Dawley, Alan (Charles) 1943-
DAWLEY, Alan (Charles) 1943-
PERSONAL: Born December 18, 1943, in Milwaukee, WI; son of Clarence F. and Thelma E. (Lee) Dawley; married Katherine Louise Wechsler, September 10, 1966; children: Aaron Michael, Evan Nicholas. Education: Attended University of Aix-en-Provence, 1962, and University of Wisconsin—Madison, 1964; Oberlin College, B.A. (cum laude), 1965; Harvard University, M.A., 1966, Ph.D., 1971. Politics: Democrat.
CAREER: Mississippi Free Press, Jackson, MS, editor, 1963-64; Trenton State College, Trenton, NJ, director of Bicentennial Institute on the American Revolution, 1975; College of New Jersey, Ewing, NJ, assistant professor, 1970-78, associate professor, 1979-84, professor of history, 1984—. Worcester College of Higher Education, exchange professor, 1976-77; Princeton University, fellow of Davis Center, 1977-78, visiting professor, autumn, 1991, and autumn, 1992; University of Virginia, Jacobus Lecturer, 1979; University of Warwick, visiting senior lecturer at Centre for Social History, 1982-83; New York University, visiting member of graduate faculty, 1986; guest lecturer at Brown University, City University of New York, Columbia University, University of Pennsylvania, Rutgers University, State University of New York at Binghamton, McGill University, Concordia University, Oxford University, Cambridge University, University of Sussex, University of Birmingham, University of Manchester, and University of Bremen.
MEMBER: American Historical Association, Organization of American Historians, Historiale de la Grande Guerre, Pennsylvania Labor History Society, Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Kappa Phi.
AWARDS, HONORS: Woodrow Wilson fellowship, 1965-66; Harvard Prize fellowship, 1967-70; Bancroft Prize, 1977, for Class and Community: The Industrial Revolution in Lynn; National Endowment for the Humanities, summer stipend, 1980, fellowships, 1986-87, 1993-94; Beveridge grant, American Historical Association, 1982; Hagley Library grant in aid, 1984; grants from Mellon Foundation and Murray Research Center, 1985, 1986; Distinguished Research Award, Trenton State College, 1987-89; John Hope Franklin Prize in American Studies honorable mention, 1992, for Struggles for Justice: Social Responsibility and the Liberal State.
(Coeditor and contributor) Working for Democracy: American Workers from the Revolution to the Present, University of Illinois Press (Urbana, IL), 1985.
Struggles for Justice: Social Responsibility and the Liberal State, Harvard University Press (Cambridge, MA), 1991.
Class and Community: The Industrial Revolution in Lynn (originally published in The Private Side of American History, edited by G. Nash, [New York, NY], 1979), twenty-first anniversary edition, with new preface, Harvard University Press (Cambridge, MA), 2000.
Changing the World: American Progressives in War and Revolution, 1914-1924, Princeton University Press (Princeton, NJ), 2003.
Contributor to periodicals, including Labor History, International Labor and Working Class History, Radical History Review, and Acoma.
WORK IN PROGRESS: Writing Global America: The United States in Twentieth-Century World History.
SIDELIGHTS: Specializing in twentieth- and nineteenth-century American history, professor Alan Dawley has written several social histories, including the award-winning Class and Community: The Industrial Revolution in Lynn, in which he uses the example of a Massachusetts town to explore the vast social changes occurring in the United States during the early nineteenth century. Dawley's Struggles for Justice: Social Responsibility and the Liberal State and Changing the World: American Progressives in War and Revolution, 1914-1924 focus on the progressive movement, synthesizing the works of numerous other historians into a more cohesive thesis concerning social changes in early twentieth-century America.
In Struggles for Justice, Dawley defines "progressives" and "liberals" and how these labels have changed over the decades, including how "managerial liberals" (those who emphasized that businesses can be self-policing) eventually won out over "progressive liberals" (those emphasizing a more leftist agenda of state-managed social reforms) to define the direction of "liberalism" today. To do this, Dawley ties together many social forces that were in play during the early twentieth-century Progressive Era, including the struggle for workers' rights and the increasing role of women in the workplace. "Thoroughly researched, beautifully written and ambitious in scope, this could almost be the book that finally sends Richard Hofstadter's 1955 classic The Age of Reform: From Bryan to F.D.R. out of print," commented Robin L. Einhorn in a Nation review. "Dawley here answers the many calls issued by Thomas Bender and other historians over the past decade for a politically centered, synthetic narrative of a large chunk of U.S. history." Although Einhorn felt that Dawley's book becomes "less convincing" toward the end in which he discusses the New Deal years, because by this time the shift to the new liberalism has already been completed, the reviewer concluded that Struggles for Justice is "a stirring summary of the triumphs of progressivism."
Dawley returns to the subject of progressivism in his Changing the World, in which he covers the years of World War I, as well as the events preceding and following the Great War. Here, the author discusses the efforts of progressives and how their influence was felt during an era of war and political and social upheaval. A Publishers Weekly reviewer especially praised Dawley's coverage of the League of Nations and Woodrow Wilson's vision of the Fourteen Points, concluding that Dawley successfully uncovers the "philosophical roots" of the era's thinkers and leaders in what "is an especially timely book, given the tense state of world affairs."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Commonweal, February 14, 1992, Christopher Lasch, review of Struggles for Justice: Social Responsibility and the Liberal State, p. 25.
Journal of American History, September, 1992, Michael McGerr, review of Struggles for Justice, p. 687.
Nation, January 27, 1992, Robin L. Einhorn, review of Struggles for Justice, p. 99.
Publishers Weekly, March 17, 2003, review of Changing the World: American Progressives in War and Revolution, p. 65.*