We were deeply saddened to learn that Jerry H. Bentley (University of Hawai’i at Manoa), a distinguished scholar and leader in the field of world history and long-time friend of the AHA, passed away on July 15.
Bentley is best known for his role in the field of world history. Former AHA Teaching Division vice president Patrick Manning (Univ. of Pittsburgh) recalled him as the “founder and editor of the Journal of World History, recognized by the American Library Association as the best new journal for 1990.” Under his guidance the history department at the University of Hawai’i was also one of the first to offer doctoral-level studies in world history.
The death, on the last day of May, of David Darlington, associate editor of Perspectives on History, coeditor of the AHA’s Directory of History Departments, Historical Organizations, and Historians, co-manager of the annual meeting Job Center, and an invaluable colleague, came as a shock to all of us here at 400 A Street.
It was a shock even to those of us who knew that behind his stoic smile and exemplary dedication to his work, David characteristically hid the pain and the suffering from the colon cancer that finally took his life at the unconscionably young age of 34.
Robert Griffith, of American University, died on January 25, 2011. A gifted administrator and scholar, he served the American Historical Association as co-moderator of the department chairs’ listserv and as chair of the Local Arrangements Committee for the 2004 Annual Meeting in Washington, DC. The Organization of American Historians awarded him the Roy Rosenzweig Distinguished Service Award in recognition of his outstanding contributions as treasurer from 2008–10.
Griffith was chair of the department of history at American University from 2004–10 and was provost from 1995–97.
David J. Weber, historian of the Borderlands, the American West, and Latin America and vice-president of the American Historical Association’s Professional Division, died on Friday, August 20, after a long struggle with multiple myeloma.
Weber was Robert and Nancy Dedman professor of history and founding director of the William P. Clements Center for Southwest Studies at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. He received his BS from the State University of New York at Fredonia and his MA and PhD from the University of New Mexico.
Paul Longmore, a member of the AHA Task Force on Disability, passed away on August 9, 2010. Longmore was professor of history and director of the Institute on Disability at San Francisco State University. He specialized in early American history and the history of people with disabilities.
His first book, based on his dissertation at Claremont Graduate School, was The Invention of George Washington (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1988). An activist as well as a scholar, he famously burned a copy of the book to protest Social Security and Medicaid policies that created work disincentives for people with disabilities.
Our timely links this week include an obituary for broadcaster Daniel Schorr, the first declassification report from the National Declassification Center, news on the 20th anniversary of the ADA, the re-release of Senator Byrd’s musical album, a brief history of data visualization, and a new site for creating courses. If you’re looking for a good read this summer check out NPR’s list of historical fiction. Finally, check out our collection of image-related links, including the Library of Congress’ Great Depression color photographs, Harvard Law School Library’s legal portraits, food posters from World Wars I and II, and some historic D.C.
We note with sadness the passing of Robert C. Byrd, who received the AHA’s first Theodore Roosevelt-Woodrow Wilson Award in 2003 for his sponsorship of the Teaching American History grants. Over the past ten years, the Teaching American History grants have devoted more than a billion dollars to programs designed to support professional development for U.S. history teachers. The citation for the award and an interview with Senator Byrd that appeared in Perspectives are available online. Here is a brief background on Byrd, who had a “lifetime commitment to and interest in the discipline of history.”
Senator Robert C.
Howard Zinn, the historian who translated his pioneering vision of the past—seeing it from the perspective of ordinary people—into progressive and radical political action, died of a heart attack on Wednesday, January 27, 2010, at the age of 87.
In his most famous book, A People’s History of the United States, Zinn sought to answer as it were, Bertolt Brecht’s “Questions from a Worker Who Reads,” for the United States, taking the view that the past needed to be understood from the viewpoint of ordinary people.