Alumni Spotlight: Queens College Alumni as Historians
Over the years, many Queens College graduates have gone on to careers as historians. They include some of the most prominent scholars of the post-World War II era. Many were much like Queens College students today: children of immigrants, from working-class families, the first members of their families to attend college. Their record of achievement is extraordinary. The following list, compiled by Professor Joshua Freeman, is a work in progres. We welcome additional names of Queens College alumni historians - use the update form below to let us know!
Professor emeritus of history and ethnic studies at California State University, San Bernardino, received his M.A. and Ph.D. from Harvard University. His publications include From All Points: America's Immigrant West, 1870s-1952; And Still They Come: Immigrants and American Society, 1920-1990s; and Asian and Pacific Islander Migration to the United States.
Rudolph M. BEll
Distinguished professor of history at Rutgers University. After graduating from Queens College in 1963, he received his Ph.D. in 1969 from the CUNY Graduate Center. His publications include The Voices of Gemma Galgani: The Life and Afterlife of a Modern Saint, with Cristina Mazzoni; How to Do It: Guides to Good Living for Renaissance Italians; and Holy Anorexia.
barton j. bernstein
One of the leading historians of the Truman Administration and the early Cold War and a pioneer in New Left historiography. After graduating from Queens College in 1957, he received his Ph.D. from Harvard University. Since 1965 he has been at Stanford University, where he is now professor emeritus. His publications included the influential essay “The New Deal: The Conservative Achievements of Liberal Reform”; Towards a New Past: Dissenting Essays in American History (editor); and Politics and Policies of the Truman Administration.
Professor of history at the United States Merchant Marine Academy. After receiving a B.A. and M.A. in history from Queens College she received her Ph.D. from the CUNY Graduate Center. From 1994 until 2011, she served as dean of the department of humanities at the Academy. She has published articles and reviews in Naval Institute Proceedings; American Neptune; Science; Women's Studies Encyclopedia; Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences; and Journal of Public Health Policy.
jane pacht brickman
Professor emerita of political science at Purdue University, where she was instrumental in establishing the women’s studies program. She received her Ph.D. in History from Brown University. Her publications include Design for Total War, Arms, and Economics in the Third Reich; Liberating Women's History: Theoretical and Critical Essays; and, as co-editor, The Political and Social Thought of Women: An Anthology. She served as president of the National Women’s Studies Association and on the editorial board of the National Women’s Studies Association Journal.
Taught U.S. history at the University of Illinois, University of Minnesota, and currently teaches at Stanford University. He is the author and editor of seventeen books, including The Odyssey of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade: Americans in the Spanish Civil War; The Good Fight Continues: World War II Letters from the Abraham Lincoln Brigade; and Facing Fascism: New York and the Spanish Civil War. He is chair of the Board of Governors of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives (ALBA) and co-curator of two museum exhibitions: Shouts From the Wall: Posters of the Spanish Civil War (with Cary Nelson) and They Still Draw Pictures: Children’s Art in Wartime From the Spanish Civil War to Kosovo (with Anthony L. Geist). He is the author of a poetry volume, Riverborne: A Mississippi Requiem.
peter n. carroll
Received his B.A. and M.A. from Queens College and his Ph.D. from the CUNY Graduate Center. He teaches at Broward Community College and Florida Atlantic University. His publications include Twilight of Progressivism: The Western Republican Senators and The New Deal.
ronald l. feinman
Dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at Brooklyn College. He was previously executive dean of the Brooklyn campus of St. Joseph's College. His most recent book is Labor Rising: The Past and Future of American Workers. His other publications include The Triangle Fire, the Protocols of Peace and Industrial Democracy in Progressive Era New York and Sweatshop USA: The American Sweatshop in Historical and Global Perspective. He is the editor of Exploring America's Past: A Reader in Social, Political and Cultural History, 1865–Present. His current book projects include The Death of 9–5: Permanent Freelancers, Empty Offices and the New Way America Works and Woven Together for Social Justice: The History of the American Needle Trades Union.
One of the most influential U.S. historians of the post-World War II era. He taught a generation of historians to put working people at the center of the nation's historical narrative, and to ask wide-ranging questions about how workers (including slaves) lived their lives and shaped American society and culture. Born in New York City, he attended John Adams High School and graduated from Queens College. He received a M.A. in history from Columbia University and a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin. His teaching career took him to Fairleigh Dickinson University, the State University of New York at Buffalo, Stanford University, University of Rochester, and The City College of New York. In 1975, he joined the faculty at the CUNY Graduate Center, where he was distinguished professor until his death in 1985. His path-breaking essays on working-class history were collected in Work, Culture, and Society in Industrializing America: Essays in American Working-Class and Social History and Power and Culture: Essays on the American Working Class. He wrote two books about slavery, Slavery and the Numbers Game and The Black Family in Slavery and Freedom 1750-1925. In 1981, he co-founded (with Steve Brier) the American Social History Project, which has produced numerous books (including Who Built America?), videos, websites, and educational programs disseminating the history of working Americans to students, labor activists, and the general public.
herbert g. gutman
Prominent independent scholar and author, she received a master’s degree from the Bank Street School of Education after graduating from Queens College in 1949. Her books include The Colonial Venture: An Autobiography of the American Colonies from Their Beginnings to 1763; Lewis W. Hine and the American Social Conscience; The Making of American Society (co-authored with Edwin Rozwenc); and Through Indian Eyes, a history of photography in India. She has taught at Hunter College and New School University and curated a number of major photographic exhibitions.
judith mara gutman
Professor of history at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Her books include George Bancroft, The Intellectual as Democrat and, with Oscar Handlin, Abraham Lincoln and the Union; From the Outer World; and A Restless People: Americans in Rebellion, 1770-1787.
lilian (bombach) handlin
Emeritus professor of history, City College of New York. His books include Politics and Religion during the English Revolution: the Scots and the Long Parliament, 1643-1645; Oliver Cromwell; and Between Ocean and City: The Transformation of Rockaway, New York (with Carol P. Kaplan).
Professor emeritus of American studies, University of Kansas and co-editor of American Studies. He received his B.A. from Queens College in 1963 and his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in 1969. His books include Before the Ghetto: Black Detroit in the Nineteenth Century; Seven Days a Week: Women and Domestic Service in Industrializing America; and (as co-author) one of the leading college history textbooks, A People & A Nation: A History of the United States.
david m. katzman
Professor of history at College of Charleston, received his Ph.D. from NYU in 1974. His publications include The Concept of Zionist Dissent in the American Mind 1917-1941 and Christian Science in the Age of Mary Baker Eddy.
Received his Ph.D., in Ancient History from Columbia University. He has taught at the University of Pennsylvania, Dartmouth College, NYU, Columbia University, and Baruch College. He is the author of Roman Manliness: Virtus and the Roman Republic and has been the director of the Classical Summer School of the American Academy in Rome since 2004. He recalls that when he started as a freshman at Queens College in 1966 that women couldn't wear pants, but by the time he left, there were nudists sitting in trees.
Professor of history at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He received his B.A. (1968) and M.A. (1970) in history from Queens College and his Ph.D. (1976) from the CUNY Graduate Center. In addition to numerous journal articles and book chapters, he has published five books: Public Works and the Patterns of Urban Real Estate Growth in Manhattan, 1835-1894; Resort City in the Sunbelt: Las Vegas, 1930-2000; Urbanism and Empire in the Far West, 1840-1890; A Centennial History of Las Vegas (with Michael Green); and The University of Nevada, Las Vegas: A History.
Received his L.L.B. from Columbia University and his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. He practiced law in New York before entering academia. He is Roe/Straut professor emeritus in the humanities (history) at Smith College, where he taught from 1968 to 2006. His publications include The Right to be King: the Succession to the Crown of England, 1603-1714 and By Colour of Law: Legal Culture and Constitutional Politics in England, 1660-89.
Received his Ph.D. from Columbia University. He was professor of history at Rhode Island College, where he taught for 34 years, and author of The Critics of the Italian Parliamentary System, 1860-1915. At Rhode Island College he led one of the top national college chess clubs and convinced the college to be the first in the nation to offer chess scholarships.
armand i. patrucco
Deputy director of Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto. Formerly chair of the Department of History, his early work focused on the Cold War, including John Foster Dulles: To the Threshold, 1888-1952. Current work is concentrated on a study of the early stages of U.S. involvement in Vietnam and an edited collection of articles and conference papers dealing with John Foster Dulles’s years as U.S. Secretary of States.
ronald w. pruessen
Professor emeritus at University of California, Riverside. His books include Sword and Mitre: Government and Episcopate in France and England in the Age of Aristocracy; Christian Man; and The Catholic Church and the French Nation, 1685-1985.
Professor emeritus, University of California, Berkeley. Ph.D., University of Michigan. Publications include Christian Converts and Social Protest in Meiji Japan and Japanese Thought in the Tokugawa Period: Methods and Metaphors (edited with Tetsuo Najita).
Received his B.A. from Queens College in 1961 and a Ph.D. from Columbia University. One of the outstanding historians of civil rights and African American history, he taught for many years at the University of New Hampshire. His numerous books include A History of Our Time; A New Deal for Blacks: The Emergence of Civil Rights as a National Issue: The Depression Decade; King: Pilgrimage to the Mountaintop; and The Struggle for Black Equality, 1954-1992.
Received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1970. From 1977 through 1999 was a historian at the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston, Massachusetts, where he developed a special interest in teacher preparation and secondary-school history education. In 1992, he launched the American History Project for High School Students, a program to introduce students to the complexity of history and historical evidence. He has worked extensively with educational advocacy organizations including Core Knowledge, K12, and the Thomas B. Fordham Institute. He is the author of Averting the Final Failure: John F. Kennedy and the Secret Cuban Missile Crisis Meetings and The Week the World Stood Still: Inside the Secret Cuban Missile Crisis.
sheldon m. stern
Professor emeritus and distinguished research professor at the University of Georgia. After completing his M.A. at Queens College he received a Ph.D. in History at Brown University. He is one of the leading historians of the Korean War and U.S-Korean relations. His publications include Rethinking the Korean War: A New Diplomatic and Strategic History and The Korean War: An International History.
Professor emeritus at Morgan State University, received her Ph.D. from Howard University. At Queens College she was a charter member of the campus NAACP chapter and helped lead a boycott of classes to protest a ban on allowing Malcolm X to speak. Her publications include African-American Women in the Struggle for the Vote, 1850-1920; The Afro-American Woman: Struggles and Images (edited with Sharon Harley); and The Columbia Guide to African American History since 1939 (edited with Robert L. Harris).
Tenured associate professor of modern British and European history at University of California, Los Angeles. He received his Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1983. His publications include Religion and Society in a Cotswold Vale: Nailsworth, Gloucestershire, 1780 to 1865.
albion m. urdank
William H. Laird professor of history and the liberal arts, emeritus, at Carleton College, where he taught history from 1964 to 2004, after completing his M.A. at Columbia University and doing additional graduate work at the University of Wisconsin. He is currently working on The Esternay Project and Archive, an online archive of nineteenth-century letters, around the Poirrier family and their notarial clientele in the rural town of Esternay, France.
carl d. weiner
One of the leading historians of the era of the American revolution, transforming its study though close attention to the lives and political activities of artisans and other ordinary Americans. His concern with less known and less celebrated historical actors was nurtured at Queens College (where he received his B.A. in 1946) by economic historian Vera Shlakman and historian Henry David. After receiving his M.A. at Columbia University and Ph.D. at Northwestern University, he taught for many years at Northern Illinois University. His publications include The Democratic-Republicans of New York: The Origins, 1763–1797; the highly influential and widely reprinted essay "George Roberts Twelves Hewes (1742–1840): A Boston Shoemaker and the Memory of the American Revolution"; Masquerade: The Life and Times of Deborah Sampson, Continental Soldier; The Liberty Tree: Ordinary People and the American Revolution; and Revolutionary Founders: Rebels, Radicals, and Reformers in the Making of the Nation.
alfred f. young
Distinguished university professor at Drexel University. He received his M.A. and Ph.D. from Washington University and taught at the University of California, Santa Barbara; the University of Miami, Coral Gables; and since 1987, at Drexel. His books include The Parliament of 1621: A Study in Constitutional Conflict; The Cliffs of Solitude: A Reading of Robinson Jeffers; Europe in Transition, 1660-1815; The Discourse of Legitimacy in Early Modern England; and Robinson Jeffers and the American Sublime. He is an elected fellow of the Royal Historical Society.