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Richard Hofstadter
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Author
    (August 6, 1916-October 24, 1970)
    Born in New York City, New York
    Taught at Columbia University
    Wrote 'The American Political Tradition (1948),' 'The Paranoid Style in American Politics (1965),' 'The Idea of a Party System (1969),' and 'American Violence (1970)'
    Best known works are 'The Age of Reform (1955)' and 'Anti-Intellectualism in American Life (1963)'
    Two-time Pulitzer Prize recipient (1956; 1964)
    He liked to read the drafts for the books he was working on during the undergraduate courses he was teaching.
    His wife talked him into registering with the Communist Party (he was a member for only a year).
    He went from being a radical liberal who critiqued capitalism to a Burkean law-and-order conservative.
    He had no problem with student activism - until it caused Columbia's campus to temporarily shut down.
    His shift was made complete when he was chosen to give Columbia's 1968 commencement address. He came off as condescending, scolding the graduates in attendance.
    He was raised as an Episcopalian but was always open about his Jewish roots.
    He broke ground by using social psychology to explain political history.
    He is the rare academic whose books turned out to be economic successes, producing multiple bestsellers.
    He was the first historian to draw a direct line from the era of Andrew Jackson to Joseph McCarthy and contemporary paranoia against 'intellectuals.'
    Christopher Hitchens read him and quoted his works frequently.
    Although critical of radical student activists' methods, he did host them for discussions of their goals on several occasions, and employed at least one as a research assistant.
    His books and essays are still widely taught at high schools and universities today.

Credit: BoyWiththeGreenHair


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