eugene OR, Joan Costello of Cincinnati OH, and Robert W Remini of Wilmette IL, as well as grandparents to Caitlin and Brian Costello and Grace Nielson. 

  • Originally published 03/25/2013

    Anthony Lewis, Who Transformed Coverage of the Supreme Court, Dies at 85

    Anthony Lewis, a former New York Times reporter and columnist whose work won two Pulitzer Prizes and transformed American legal journalism, died on Monday at his home in Cambridge, Mass. He was 85.The cause was complications of renal and heart failure, said his wife, Margaret H. Marshall, a retired chief justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court.Mr. Lewis brought passionate engagement to his two great themes: justice and the role of the press in a democracy. His column, called “At Home Abroad” or “Abroad at Home” depending on where he was writing from, appeared on the Op-Ed page of The Times from 1969 to 2001. His voice was liberal, learned, conversational and direct....

  • Originally published 03/19/2013

    A.B.C. ‘Cal’ Whipple, who helped get groundbreaking WWII photo published, dies in Connecticut

    GREENWICH, Conn. — A Connecticut man who helped get a groundbreaking photograph of dead American soldiers published during World War II, has died, his son said. He was 94.A.B.C. “Cal” Whipple of Greenwich died Sunday of pneumonia, said his son, Chris Whipple.Chris Whipple said his father was a Pentagon correspondent for Life magazine who tried to convince the military to allow the photo by George Strock of three dead soldiers on a landing beach to be published. Whipple went up the military ranks until he reached an assistant secretary of the Air corps who decided to send the issue to the White House, his son said....

  • Originally published 03/18/2013

    Lenard R. Berlanstein, U-Va. history professor, dies at 65

    Lenard R. Berlanstein, 65, a professor of history at the University of Virginia, died Feb. 24 at a hospital in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.He had lung cancer, said a brother, Bruce Berlanstein.Dr. Berlanstein joined U-Va.’s history faculty in 1973 and taught courses on modern European cultural history until his retirement in 2011. He wrote six books, most recently “Daughters of Eve: A Cultural History of French Theater Women From the Old Regime to the Fin-de-Siecle” (2001).Lenard Russell Berlanstein was born in Brooklyn and was a 1969 graduate of the University of Michigan. He received a master’s degree in 1971 and a doctorate in 1973, both in history from Johns Hopkins University....

  • Originally published 03/17/2013

    Cartha D. DeLoach, No. 3 in the F.B.I., Is Dead at 92

    Cartha D. DeLoach, who as a top aide and confidant to J. Edgar Hoover was the F.B.I.’s liaison to the White House and a powerful intermediary between Hoover and President Lyndon B. Johnson during an especially tense political era, died on Wednesday on Hilton Head Island, S.C. He was 92.The death was confirmed by his son Tom.Mr. DeLoach, who was known as Deke, spent more than 25 years in the Federal Bureau of Investigation, rising to deputy associate director, the No. 3 position, behind only Mr. Hoover and the associate director, Clyde Tolson.

  • Originally published 03/12/2013

    Lelia K. Washburn, history professor at American University, dies at 90

    Lelia K. Washburn, 90, who taught ancient and modern European history at American University from 1959 until her retirement in 1977, died Feb. 15 at MedStar Washington Hospital Center. She was a District resident.Mrs. Washburn had cancer, her son, Alexandros Washburn, said.Elisavet Georgia Kanavarioti was born in Athens and was a 1946 graduate of the American College of Greece. In the late 1940s, she moved to New York City to work at the United Nations. She received a master’s degree in American studies from Harvard University in 1953 and moved to the Washington area in 1958....

  • Originally published 03/08/2013

    HNN Hot Topics: Hugo Chavez, 1954-2013

    News Hugo Chávez of Venezuela dies (3-5-13) Commentary: Historians Greg Grandin: The Legacy of Hugo Chávez (3-5-13) Commentary: Media Mac Margolis: Hugo Chávez’s House of Cards (3-7-13 Tariq Ali: Hugo Chávez and Me (3-6-13)Francisco Toro: What Fidel Taught Hugo (3-5-13) Past Controversies: South of the Border

  • Originally published 03/07/2013

    Mac Margolis: Hugo Chávez’s House of Cards

    A longtime correspondent for Newsweek, Mac Margolis has traveled extensively in Brazil and Latin America. He has contributed to The Economist, The Washington Post, and The Christian Science Monitor, and is the author of The Last New World: The Conquest of the Amazon Frontier.It was a farewell fit for a caudillo. Waving flags and wearing bright red berets, tens of thousands of Venezuelans poured into the streets of Caracas Wednesday, hoping to catch a glimpse of the flag-draped coffin bearing the remains of president Hugo Chávez, who died of cancer at age 58 on Tuesday.More than a farewell, this “sea of red” in the streets was a dramatic display of how completely the leader of the so-called Bolívarian revolution for “21st-century Socialism” has kept Venezuela and much of Latin America in thrall for nearly a generation. As mourners wept and punched the air in grief, the heads of states of a dozen Latin nations flocked to the Venezuelan capital to pay tribute to the mercurial man of the people, whom Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff described as “a great leader, an inspiration, and a great friend.”

  • Originally published 03/07/2013

    Manhattan Project agent Safferstein dies

    NEW YORK — Nathan Safferstein, a counterintelligence agent on the Manhattan Project to build the atomic bomb during World War II, has died after a long illness. He was 92.He died Tuesday night at his home in the Bronx, his family said.The genial native of Bridgeport, Conn., was barely 21 when circumstances suddenly propelled him from his job as a supermarket manager into the stealth world of a special agent.Wartime security of the atomic bomb project being paramount, he eavesdropped on phone calls of scientists and engineers in Los Alamos, N.M., to make sure no secrets were leaked, and delivered bomb-making uranium and top-secret messages. He also scrawled his signature on the first A-bomb, called "Little Boy," that was dropped on Hiroshima, Japan, on Aug. 6, 1945....

  • Originally published 03/07/2013

    Allan Calhamer, creator of popular 1950s board game ‘Diplomacy,’ dies at 81

    CHICAGO — As a kid rooting around in the attic of his boyhood home, Allan Calhamer stumbled across an old book of maps and became entranced by faraway places that no longer existed, such as the Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian empires.That discovery and a brewing fascination with world politics and international affairs were the genesis of “Diplomacy,” the board game he would create years later as a history student at Harvard University in the 1950s. After its commercial release in 1959, the game earned a loyal legion of fans in the U.S. and elsewhere that reportedly included President John F. Kennedy, Henry Kissinger and Walter Cronkite, among others....

  • Originally published 03/07/2013

    Joseph Frank, Dostoevsky scholar, dies

    Joseph Frank, a longtime professor of literature whose five-volume biography of the 19th-century Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoevsky is considered a landmark of historical and literary scholarship, died Feb. 27 at his home in Palo Alto, Calif. He was 94.He had pulmonary failure, according to the New York Times, which first reported his death.Dr. Frank wrote on a wide range of literary subjects before he began to focus on Dostoevsky — the author of “Crime and Punishment,” “The Idiot” and “The Brothers Karamazov” — in the 1950s.Dr. Frank learned Russian and immersed himself in the turbulent milieu of Dostoevsky’s life — he lived from 1821 to 1881 — to write what some scholars have called an incomparable portrait of the author’s life and times. From 1976 to 2002, Dr. Frank chronicled Dostoevsky’s dramatic life in five volumes that totaled more than 2,400 pages....

  • Originally published 02/28/2013

    WWII Doolittle Raider Tom Griffin dies at 96

    CINCINNATI — Maj. Thomas C. “Tom” Griffin, a B-25 bomber navigator in the audacious Doolittle’s Raid attack on mainland Japan during World War II, has died.His death at age 96 leaves four surviving Raiders.Griffin died Tuesday in a veterans nursing home in northern Kentucky. He was among the 80 original volunteers for the daring April 18, 1942, mission. When they began training, they were told only it would be “extremely hazardous,” coming in the aftermath of Japan’s devastating attack on Pearl Harbor and a string of other Japanese military successes....

  • Originally published 02/20/2013

    Iconic Japanese Film Historian Donald Richie Passes Away

    While the film world may in many ways still be reeling from the loss of legendary film critic Andrew Sarris this past summer, another iconic film critic and historian has left us. Author/critic Donald Richie, arguably one of the most influential voices in expanding the reach of Japanese culture (particularly cinema) has passed away. He was 88.Best known for books like The Japan Journals, the writer’s imprint on the overall culture has been his aiding in growing the breadth with which Japanese culture reaches. He had been influential in discussing the works of such directors as Ozu and Kurosawa, and has since become an absolute legend in a movement that has lasted ever since....

  • Originally published 02/15/2013

    Ronald Dworkin, Scholar of the Law, Is Dead at 81

    Ronald Dworkin, a legal philosopher and public intellectual of bracingly liberal views who insisted that morality is the touchstone of constitutional interpretation, died Thursday in London. He was 81.The cause was leukemia, said Richard Revesz, the dean of the New York University School of Law, who announced the death. Professor Dworkin had been a member of the school’s faculty for many years and also taught at University College, London.Professor Dworkin was “the primary legal philosopher of his generation,” said Judge Guido Calabresi, a former dean of Yale Law School who now sits on the federal appeals court in New York. He was also one of the most closely read as a mainstay of The New York Review of Books, to which he contributed articles for decades....

  • Originally published 02/13/2013

    Kenneth W. Thompson, director of University of Virginia’s Miller Center, dies

    Kenneth W. Thompson, 91, a scholar of foreign relations and U.S. government who directed the University of Virginia’s Miller Center for two decades, died Feb. 2 at an assisted living facility in Charlottesville.He had double pneumonia, said his daughter-in-law Pamela Thompson.Dr. Thompson led the Miller Center, a nonpartisan institute for the study of the presidency, public policy and governance, from 1978 until his retirement in 1998.In a statement announcing his death, U-Va. credited him with helping create and expand the institute’s speaker series known as the Forum program, the Presidential Oral History Program and bipartisan commissions on national issues. He continued to lead the Forum program until 2004....

  • Originally published 02/12/2013

    Micronesia historian Dirk Ballendorf dies at 73

    Historian Dr. Dirk Ballendorf passed away in his sleep on Monday morning, according to the University of Guam. He was 73.Ballendorf, a professor of Micronesian Studies at the University of Guam for 30 years, authored 11 books and more than 200 articles on Micronesian History and Culture. His works include the co-authoring of “A Secret Guam Study,” which required him to sue the Departments of State, Interior, and Defense for documents relating to the political status of Guam....

  • Originally published 02/12/2013

    Historian Charles Glatfelter dies after brief illness

    Gettysburg historians come and go, but when it comes to the deep-seeded narrative of Adams County, the community has lost its iconic historian.Dr. Charles H. Glatfelter, a 40-year history professor at Gettysburg College and long-time local historian passed away Wednesday evening. He was 88 years old. He leaves behind his daughter, Christina E. Glatfelter of Aspers, his son, Philip H. Glatfelter of Hallam, and his half brother, Roger G. Krout of Boynton Beach, Fla....

  • Originally published 02/08/2013

    In Memoriam: Alfred F. Young

    Alfred F. Young died last November at age 87 in Durham, North Carolina, after debilitating heart attacks, with his wife of sixty years and three daughters at his bedside. Known throughout the nation and abroad as “the godfather of artisans studies,” he was at his workbench until the very end. Friend of hundreds and mentor of scores, he was one of the few early American historians who challenged the consensus school of American history in the Cold War period and lived to see his history of class struggle and class-based politics widely acknowledged and honored.

  • Originally published 02/05/2013

    Stanley Karnow, Journalist and Historian of Vietnam, Dies at 87

    Stanley A. Karnow, a nationally acclaimed author and journalist whose seminal books about Vietnam and the Philippines during times of war have been taught in many college classrooms, died in Potomac, Md., on January 27. He was 87 and had been suffering from congestive heart failure.For more than a decade and a half, Mr. Karnow worked in Southeast Asia as a correspondent for Time, Life, The Saturday Evening Post, The London Observer, The Washington Post, and NBC News.In 1983, Mr. Karnow published a 750-page book, Vietnam: A History, that focused primarily on the United States' role in that country. Mr. Karnow's work was praised for its straightforward and thoughtful account of a war that began with an attack on a French garrison in 1954 and ended in 1975, soon after the final withdrawal of U.S. service members....

  • Originally published 02/05/2013

    Forget the Contrarians: Ed Koch Was A True Liberal

    Ed Koch as mayor. Credit: Flickr/LCB Ed Koch was laid to rest with applause for leading his city out of the despair of the 1970s with bluff, bluster and chutzpah. Yet the Koch mayoralty, for all its theater, was also a turning point. In complex and contradictory ways, Koch hastened the shift from a liberal New York that dates to the 1930s to the more conservative city of today. His record bears marks of both.When I interviewed Koch in 2010 for a book about New York City from LaGuardia to Bloomberg, he said he wanted to be remembered as the mayor who restored the city’s confidence after the fiscal crisis; balanced the city’s budget; built affordable housing on a massive scale; and reformed the process of selecting judges to take the politics out. All three were measures (excepting perhaps the pride in budget balancing) that any liberal Democrat could endorse. Yet his style and policies gave him a reputation as a conservative.

  • Originally published 01/28/2013

    Donald Hornig, Last to See First A-Bomb, Dies at 92

    In a small shed at the top of a 100-foot-tall steel tower deep in the New Mexico desert, Donald Hornig sat next to the world’s first atomic bomb in the late evening of July 15, 1945, reading a book of humorous essays. A storm raged, and he shuddered at each lightning flash.It was his second trip to the tower that day as part of the Manhattan Project, the secret American effort to build an atomic bomb. He had earlier armed the device, code-named Trinity, connecting switches he had designed to the detonators.But J. Robert Oppenheimer, the scientific director of the project, had grown nervous about leaving the bomb alone. He told Dr. Hornig to return to the tower and baby-sit the bomb....

  • Originally published 01/28/2013

    Stanley Karnow, Historian and Journalist, Dies at 87

    Stanley Karnow, a Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and journalist who produced acclaimed books and television documentaries about Vietnam and the Philippines in the throes of war and upheaval, died on Sunday at his home in Potomac, Md. He was 87.The cause was congestive heart failure, said Mr. Karnow’s son, Michael.For more than three decades Mr. Karnow was a correspondent in Southeast Asia, working for Time, Life, The Saturday Evening Post, The Washington Post, NBC News, The New Republic, King Features Syndicate and the Public Broadcasting Service. But he was best known for his books and documentaries....

  • Originally published 01/28/2013

    Nguyen Khanh, General Who Led Coup, Dies at 86

    Nguyen Khanh, a South Vietnamese general who briefly seized control of the government before being deposed and sent into exile, died on Jan. 11 in San Jose, Calif. He was 86.The cause was health problems related to diabetes, according to a statement from Chanh Nguyen Huu, who succeeded General Khanh as head of a self-described South Vietnamese government in exile in California.General Khanh’s rise to power in the 1960s, and his ultimate defeat, came during a period of deep political turmoil in South Vietnam, marked by several coup attempts in which he played a role....

  • Originally published 01/24/2013

    Cardinal Jozef Glemp, longtime leader of Poland’s Roman Catholic church, dies at 83

    WARSAW, Poland — Cardinal Jozef Glemp, the longtime head of Poland’s influential Roman Catholic church at a time when it played a key role in the fight against communism, has died. He was 83.Jozef Kloch, a church spokesman, said in a statement that Glemp died Wednesday evening in Warsaw. Glemp had been ill for many years, and the Polish news agency PAP said he had lung cancer. Earlier in the day Warsaw Archbishop Kazimierz Nycz had asked the faithful to pray for Glemp, noting that his condition was deteriorating.Glemp oversaw the church at a critical time in its history and in that of Poland, a largely Catholic nation....

  • Originally published 01/22/2013

    Renowned English historian of Ireland dies at 102

    Robert Kee, Born: October 5th, 1919 Died: January 11th, 2013 In February 2005 the then British prime minister Tony Blair made a long-awaited public apology to the Guildford Four and the Maguire Seven when he met members of the Conlon and Maguire families, victims of one of the worst miscarriages of justice in British history.During an emotional meeting Blair signed a copy of Robert Kee’s book, Trial and Error: the Maguires, the Guildford pub bombings and British Justice, belonging to Patrick Maguire (13 when he was arrested) with the inscription “I am sorry it took so long.”Many people believe it would have taken a lot longer but for the campaigning work of Kee, the British historian and journalist who died on January 11th aged 93.

  • Originally published 01/22/2013

    Robert F. Engs, professor at UPenn and William & Mary, dies

    William & Mary Provost Michael R. Halleran sent the following message to the campus community on Jan. 17, 2013 - Ed.I write with great sadness to share the news that Robert F. Engs, former Visiting Professor of History at William & Mary, and Professor of History Emeritus at the University of Pennsylvania, died on Monday, January 14, 2013. 

  • Originally published 01/22/2013

    James A. Hood, Student Who Challenged Segregation, Dies at 70

    James A. Hood, who integrated the University of Alabama in 1963 together with his fellow student Vivian Malone after Gov. George C. Wallace capitulated to the federal government in a signature moment of the civil rights movement known as the “stand in the schoolhouse door,” died on Thursday in Gadsden, Ala. He was 70.His death was confirmed by his daughter Mary Hood.On the morning of June 11, 1963, Mr. Hood and Ms. Malone, backed by a federal court order, sought to become the first blacks to successfully pursue a degree at Alabama. A black woman, Autherine Lucy, had been admitted in 1956 but was suspended three days later, ostensibly for her safety, when the university was hit by riots. She was later expelled....

  • Originally published 01/18/2013

    Gen. Yang Baibing Dies at 93; Led Tiananmen Crackdown

    BEIJING — Gen. Yang Baibing, a military strongman who carried out the violent suppression of student-led protests in Tiananmen Square in 1989 and was later purged because of fears that he was accruing too much power, died here on Tuesday. He was 93.His death was reported by the official Xinhua news agency. A statement issued by the party’s Central Committee provided the sort of terse homage typically reserved for a disgraced political figure, saying, “He was a seasoned loyal Communist fighter and a proletarian revolutionist.”

  • Originally published 01/16/2013

    In Memoriam: Gerda Lerner

    Gerda Lerner in an 2012 interview. Credit: UW-Madison.Gerda Lerner, eminent scholar and pioneer in the field of women’s history, passed away on January 2, 2013, at age 92. There are so many ways and reasons to remember Gerda Lerner: her activism on behalf of women and women historians; her invaluable scholarship; her irascibility in the face of injustice; her demands on herself and on the profession; her inspiration and her gifts.

  • Originally published 01/15/2013

    Prolific author, Northwestern professor Jan Carew dies at 92

    Northwestern University issued the following obituary of former professor Jan Carew, who died Dec. 6:Jan Carew, professor emeritus of African American studies at Northwestern University, died Dec. 6 in Louisville, Kentucky. He was 92.Professor of African American Studies from 1973 to 1987, Carew was described as the “quintessential Renaissance Man – an author, historian, internationalist, public intellectual, social justice activist and pioneer in experimenting with sustainable lifestyles for people of color.”Darlene Clark Hine, Board of Trustees Professor of African American studies and professor of history at Northwestern, said Carew was an important leader of Black studies....

  • Originally published 01/15/2013

    Susan Nolen-Hoeksema, Psychologist Who Studied Depression in Women, Dies at 53

    Susan Nolen-Hoeksema, a psychologist and writer whose work helped explain why women are twice as prone to depression as men and why such low moods can be so hard to shake, died on Jan. 2 in New Haven. She was 53.Her death followed heart surgery to correct a congenitally weak valve, said her husband, Richard Nolen-Hoeksema.Dr. Nolen-Hoeksema, a professor at Yale University, began studying depression in the 1980s, a time of great excitement in psychiatry and psychology. New drugs like Prozac were entering the market; novel talking therapies were proving effective, too, particularly cognitive behavior therapy, in which people learn to defuse upsetting thoughts by questioning their basis.

  • Originally published 01/11/2013

    Klemens von Klemperer Dies at 96; Wrote of Nazi Era

    Klemens von Klemperer, a refugee from Nazi Germany who wrote what is widely considered the seminal history of the movement among the country’s conservative elite to overthrow Hitler, died on Dec. 23 at his home in Easthampton, Mass. He was 96.His death was confirmed by his son, James.Dr. von Klemperer, an emeritus professor of history at Smith College, was one of a generation of refugee historians who helped lay the groundwork for modern German and European studies in the United States, a group that also included Hajo Holborn, Fritz Stern and Peter Gay.A privileged child who came from a family of German bankers and industrialists, he had taken a leading role in demonstrations against Hitler as a student in Vienna before fleeing to the United States in 1938....

  • Originally published 01/27/2014

    Why the "War on Poverty" Isn't Over

    (CNN) -- In a State of the Union address 50 years ago this month, President Lyndon B. Johnson declared "unconditional war on poverty." Over the next year and a half, anti-poverty warriors developed new health insurance programs for the elderly and the poor, increased Social Security benefits and introduced food stamps and nutritional supplements for low-income pregnant women and infants. They established Head Start programs for young children, Upward Bound and Job Corps programs for teenagers, and work-study opportunities for college students. It is often forgotten that this was a bipartisan campaign. A Republican president, Richard Nixon, and legislators from both sides of the aisle expanded the War on Poverty in the early 1970s. Nixon extended the reach of the food stamp program, added an automatic cost-of-living increase to Social Security and instituted the Supplemental Security Income system to benefit disabled adults and children. He even proposed a guaranteed national income though that died in the Senate after passing in the House.The truth is that the war on poverty produced some stunning successes, many of which are still felt today. And it likely could have produced more if politicians hadn't abandoned it in the 1980s, at the very moment that America's working families were facing heightened assaults on their living standards. In 1963, despite more than 15 years of prior economic expansion, the child poverty rate was almost 25%. By the early 1970s it had been lowered to 15%. Between 1967 and 1975, poverty among elders was cut in half....

  • Originally published 09/04/2013

    1848

    Analogy is always tempting amid contemporary uncertainties. It can also be distracting or misleading.From the outlet of the Arab spring, drawing parallels with 1848 in Europe has offered potential insights. Here are two situations in which revolution spread quite rapidly across a region, though of course not uniformly, and in which claims about human rights and political representation loomed large.

  • Originally published 09/03/2013

    Announcing "Revolutionary Moments"

    With the world once again filled with anticipation and dread of revolution, it is reasonable to examine what relevant past events our predecessors experienced. Inarguably, the past is at least a set of experiences that may be useful in considering the present. Even that relatively modest claim requires some hesitation in that historians do not write as oracles, somehow outside the fray. Politics, despite the best intention of scholars, inflicts this work. Nonetheless, reviewing the revolutionary past will be at least interesting and potentially instructive.Thus, the moderators propose to introduce questions relevant to current events with the notion that scholars who study revolutions throughout the globe will comment. Postings must be under 250 words and conform to scholarly norms.