Carl Lotus Becker (September 7, 1873 – April 10, 1945) was an American historian.
1 Life 2 Writing 3 Political views 4 Works 5 Quotes 6 References 7 Further reading 8 External links
He was born in Waterloo, Iowa. He enrolled at the University of
Wisconsin–Madison in 1893 as an undergraduate, and while there, he
gradually gained an interest in studying history. Remaining for
graduate work, Becker studied under Frederick Jackson Turner, who
became his doctoral adviser there. Becker got his Ph.D. in 1907. He
was John Wendell Anderson Professor of History in the Department of
In the thirteenth century the key words would no doubt be God, sin, grace, salvation, heaven and the like; in the nineteenth century, matter, fact, matter-of-fact, evolution, progress; in the twentieth century, relativity, process, adjustment, function, complex. In the eighteenth century the words without which no enlightened person could reach a restful conclusion were nature, natural law, first cause, reason, sentiment, humanity, perfectibility....
This isolation of vocabularies of the epoch chimes with much later work, even if the rest of the book is essayistic in approach. Johnson Kent Wright writes:
Becker wrote as a principled liberal.... Yet in some respects The Heavenly City presents an almost uncanny anticipation of the "postmodern" reading of the eighteenth century. — "The Pre-Postmodernism of Carl Becker", p. 162, in Postmodernism and the Enlightenment (2001), Daniel Gordon editor
Political views Interviewed for the pamphlet Writers Take Sides: Letters about the War in Spain from 418 American Authors Becker supported the Spanish Republicans. He also stated his opposition to dictatorship in general. Works
The History of Political Parties in the Province of New York, 1760-1776 (1908) Kansas (1910) The Beginnings of the American People (1915) The Eve of the Revolution (1918) The United States: An Experiment in Democracy (1920) The Declaration of Independence—A Study in the History of Political Ideas (1922, 1942) Our Great Experiment in Democracy (1924) The Spirit of '76 (with G.M. Clark and W.E. Dodd) (1926) Modern History (1931) Everyman His Own Historian (1931) The Heavenly City of the Eighteenth-Century Philosophers (1932) Progress and Power (1936) Story of Civilization (with Frederic Duncalf) (1938) Modern Democracy (1941) New Liberties for Old (1941) Cornell University: Founders and the Founding (1943) How New Will the Better World Be?—A Discussion of Post-War Reconstruction (1944) Freedom and Responsibility in the American Way of Life (1945) Freedom of Speech and Press "What are Historical Facts"
"History is the memory of things said and done." "The significance of man is that he is insignificant and is aware of it." "The temperament, the objects and the methods of a Mussolini, a Hitler, a Stalin represent everything that I most profoundly despise". "Freedom and responsibility." This saying, from a 1943 lecture, has been frequently misquoted. When Cornell memorialized Becker by naming a residential college in his honor, the university commissioned a large stone placard to be affixed to the building's entryway reading "FREEDOM WITH RESPONSIBILITY".
^ Carl L. Becker, "Frederick Jackson Turner," in Everyman His Own Historian: Essays on History and Politics, (Quadrangle Books, 1966), pp. 191-232. ^ "Book of Members, 1780-2010: Chapter B" (PDF). American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved May 29, 2011. ^ a b c "400 To 1 Against Franco" The Milwaukee Journal, May 17, 1938. ^ a b http://www.metaezra.com/archive/2008/09/carl_becker_is_rolling_in_his.shtml
Breisach, Ernst. "Carl Becker" in Kelly Boyd, ed. Encyclopedia of Historians and Historical Writing, vol 1 (1999) pp 85-86. Smith, Charlotte W. Carl Becker: On History & the Climate of Opinion (1956) Strout, CushingThe Pragmatic Revolt in American History: Carl Becker and Charles Beard (1958) Wilkins, Burleigh T.Carl Becker: A Biographical Study in American Intellectual History (1961) Wilson, Clyde N. Twentieth-Century American Historians (Gale: 1983, Dictionary of Literary Biography, volume 17) pp 57–63
v t e
Presidents of the American Historical Association
Andrew Dickson White
Charles Francis Adams Jr.
Dana Carleton Munro
Robert Livingston Schuyler (1951)
James G. Randall (1952)
Louis R. Gottschalk (1953)
Merle Curti (1954)
Richard B. Morris (1976)
Charles Gibson (1977)
William J. Bouwsma (1978)
John Hope Franklin (1979)
David H. Pinkney (1980)
Bernard Bailyn (1981)
Gordon A. Craig
William Roger Louis (2001)
Lynn Hunt (2002)
James M. McPherson
WorldCat Identities VIAF: 88922339 LCCN: n79121326 ISNI: 0000 0000 8345 2328 GND: 120741156 SELIBR: 325284 SUDOC: 060455063 BIBSYS: 90742538 NLA: 35016153 NDL: 00519901 NKC: jx20090303009 BNE: XX1200674 SN