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Chafe, William H. 1942- (William Henry Chafe)

Chafe, William H. 1942- (William Henry Chafe)

PERSONAL:

Born January 28, 1942, in Boston, MA; son of William Robinson and Elsie Chafe; married Lorna Waterhouse (child care services coordinator), July 12, 1964; children: Christopher Robert, Jennifer Elizabeth. Education: Harvard University, A.B. (magna cum laude), 1962; Union Theological Seminary, New York, NY, graduate study, 1962-63; Columbia University, M.A., 1966, Ph.D., 1971; Cornell University, summer graduate study, 1967. Hobbies and other interests: Sailing and tennis.

ADDRESSES:

Home—Chapel Hill, NC. Office—Duke University Department of History, 226 Carr Bldg. (East Campus), Durham, NC 27708. E-mail—[email protected]; [email protected]

CAREER:

Historian, educator, and writer. Columbia Grammar School, New York, NY, instructor in history and comparative religion, 1963-65; Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, NY, instructor in history, 1970-71; Duke University, Durham, NC, from assistant professor of history to professor, 1971-88, associate director of Oral History Program, beginning 1971; Alice Mary Baldwin Distinguished professor, 1988—, dean of the faculty of Arts and Sciences, 1995-2004, vice provost of undergraduate education, 1999-2004, also founder and former academic director of the Duke-UNC Center for Research on Women and founder and senior research associate of the Center for Documentary Studies.

MEMBER:

Society of American Historians (fellow), American Historical Association (chair, nominating committee, 1987-88), Organization of American Historians (cochair of program committee, 1981-82, chair of nominating committee, 1991, executive board, 1993-96, president 1998-99), American Studies Association, Southern Historical Association.

AWARDS, HONORS:

National Endowment for the Humanities summer fellow, 1972, fellow, 1974-75, 1984-85; Rockefeller Humanities fellow, 1978; Robert F. Kennedy Book Award, 1981, for Civilities and Civil Rights: Greensboro, North Carolina, and the Black Struggle for Freedom; award from Mayflower Corp., 1981; National Humanities Center fellow, 1981-82; Guggenheim fellow, 1989-90; Center for Advanced Study grantee, Palo Alto, CA, 1989-90; Sidney Hillman book award, 1994, for Never Stop Running; Lillian Smith Book Award, December, 2002.

WRITINGS:

The American Woman: Her Changing Social, Political, and Economic Roles, 1920-1970, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 1972.

Women and Equality: Changing Patterns in American Culture, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 1977.

Civilities and Civil Rights: Greensboro, North Carolina, and the Black Struggle for Freedom, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 1980.

(Editor, with Howard Sitkoff) A History of Our Time, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 1983, 7th edition, edited with Sitkoff and Beth Bailey, 2008.

(Advisory editor, with Susan Ware) The Papers of Eleanor Roosevelt, 1933-1945 (microform), University Publications of America (Frederick, MD), 1986.

The Unfinished Journey: America since World War II, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 1986, 6th edition, 2007.

The Paradox of Change: American Women in the 20th Century, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 1991.

Never Stop Running: Allard Lowenstein and the Struggle to Save American Liberalism, Basic Books (New York, NY), 1993.

The Road to Equality: American Women since 1962, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 1994.

America since 1945, revised and expanded edition, American Historical Association (Washington, DC), 1997.

(Editor) Remembering Jim Crow: African Americans Tell about Life in the Segregated South, New Press (New York, NY), 2001.

(Editor and contributor) The Achievement of American Liberalism: The New Deal and Its Legacies, Columbia University Press (New York, NY), 2003.

Private Lives/Public Consequences: Personality and Politics in Modern America, Harvard University Press (Cambridge, MA), 2005.

Contributor to books, including Blacks in White America since 1865, edited by Robert C. Twombly, McKay, 1971, and The United States since 1930, edited by James T. Patterson, Burgess, 1974; contributor to periodicals, including the Journal of Southern History, Michigan History, and New England Social Studies Bulletin.

SIDELIGHTS:

According to Sandra Salmans in her Times Literary Supplement review of Civilities and Civil Rights: Greensboro, North Carolina, and the Black Struggle for Freedom, William H. Chafe's book "focuses on the period from 1945 to 1975 during which Greensboro and the rest of the country witnessed the evolution, through peaceable rallies to bloody riots, of the modern civil-rights movement." Salmans went on to note: "By putting Greensboro under the microscope, [Chafe provides] an interesting insight into the forces within a community that resisted the black struggle for freedom."

Randall Kennedy wrote in the New Republic that Chafe's "history of race relations in Greensboro … is infused with the spirit of the dissent it chronicles. Thoughtful, well written, and thoroughly researched, it is a work of disciplined, committed scholarship that is likely to inspire imitation." Kennedy went on to write: "Civilities and Civil Rights … is as suggestive about future actions as it is instructive about the past. It represents the sort of scholarly advocacy that honors the historian's calling." Other reviewers also had high praise for the book. For example, James Reston, Jr., pointed out in a New York Times Book Review article that Chafe's book "is social history at its best" and that "it fulfills history's highest value by speaking to the present and to the future."

Chafe provides a biography of an important liberal political activist with his book Never Stop Running: Allard Lowenstein and the Struggle to Save American Liberalism. A one-term U.S. congressman from New York in the late 1960s, Allard Lowenstein was known for his political activism concerning civil rights and his strong opposition to the Vietnam War, leading him to become one of the leaders of the "Dump Johnson" movement prior to the 1968 presidential elections. Lowenstein, who was known for his ability to attract young people to political causes and movements, was killed by a deranged former protegé in 1980. In his biography of Lowenstein—which was called "nuanced and fascinating" by Booklist contributor Mary Carroll—the author not only outlines Lowenstein's life and career but also delves into the deep psychological issues that this activist dealt with, including his own sexuality and feelings of self-worth. The author's sources include interviews, letters, and numerous other documents. Rich Lowry, writing in the National Review, commented that the "biography conveys both the thrill and the frustration of a life one can, in the end, only admire." Referring to the biography as "remarkably intimate," a Publishers Weekly contributor wrote that the author "underscores this charismatic leader's relevance to the survival of liberal politics."

As editor of Remembering Jim Crow: African Americans Tell about Life in the Segregated South, which was published in 2001, the author presents a view of the racist South based on more than 1,200 interviews with black southerners. The book describes their lives living in the segregated South of separate drinking and eating facilities, sitting in the backs of buses, separate backdoor entries to establishments, work for little or no pay, and other indignities that lasted well into the 1960s. "Remembering Jim Crow is significant because it provides a multitude of new evidence about everyday resistance, a subject that has been well documented in studies of slavery but that has only recently been explored in depth by historians of the Jim Crow South," noted Monica Maria Tetzlaff in the Journal of Southern History.

Remembering Jim Crow also includes a set of two one-hour audio CDs of an American RadioWorks documentary plus additional selections from interviews conducted for the book. "This powerful recollection will be avidly sought by readers interested in America's racial history," wrote Vernon Ford in Booklist. Library Journal contributor Edward G. McCormack wrote that "this remarkable book-and-CD set offers intimate views into the thoughts, activities, and anxieties of black Americans."

Chafe is also editor of and a contributor to The Achievement of American Liberalism: The New Deal and Its Legacies. The book presents eleven new essays focusing on American liberalism from the 1930s through the early twenty-first century. Among the topics discussed are the New Deal reform programs instituted by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in the 1930s, communism as an issue in American politics, ethics and science, race in America, and liberalism after the 1960s. Robert F. Nardini wrote in the Library Journal that "the volume is well worth acquiring by any academic library."

White House Studies contributor Fred Slocum called Chafe's 2005 book, Private Lives/Public Consequences: Personality and Politics in Modern America, "an eminently readable, engaging, lively series of essays that will leave readers better informed about U.S. history in general, and about many American leaders." In the book, Chafe explores eight important political leaders of the modern era and examines how their personal lives and patterns of behavior related to their political life and their decision-making process. The leaders examined by the author are Franklin D. Roosevelt, Martin Luther King, Jr., John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and Bill Clinton. In his examination of the private lives of these very public figures, the author discovers that their formative and adult years were not what many would consider ideal for creating strong leaders.

In his book, Chafe describes how many of these leaders came from dysfunctional families and some from poor conditions. Some also experienced their own marital problems and even a certain amount of mental instability. However, the strongest common link between all of these individuals, according to the author, is their intense drive to succeed and overcome adversity, factors that would ultimately shape both their careers and how they exercised whatever power or influence they obtained. For example, the author points to Roosevelt's struggles with polio as a defining factor that helped shape his life, while King's experiences with racial discrimination spurred him on, with a defining moment coming when he received a particularly vicious phone call to his home. In addition to an introductory chapter outlining the author's goals and the subsequent profiles of each individual, the author includes a concluding chapter that summarizes their lives and the influences that led them to make specific decisions and take certain actions.

Private Lives/Public Consequences received kudos from numerous reviewers. "His vivid and revealing portraits illustrate how a life crisis … gave purpose to his subjects' personal and political lives," wrote Jack Forman of Chafe in the Library Journal. Dorothy M. Brown, writing in America, commented: "These essays are the reflections of a mature historian, resting on a wealth of scholarship."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

America, March 22, 1986, review of The Unfinished Journey: America since World War II, p. 232; January 16, 2006, Dorothy M. Brown, "How They Shaped Our Era," review of Private Lives/Public Consequences: Personality and Politics in Modern America, p. 20.

American Historical Review, December, 1986, Howard Zinn, review of The Unfinished Journey, p. 1292; February, 1994, Wini Breines, review of Never Stop Running: Allard Lowenstein and the Struggle to Save American Liberalism, p. 181.

American Studies, fall, 1995, Stephen J. Whitfield, review of Never Stop Running.

American Studies International, April, 1994, Allida M. Black, review of Never Stop Running, p. 111.

Booklist, October 15, 1993, Mary Carroll, review of Never Stop Running, p. 398; October 1, 2001, Vernon Ford, review of Remembering Jim Crow: African Americans Tell about Life in the Segregated South, p. 268.

Callaloo, summer, 2003, Anushiya Sivanarayanan, review of Remembering Jim Crow, p. 901.

Choice, May, 1994, T.H. Baker, review of Never Stop Running, p. 1490; March, 2002, P. Harvey, review of Remembering Jim Crow, p. 1310; October, 2003, review of The Achievement of American Liberalism: The New Deal and Its Legacies, p. 420; September, 2006, T. Maxwell-Long, review of Private Lives/Public Consequences, p. 179.

Christian Century, March 5, 1986, review of The Unfinished Journey, p. 250.

Contemporary Sociology, September, 1992, Steven M. Buechler, review of The Paradox of Change: American Women in the 20th Century, p. 589.

Dissent, fall, 1994, David Bromwich, review of Never Stop Running, p. 550.

Gender & Society, June, 1992, Beth B. Hess, review of The Paradox of Change, p. 325.

Journal of American Ethnic History, winter, 2003, Susan Bragg, review of Remembering Jim Crow, p. 78-80.

Journal of American History, December, 1986, Richard M. Dalfume, review of The Unfinished Journey, p. 804; December, 1994, Lewis L. Gould, review of Never Stop Running, p. 1377; June, 2004, Robert C. Lieberman, review of The Achievement of American Liberalism, p. 304.

Journal of Interdisciplinary History, summer, 1995, David Farber, review of Never Stop Running, p. 160.

Journal of Southern History, August, 2003, Monica Maria Tetzlaff, review of Remembering Jim Crow, p. 735; February, 2007, Van Gosse, review of Private Lives/Public Consequences, p. 215.

Lambda Book Report, March, 1995, review of Never Stop Running, p. 42.

Library Journal, October 1, 1985, James L. Jablonowski, review of The Unfinished Journey, p. 99; February 15, 1991, Marie Marmo Mullaney, review of The Paradox of Change, p. 207; October 15, 1993, Karl Helicher, review of Never Stop Running, p. 70; October 1, 2001, Edward G. McCormack, review of Remembering Jim Crow, p. 122; November 1, 2001, review of Remembering Jim Crow, p. 116; December, 2002, Robert F. Nardini, review of The Achievement of American Liberalism, p. 146; October 15, 2005, Jack Forman, review of Private Lives/Public Consequences, p. 67.

Midwest Quarterly, spring, 2007, Arthur Scherr, review of Private Lives/Public Consequences, p. 445.

National Review, January 24, 1994, Rich Lowry, review of Never Stop Running, p. 74.

New Republic, February 16, 1980, Randall Kennedy, review of Civilities and Civil Rights: Greensboro, North Carolina, and the Black Struggle for Freedom, p. 3; October 25, 1993, John B. Judis, review of Never Stop Running, p. 429.

New Yorker, December 30, 1985, review of The Unfinished Journey, p. 79.

New York Review of Books, September 15, 1977, review of Women and Equality: Changing Patterns in American Culture, p. 19; October 7, 1982, review Women and Equality, p. 45; November 3, 1994, Alan Brinkley, review of Never Stop Running, p. 44.

New York Times, November 22, 1993, Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, review of Never Stop Running, p. 2.

New York Times Book Review, April 6, 1980, James Reston, Jr., review of Civilities and Civil Rights, p. 6; November 3, 1985, review of The Unfinished Journey, p. 35; November 7, 1993, David Oshinsky, review of Never Stop Running, p. 3.

NWSA Journal, summer, 1999, April Spencer and Myra L. Pennell, review of The Road to Equality: American Women since 1962, p. 207.

Presidential Studies Quarterly, summer, 1994, Herbert S. Parmet, review of Never Stop Running, p. 658; December, 2006, Michael A. Genovese, review of Private Lives/Public Consequences, p. 771.

Publishers Weekly, September 20, 1985, Genevieve Stuttaford, review of The Unfinished Journey, p. 94; September 20, 1993, review of Never Stop Running, p. 52; December 19, 1994, review of Never Stop Running, p. 52; September 3, 2001, review of Remembering Jim Crow, p. 71; November 19, 2001, review of Remembering Jim Crow, p. 39; September 19, 2005, review of Private Lives/Public Consequences, p. 56.

Raleigh News and Observer, January 15, 2006, Gil Troy, review of Private Lives/Public Consequences.

Reference & Research Book News, June, 1994, review of Never Stop Running, p. 12; February, 2002, review of Remembering Jim Crow, p. 46; May, 2003, review of The Achievement of American Liberalism, p. 62.

School Library Journal, January, 1995, Ruth K. MacDonald, review of The Road to Equality, p. 139.

Signs, spring, 1994, Paula Baker, review of The Paradox of Change.

Teachers College Record, winter, 1995, Joel Doerfler, review of Never Stop Running, p. 345.

Times Literary Supplement, April 24, 1981, Sandra Salmans, review of Civilities and Civil Rights, p. 468.

Voice of Youth Advocates, December, 1994, review of The Road to Equality, p. 295.

Washington Post Book World, November 27, 2005, Jonathan Yardley, "Jonathan Yardley: A Distinguished Historian Examines Why Personalities Made Crucial Choices," p. 1.

White House Studies, spring, 2006, Fred Slocum, review of Private Lives/Public Consequences, p. 223.

ONLINE

Duke University Arts & Sciences and Trinity College Web site,http://www.aas.duke.edu/ (January 25, 2008), "Q & A with Dean William H. Chafe"; faculty profile of author.

Duke University Department of History Web site,http://fds.duke.edu/db/aas/history/ (January 25, 2008), faculty profile of author.

First Measured Century,http://www.pbs.org/fmc/ (January 25, 2008), "William Chafe Interview."

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