Cassels, Alan 1929–

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Cassels, Alan 1929–

PERSONAL: Born February 20, 1929, in Liverpool, England; son of Alexander Grant and Emily M. Cassels; married Nancy E. Gardner (a university lecturer), June 19, 1961; children: Celia P., Jennifer L. Education: Oxford University, B.A. (with honors), 1952, M.A., 1956; University of Michigan, Ph.D., 1961.

ADDRESSES: Office—Department of History, Chester New Hall 619, McMaster University, 1280 Main St. W., Hamilton, Ontario L8S 4L9, Canada.

CAREER: Historian, educator, and writer. Trinity College, Hartford, CT, instructor in history, 1959–62; University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, assistant professor of history, 1962–67; McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, associate professor, 1967–71, professor of history, beginning 1971, then Emeritus Professor of History. Visiting lecturer, Sweet Briar College, 1956–57; visiting assistant professor, Haverford College, 1963–64. Military service: British Army, 1947–49.

MEMBER: Royal Historical Society (fellow), American Historical Association, Society for Italian Historical Studies (vice-president, 1978–80, president, 1980–82), Phi Beta Kappa.

AWARDS, HONORS: Danforth summer research grant, 1961; Society for Italian Historical Studies essay prize, 1962, for article published in Journal of Modern History; Canada Council Leave fellowship, 1973–74, and 1980–81.


Fascist Italy, Crowell (New York, NY), 1968, 2nd edition, H. Davidson (Arlington Heights, IL), 1985.

(Contributor) Handbook of World History, Philosophical Library (New York, NY), 1968.

Mussolini's Early Diplomacy, Princeton University Press (Princeton, NJ), 1970.

Fascism, Crowell (New York, NY), 1975.

(Contributor) Reappraisals of Fascism, Watts (New York, NY), 1975.

(Contributor) Revolutionary Situations in Europe, 1917–1922, Interuniversity Centre for European Studies (Montreal, Canada), 1977.

Italian Foreign Policy, 1918–1945: Guide to Research and Research Materials, Scholarly Resources (Wilmington, DE), 1981, revised edition, 1991.

(Contributor) Historical Dictionary of Fascist Italy, Greenwood (Westport, CT), 1982.

Ideology and International Relations in the Modern World, Routledge (New York, NY), 1996.

Contributor to books, including Foreign Affairs Fifty-Year Bibliography, Council on Foreign Relations, 1972; Biographical Dictionary of Internationalist, 1983; and Origins of the Second World War Reconsidered, edited by Gordon Martel, Routledge (New York, NY), 1999. Contributor of articles to numerous journals, including Journal of Modern History, Historical Journal, International History Review, American Historical Review, and Canadian Journal of History. Member of editorial board, Historical Reflections, 1980–83.

SIDELIGHTS: Alan Cassels told CA: "Can academic writing be considered 'real' writing? Does not the scholar's need for precision of expression rule out concern for literary form and elegance, for the craft of writing itself? One hopes not. The spread of jargon among bureaucrats, computer scientists, and educators who should know better constitutes a threat to civilized discourse. Scholars must find common cause with all wordsmiths to repel the advance of service languages which may communicate but lack, in [George] Orwell's words, 'shades of meaning.' The English tongue, above all, is too rich and precious to be used simply as a tool; felicitous writing should be a joy in itself for artist, craftsman, and scholar alike."



Canadian Journal of History, December, 1992, B.J.C. McKercher, review of Italian Foreign Policy, 1918–1945: Guide to Research and Research Materials, p. 521.


McMaster University Web site, (April 27, 2006), brief profile of author.