Stan Katz: Barry D. Karl and the Historical Profession

Historians in the News

[Stan Katz directs the Center for Arts and Cultural Policy Studies at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School.]

My friend and long-time historical collaborator Barry Karl died while undergoing emergency open-heart surgery in Chicago early this week. Barry would have celebrated his eighty-third birthday on the 23rd of this month -- which will be the date of the first birthday of his only grandchild, Ethan. It is too bad that he could not have lived longer, but he had a long, successful and interesting career. Barry was raised in Louisville, Kentucky and attended the University of Louisville, from which he received his first degree in 1949. He moved to Chicago, which proved to be his appropriate spiritual and intellectual home, for a master's degree in philosophy in 1951. He then took a job in publishing, as associate editor in the humanities and history, at the University of Chicago Press. It was there that, while helping Louis Brownlow write his autobiography, Barry discovered his vocation as an historian of the relationship of the state to democracy in America. He moved to Harvard to do his doctoral work in history under the direction of the Roosevelt biographer, Frank Freidel....
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