PERSONAL: Married to Sarah Cogan (librarian, died July 23, 2004). Education: University of Chicago, A.B., 1965, Ph.D. 1974.
ADDRESSES: Offıce—Department of Humanities, Wayne State University, College of Liberal Arts, 51 West Warren Avenue, Detroit, MI 48202. E-mail— [email protected]
CAREER: Educator and author. Wayne State University, Detroit, MI, associate professor of humanities.
MEMBER: Dante Society.
The Human Thing: The Speeches and Principles ofThucydides, University of Chicago Press (Chicago, IL), 1981.
The Design in the Wax: The Structure of the DivineComedy and Its Meaning, University of Notre Dame Press (Notre Dame, IN), 1999.
SIDELIGHTS: Marc Cogan teaches humanities at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. His book The Human Thing: The Speeches and Principles of Thucydides examines the speeches recorded by the ancient Greek writer Thucydides that have come down through history and were likely edited, altered, or otherwise re-shaped along the way. The book discusses Thucydides' goals and his use of the speeches to shape people's perceptions of the Peloponnesian War; the speeches he selected were delivered before and during that war. In his book Cogan argues, "persuasively" according to a reviewer in Choice, that the speeches can be divided into three categories that reveal how people saw the war. In the first phase, the transition from relative peace to a state of war is noted; the second set of speeches view the war as ideological, and in the third set, the war is viewed as a fight for survival. A reviewer in Ethics remarked that Cogan's commentary regarding the speeches is "careful and detailed and offers novel and fruitful suggestions" about Thucydides' division of the war into different periods.
In The Design in the Wax: The Structure of the Divine Comedy and Its Meaning, Cogan examines how the structure of Dante's Divine Comedy helps to convey its meaning. A Choice reviewer praised the book, calling it "triumphant . . . dense and sinuous."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
American Historical Review, June, 1982, Charles W. Fornara, review of The Human Thing: The Speeches and Principles of Thucydides, p. 755.
Choice, November, 1981, review of The Human Thing, p. 424; November, 1999, review of The Design in the Wax: The Structure of the Divine Comedy and Its Meaning, p. 544.
Clio, fall, 1983, review of The Human Thing, p. 90.
Ethics, July, 1982, review of The Human Thing, p. 773.*