Review: Brown, Richard Hofstadter
The New York Sun recently reviewed David S. Brown’s Richard Hofstadter: An Intellectual Biography. From the review by Adam Kirsch: "As David Brown shows in his fascinating new study, Richard Hofstadter: An Intellectual Biography, Hofstadter’s life and times prepared him to be the kind of historian he was. Indeed, the sometimes unsettling insight that drives Mr. Brown’s book is that each generation of historians reads their own experience into the American past, turning historiography into a kind of biography.… As Mr. Brown shows, Richard Hofstadter has receded into the American past he helped to illuminate; but he remains one of its most honorable figures."
In this masterful biography, David S. Brown explores Hofstadter’s life within the context of the rise and fall of American liberalism. A fierce advocate of academic freedom, racial justice, and political pluralism, Hofstadter charted in his works the changing nature of American society from a provincial Protestant foundation to one based on the values of an urban and multiethnic nation.
Read an excerpt.