Goldschmidt, Arthur (Eduard), Jr. 1938-
GOLDSCHMIDT, Arthur (Eduard), Jr. 1938-
PERSONAL: Born March 17, 1938, in Washington, DC; son of Arthur Eduard (a United Nations administrator) and Elizabeth (a professor of public policy and welfare consultant; maiden name, Wickenden) Goldschmidt; married Louise Robb (a homemaker), June 17, 1961; children: Stephen Robb Gold, Paul William. Ethnicity: "German and English." Education: Colby College, A.B., 1959; attended American University of Beirut; Harvard University, A.M., 1961, Ph.D., 1968. Politics: Democrat. Religion: Unitarian-Universalist. Hobbies and other interests: Reading, exercise, cooking.
ADDRESSES: Home—1173 Oneida St., State College, PA 16801-5938. Office—c/o Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802-1503; fax: 814-863-7840. E-mail—[email protected]
CAREER: Pennsylvania State University, University Park, assistant professor, 1965-73, associate professor, 1973-89, professor of Middle East history, 1989-2000, professor emeritus, 2000—. Haifa University, visiting associate professor, 1973-74; University of Cairo, visiting professor, 1981-82; New Jersey Scholars Program, academic dean, 1985; Semester at Sea Program, visiting lecturer, 1987, 2001. Voices of Central Pennsylvania, founder, 1993, president, 1993-97.
MEMBER: American Historical Association, Middle East Studies Association, American Research Center in Egypt.
AWARDS, HONORS: Class of 1933 Award for outstanding contributions to the humanities, 1972; AMOCO Teaching Award, 1981; Warnock Award for service to fraternities, 1993; Mentoring Award, Middle East Studies Association, 2000.
A Concise History of the Middle East, Westview Press (Boulder, CO), 1979, 7th edition, 2002.
Modern Egypt: The Formation of a Nation State, Westview Press (Boulder, CO), 1988.
(Translator and annotator) The Memoirs and Diaries of Muhammad Farid, Edwin Mellen Press (Lewiston, NY), 1992.
Historical Dictionary of Egypt, Scarecrow Press (Metuchen, NJ), 1994, new edition, 2003.
Biographical Dictionary of Modern Egypt, Lynne Rienner (Boulder, CO), 2000.
Contributor to periodicals, including Voices of Central Pennsylvania.
WORK IN PROGRESS: They Drank from the Nile: Foreign Sojourners in Egypt; Modern Egypt: The Formation of a Nation State.
SIDELIGHTS: Arthur Goldschmidt once told CA: "My parents and grandmother told me that I started writing before I knew the alphabet, having devised a code that enabled me, if asked, to read aloud the same story from what I had scribbled. I was a slow talker and stuttered or stammered as a child. Even now I often prefer to express my thoughts in writing, rather than in speech, even though others think I can lecture or chair meetings well. To me, writing allows me to put something down and, if it sounds wrong, change it; whereas, once one has said something, there is no way one can strike it out. My first ambition was to become a famous author; only later did I choose a career of research and writing history.
"The book for which I am best known, A Concise History of the Middle East, grew out of my frustration with available textbooks for beginning students in Islamic and Middle East history, the subject that I have taught throughout my career. I believe that it is possible to write a textbook that students will read with pleasure. Among the writers of my formative years, who may have influenced my interest in didactic writing, I can recall Mark Twain, Donald Culross Peattie, Carlton Coon, and David Thompson; but there must have been others I am forgetting.
"Unfortunately for my scholarly career, I have not developed much facility for monographic research and writing, a flaw that would have been fatal had I gone into academic life any later than I did. Before computers were available, I used to write drafts on the backs of used sheets of paper, using a clipboard and sitting (or lying) wherever I could, but rarely at a desk. I often wrote first and then checked my facts afterwards, before rewriting my draft on a typewriter. The word processor has greatly facilitated my writing process and made me much more productive, although I must carefully check my work for discursiveness.
"The topics of my writing have usually been dictated by my academic training in Middle East history, with a special interest in Egypt in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Throughout my career, however, I have also done some journalistic writing, initially for my college newspaper, later for various dailies. For the past few years I have been writing in Voices of Central Pennsylvania, which I founded as a liberal and monthly journal of news and opinion in a fairly conservative region. Initially I wanted to refute a conservative, anti-feminist, and homophobic biweekly called Lionhearted, which has not survived. I also enjoy writing letters, whether sent in envelopes or via the Internet, and take pride in my letters of recommendation for students and, when needed, of counsel to them."