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Bodnar, John (Edward) 1944–

BODNAR, John (Edward) 1944–

PERSONAL: Born May 19, 1944, in Victoria, TX; son of John A. and Mary T. (Dempsey) Bodnar; married Donna Chellino, 1968; children: Eric, Brenna. Education: John Carroll University, B.A., 1966, M.A., 1968; University of Connecticut, Ph.D., 1975.

ADDRESSES: Office—Department of History, Ballantyne Hall 742, Indiana University—Bloomington, Bloomington, IN 47405.

CAREER: Pennsylvania Historical Museum Commission, Harrisburg, chief historian, 1971–81; Indiana University—Bloomington, professor of history, 1981–2000, Chancellor's Professor of History, 2000–, codirector, Center for the Study of History and Memory, 1981–, chair of department of history, 1997–. Adjunct professor of American studies at Pennsylvania State University, 1974–80.

MEMBER: Organization of American Historians, American Historical Association, Immigration Historical Society.

AWARDS, HONORS: Grants from Rockefeller Foundation, 1975, American Council of Learned Societies, 1976, and American Historical Association, 1981; Oscar Halecki Prize, Polish American Historical Association, 1985, for Lives of Their Own: Blacks, Italians, and Poles in Pittsburgh, 1900–1960; Indiana Heritage Research Grant, 1997, 2001; nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for Remaking America: Public Memory, Commemoration, and Patriotism in the Twentieth Century; Indiana University College of Arts and Sciences Distinguished Faculty Award, 2002.

WRITINGS:

(Editor) Ethnic Experience in Pennsylvania, Bucknell University Press, 1973.

Immigration and Industrialization: Ethnicity in an American Mill Town, University of Pittsburgh Press (Pittsburgh, PA), 1977.

Steelton: Immigration and Industrialization, 1870–1940, University of Pittsburgh Press (Pittsburgh, PA), 1977.

(With Roger Simon and Michael Weber) Lives of Their Own: Blacks, Italians, and Poles in Pittsburgh, 1900–1960, University of Illinois Press (Urbana, IL), 1982.

Workers' World: Kinship, Community and Protest in an Industrial Society, Johns Hopkins University Press (Baltimore, MD), 1982.

(Editor) Anthracite People: Families, Unions, and Work, 1900–1940, Historical and Museum Commission, 1983.

The Transplanted: A History of Immigrants in Urban America, Indiana University Press (Bloomington, IN), 1985.

Collective Memory and Ethnic Groups: The Case of Swedes, Mennonites, and Norwegians, Augustana College, 1991.

Remaking America: Public Memory, Commemoration, and Patriotism in the Twentieth Century, Princeton University Press (Princeton, NJ), 1992.

(Editor) Bonds of Affection: Americans Define Their Patriotism, Princeton University Press (Princeton, NJ), 1996.

Our Towns: Remembering Community in Indiana, Indiana Historical Society (Indianapolis, IN), 2001.

Blue-Collar Hollywood: Liberalism, Democracy, and Working People in American Film, Johns Hopkins University Press (Baltimore, MD), 2003.

Contributor to history journals, including Journal of Ethnic Studies, Journal of Social History, and Journal of American History.

SIDELIGHTS: John Bodnar once told CA: "My grandfather was a coal miner and I was raised in a small town in Pennsylvania during a time when the mines were closing and the local economy was declining. It made a difference in some of the choices I made." As a scholar of history, Bodnar has chosen to focus his academic interests on working class people. In his early works, he wrote on immigration. Bodnar's The Transplanted: A History of Immigrants in Urban America, for example, shows how immigrants to America from Europe were able to maintain the traditions and culture of their homelands despite pressure to conform. Bodnar continued his work on immigrants, the working class, and local communities with a collection of oral histories produced by graduate students at Indiana University—Bloomington under his guidance, Our Towns: Remembering Community in Indiana. Andrea Foroughi of the Michigan Historical Review found the work helpful: "Despite the conversational tone, the issues raised—gender and racial discrimination, abuse, loss of life and limb, technological change, economic depressions, and unemployment—echo other studies of twentieth-century Midwestern experiences in a meaningful and thought-provoking way."

In Remaking America: Public Memory, Commemoration, and Patriotism in the Twentieth Century, for which Bodnar was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he explores the differences between public commemorations of events and the private memories of those who lived through those events. In the words of Marilyn Zoidis of the Journal of Social History, the author "explores the concept of public memory through 'official and vernacular cultural expressions.' By scouring arcane accounts of local, state, and national historical celebrations, he has uncovered a struggle between conflicting forces that have shaped America's public memory. Vernacular interests, representing diverse and usually marginalized groups, changed as America's social structure evolved, while official culture reflected the ideas of leaders and authorities at all levels of society." David Glassberg pointed out in Reviews in American History, "Bodnar presents not only a story of history as contested terrain but also a strongly worded argument about who the winners and losers have been and why."

Bodnar turns his attention to the American film industry in his Blue-Collar Hollywood: Liberalism, Democracy, and Working People in American Film. Paul Buhle, a Film International reviewer, found the book "disappointing," going on to explain "The difficulty here, as so often in the emerging literature, is that Bodnar is not actually all that interested in film except in the story lines that selected films demonstrate, and how these seem to reflect (occasionally, not reflect) current political and social trends." Kim Holston, however, pointed out in Library Journal that in Blue-Collar Hollywood, Bodnar holds to the focus of his lifelong research, "describ[ing] and analyz[ing] cinematic renderings of individualism, capitalism, and leadership … among the working class from the 1930s to the 1990s." A writer for the UCONN: Alumni Magazine quoted Bodnar, who explained: "Part of our cultural and political life today has a lot to do with exploring individual choices. Hollywood instigated that at a much earlier time than American political movements or parties."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

American Historical Review, February, 1987, Rowland Berthoff, review of The Transplanted: A History of Immigrants in Urban America, p. 220.

Choice, June, 1992, S. J. Bronner, review of Remaking America: Public Memory, Commemoration, and Patriotism in the Twentieth Century, p. 1601; November, 2003, T. Cripps, review of Blue-Collar Hollywood: Liberalism, Democracy, and Working People in American Film, p. 548.

Christian Science Monitor, August 12, 1996, "What 'Good' American Means," p. 15; September 5, 1996, review of Bonds of Affection: Americans Define Their Patriotism, p. 14.

Cineaste, summer, 2004, Larry Ceplair, review of Blue-Collar Hollywood, p. 64.

Contemporary Sociology, January, 1993, Barry Schwartz, review of Remaking America, p. 113.

Ethnic and Racial Studies, October, 1990, Peter Kivisto, article on The Transplanted, p. 455.

Film International, June, 2003, Paul Buhle, review of Blue-Collar Hollywood.

Historian, summer, 1998, Thomas Curran, review of Bonds of Affection, p. 852.

Journal of American History, March, 1986, Thomas Kessner, review of The Transplanted, p. 974; September, 1993, Michael Frisch, review of Remaking America, p. 619.

Journal of American Studies, December, 1993, Michael Coyne, review of Remaking America, p. 431.

Journal of Historical Geography, April, 1993, Steven Hoelscher, review of Remaking America, p. 233.

Journal of Interdisciplinary History, fall, 1987, Sarah Deutsch, "Political and Economic Migrants in America: Cubans and Mexicans," p. 382.

Journal of Popular Culture, May, 2004, David Lancaster, review of Blue-Collar Hollywood, p. 731.

Journal of Social History, fall, 1993, Marilyn Zoidis, review of Remaking America, p. 168.

Journal of Southern History, May, 1993, Daniel Sherman, review of Remaking America, p. 406.

Library Journal, March 1, 1983, review of Workers' World: Kinship, Community and Protest in an Industrial Society, p. 496; April 1, 1985, Roy Tryon, review of The Transplanted, p. 140; January, 1992, Charles Piehl, review of Remaking America, p. 151; May 15, 2003, Kim Holston, review of Blue-Collar Hollywood, p. 91.

Michigan Historical Review, spring, 2002, Andrea Foroughi, review of Our Towns: Remembering Community in Indiana, p. 136.

New York Times Book Review, April 12, 1992, Ray Oldenburg, review of Remaking America, p. 19.

Oral History Review, spring, 1993, Barbara Franco, review of Remaking America, p. 115.

Perspectives on Political Science, spring, 1997, William Casement, review of Bonds of Affection, p. 107.

Publishers Weekly, January 6, 1992, review of Remaking America, p. 60.

Quarterly Journal of Speech, May, 1995, Stephen Browne, review of Remaking America, p. 237.

Reviews in American History, David Glassberg, review of Remaking America, March, 1993, p. 1.

Scandinavian Studies, spring, 1995, Verlyn Anderson, review of Collective Memory and Ethnic Groups: The Case of Swedes, Mennonites, and Norwegians, p. 216.

Times Literary Supplement, June 12, 1992, Patrick Allitt, review of Remaking America, p. 27.

UCONN: Alumni Magazine, fall-winter, 2003, review of Blue-Collar Hollywood.

ONLINE

John Bodnar Web site, http://www.indiana.edu/ ∼bodnarje (August 9, 2002).

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