Buel, Richard, Jr. 1933–
Buel, Richard, Jr. 1933–
(Richard Van Wyck Buel, Jr.)
Born July 22, 1933, in Morristown, NJ; son of Richard V.W. (an accountant) and Frances Buel; married Joy Evelyn Margaret Day, June 5, 1964 (deceased, 1987); married Marilyn Ellman, 1992; children: Margaret Alexandra. Education: Amherst College, B.A., 1955; Harvard University, M.A., 1957, Ph.D., 1962.
Home—Essex, CT. Office—Department of History, Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT 06459-0002.
Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT, assistant professor, 1962-75, professor of history, beginning 1975, currently professor emeritus, chair of department, 1978-81. History and Theory (academic journal), associate editor, 1970—; president, New England Historical Association, 1992-93; Connecticut Historical Commission, 1996-2003; Connecticut Historical Preservation Council, 2004—.
American Historical Association, Organization of American Historians, Institute for Early American History and Culture, Connecticut State Historical Commission, Connecticut Humanities Council, Association for the Study of Connecticut History, Phi Beta Kappa.
American Council of Learned Societies fellowship, 1966-67, 1974-75; fellowship from Charles Warren Center, Harvard University, 1966-67; National Endowment for the Humanities junior fellowship, 1971-72; Guggenheim fellow, 1986; Mellon fellow, 2005-07; Round Table of the American Revolution award, 1981, for Dear Liberty: Connecticut's Mobilization for the Revolutionary War; Fraunces Tavern Museum Book Award, 1999, for In Irons.
Securing the Revolution: Ideology in American Politics, 1789-1815, Cornell University Press (Ithaca, NY), 1972.
Dear Liberty: Connecticut's Mobilization for the Revolutionary War, Wesleyan University Press (Middletown, CT), 1980.
(With wife, Joy Buel) The Way of Duty: A Woman and Her Family in Revolutionary America, Norton (New York, NY), 1984.
(Editor, with J. Bard McNulty) Connecticut Observed: Three Centuries of Visitors' Impressions, 1676-1940, The Acorn Club: Connecticut Humanities Council (Hartford, CT), 1999.
Historical Dictionary of the Early American Republic, Scarecrow Press (Lanham, MD), 2006.
(Editor, with George J. Wallauer) Original Discontents: Commentaries on the Creation of Connecticut's Constitution of 1818, The Acorn Club (Hamden, CT), 2007.
Contributor to books, including The Press and the American Revolution, American Antiquarian Society (Worcester, MA), 1980, Arms and Independence: The Military Character of the American Revolution, University of Virginia Press (Charlottesville, VA), 1984, The Transformation of American History: Society, Authority, and Ideology, Knopf (New York, NY), 1991, In Debt to Shays, University of Virginia Press (Charlottesville, VA), 1993. Contributor to periodicals, including William and Mary Quarterly.
Richard Buel, Jr., is a professor emeritus of history at Wesleyan University, where he taught for forty years. Over the years, he has authored several nonfiction books dealing with early American history, including Securing the Revolution: Ideology in American Politics, 1789-1815, Dear Liberty: Connecticut's Mobilization for the Revolutionary War, In Irons: Britain's Naval Supremacy and the American Revolutionary Economy, America on the Brink: How the Political Struggle over the War of 1812 Almost Destroyed the Young Republic, and Historical Dictionary of the Early American Republic. He is also the editor of and a contributor to several books that deal with the same topics.
In 1998's In Irons, which took Buel over fifteen years to complete, he discusses the economic consequences of the Revolutionary War on America, an often overlooked topic in books dealing with the American Revolution, according to some critics. Buel's "creativity and persistence have enabled him to assemble and consider a broad range of the extant data on the American economy—merchant and shipping records, contemporary writings and current scholarship—which he views through the interpretive lens of British naval activity in American waters. Buel's book is more a history of the impact of British naval operations on the American economy than of the operations themselves," noted Mary A.Y. Gallagher in her review of the book for H-Net: Humanities and Social Sciences Online. "In all, this is an excellent book that offers new evidence about the American revolutionary economy," praised critic James F. Shepherd in his review posted on EH.net. "Buel has done a superb job of researching this topic, as his over one hundred pages of notes attest…. He then presents his findings in a lucid, readable manner…. Scholars of both the American Revolution and economic history will benefit from this impressive work," commended the Historian's Michael P. Gabriel.
In one of his later books, 2005's America on the Brink, Buel takes a look at the Federalists in respect to the War of 1812. "Drawing from Federalist newspapers, private correspondence, and Congressional records, Buel asserts a revisionist interpretation of the war and events leading to it. He argues that self interested Federalist ideologues caused the war by rejecting the alternative course of economic coercion and undermined U.S. war efforts, nearly destroying the republic," as Matt McCook put it in his review of the book for Teaching History: A Journal of Methods. Library Journal's Frederick J. Augustyn felt that "Buel's argument is not wholly convincing, but this provocative book is valuable precisely because it raises the issue." "His reevaluation of familiar sources and the insight afforded by years of study make this a welcome contribution to the literature. It is also a vigorous beginning for what is sure to be a spirited debate, for Buel sees in these events a cautionary tale for our own times," observed Historian's David S. Heidler.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Foreign Affairs, September/October, 2005, Walter Russell Mead, review of America on the Brink: How the Political Struggle over the War of 1812 Almost Destroyed the Young Republic.
Historian, June 22, 2000, Michael P. Gabriel, review of In Irons: Britain's Naval Supremacy and the American Revolutionary Economy, p. 907; June 22, 2006, Matthew H. Crocker, review of America on the Brink, p. 334; December 22, 2006, David S. Heidler, review of America on the Brink, p. 829.
History: Review of New Books, June 22, 1999, Elizabeth E. Dunn, review of In Irons, p. 155.
Library Journal, March 15, 2005, Frederick J. Augustyn, review of America on the Brink, p. 95.
Reference & Research Book News, May 1, 2006, review of Historical Dictionary of the Early American Republic.
Teaching History: A Journal of Methods, September 22, 2006, Matt McCook, review of America on the Brink, p. 100.
EH.net,http://eh.net/ (April, 2001), James F. Shepherd, review of In Irons.
H-Net: Humanities and Social Sciences Online,http://www.h-net.org/ (April, 2001), Mary A.Y. Gallagher, review of In Irons.