Gould, Lewis L(udlow) 1939-
GOULD, Lewis L(udlow) 1939-
PERSONAL: Born September 21, 1939, in New York, NY; son of John Ludlow (a journalist) and Carmen (Lewis) Gould; married Karen D. Keel (an art historian and author), October 24, 1970. Education: Brown University, A.B., 1961; Yale University, M.A., 1962, Ph.D. (history), 1966. Politics: Democrat.
ADDRESSES: Home—2602 La Ronde, Austin, TX 78731-5924. Office—Department of History, University of Texas, Austin, TX 78712.
CAREER: Yale University, New Haven, CT, instructor, 1965-66, assistant professor of history, 1966-67; University of Texas—Austin, assistant professor, 1967-71, associate professor, 1971-76, professor of history, 1976-83, Eugene C. Barker Centennial Professor of American history, 1983-98, professor emeritus, 1998—, chairman of history department, 1980-84.
MEMBER: Organization of American Historians, American Historical Association, Southern Historical Association, Phi Beta Kappa.
AWARDS, HONORS: Carr P. Collins Prize, Texas Institute of Letters, 1973, for Progressives and Prohibitionists; Young Humanist fellowship, National Endowment for the Humanities, 1974-75.
Wyoming: A Political History, 1868-1896, Yale University Press (New Haven, CT), 1968.
(Editor, with James C. Curtis) The Black Experience in America: Selected Essays, University of Texas Press (College Station, TX), 1970.
Progressives and Prohibitionists: Texas Democrats in the Wilson Era, University of Texas Press (College Station, TX), 1973.
(Editor and contributor) The Progressive Era, Syracuse University Press (Syracuse, NY), 1974.
(With Richard Greffe) Photojournalist: The Career of Jimmy Hare, University of Texas Press (College Station, TX), 1977.
Reform and Regulation: American Politics, 1900-1916, Wiley (New York, NY), 1978, third edition published as Reform and Regulation: American Politics from Roosevelt to Wilson, Waveland Press (Prospect Heights, IL), 1996.
Reform Politics to the Depression (sound recording), Everett/Edwards (De Land, FL), 1979.
The Presidency of William McKinley, Regents Press of Kansas (Lawrence, KS), 1980.
The Spanish-American War and President McKinley, University Press of Kansas (Lawrence, KS), 1982.
Lady Bird Johnson and the Environment, University Press of Kansas (Lawrence, KS), 1988.
(With Craig H. Roell) William McKinley: A Bibliography, Meckler (Westport, CT), 1988.
Wyoming, from Territory to Statehood, High Plains Publishing (Worland, WY), 1989.
The Presidency of Theodore Roosevelt, University Press of Kansas (Lawrence, KS), 1991.
Progressives and Prohibitionists: Texas Democrats in the Wilson Era, Texas State Historical Association (Austin, TX), 1992.
1968: The Election That Changed America, Ivan R. Dee (Chicago, IL), 1993.
(Editor) American First Ladies: Their Lives and Their Legacy, Garland (New York, NY), 1996, second edition, Routledge (New York, NY), 2001.
(With Nancy Beck Young) Texas, Her Texas: The Life and Times of Frances Goff, Texas State Historical Association (Austin, TX), 1997.
(Editor, with Katherine J. Adams) Inside the Natchez Trace Collection: New Sources for Southern History, Louisiana State University Press (Baton Rogue, LA), 1999.
Lady Bird Johnson: Our Environmental First Lady, University Press of Kansas (Lawrence, KS), 1999.
America in the Progressive Era, 1890-1914, Longman (New York, NY), 2001.
(Editor) Jack Gould, Watching Television Come of Age: The New York Times Reviews, University of Texas Press (Austin, TX), 2002.
The Modern American Presidency, University Press of Kansas (Lawrence, KS), 2003.
Grand Old Party: A History of the Republicans, Random House (New York, NY), 2003.
SIDELIGHTS: Historian Lewis L. Gould has specialized in the history of American politics. His books have often focused on the American presidency, as well as First Ladies of the White House. In many cases Gould's books have contradicted conventional wisdom to offer a fresh historical viewpoint on his subject. For example, in his 1968: The Election That Changed America, he maintains that Robert Kennedy, even if he had survived his assassin's bullet, did not pose a great threat to Richard Nixon's candidacy. Furthermore, the historian asserts that it was not the Vietnam War so much that determined the outcome of the race as it was the candidates'—Nixon, George Wallace, and Hubert Humphrey—position on race issues. To prove his point, Gould dug up information from previously unpublished papers at the Lyndon B. Johnson library to create what a Publishers Weekly reviewer called an "engrossing analysis" of the election. Nevertheless, Historian critic Robert S. La Forte complained that Gould "does not use voting statistics or public opinion polls to support" some of his arguments, and that, at times, his "statements . . . indirectly contradict his thesis." The reviewer concluded that the 1968 election was, indeed, a turning point in American politics, but not necessarily for the reasons Gould points out.
In addition to books with more narrow focuses, such as 1968 and his analyses of individual presidents like McKinley and Roosevelt, Gould has written broad histories of American politics. In The Modern American Presidency, for example, the historian covers the administrations of William McKinley through George W. Bush. His main thesis in tracing the evolution of the presidential office is that the head of state's responsibilities have become so broad over the years that it is nearly impossible for any one person to carry out the leadership role effectively, especially as the president has become more of a national symbol of the country. Gould also criticizes the cult of celebrity that has caused presidents to spend increasingly large amounts of time and energy campaigning for reelection, rather than focusing on their executive responsibilities. In a Perspectives on Political Science review of the book, R. E. Dewhirst noted that Gould's discussion of the Clinton presidency is particularly worthwhile, and observed that the "well-written narrative" would suit general readers. Booklist reviewer Jay Freeman concluded that "This is a valuable and provocative examination of the office and the men who have strived to be effective in it."
More recently, Gould completed a history of the Republican party in Grand Old Party: A History of the Republicans, tracing changes in the party's philosophy from Abraham Lincoln to the Reagan era. A Library Journal contributor called the beginning and ending of the book "engaging," but felt that the middle chapters made it an "uneven read" overall. In New York Times, Douglas Brinkley described the work as a "smart, sprawling, highly readable survey of the Republican Party from its origins in 1854 to George W. Bush" that is "surprisingly chock full of factoids . . . that will delight readers who embrace political history as a trivia sport." Gould notes, for example, that in the mid-1800s Republicans believed that the wealthy should pay higher income taxes than the poor, and that between 1940 and 1960 the Republican Party supported the Equal Rights Amendment.
Gould has received positive reviews for his studies of individuals in history. His The Presidency of Theodore Roosevelt, for one, in which he covers the accomplishments and failings of Roosevelt during the years 1901 to 1909, was praised as a "balanced, scholarly assessment" by a Publishers Weekly reviewer. Critics also enjoyed Gould's Lady Bird Johnson: Our Environmental First Lady. Here, the historian reveals how under-appreciated the former First Lady's efforts at environmentalism were because they were labeled as "beautification" initiatives, thus feminizing the issue and making it appear unimportant to the media and public at the time. "Gould's book is a very good introduction to the accomplishments of a woman whose modest demeanor and tenure during turbulent times has eclipsed her contributions to the role of First Lady and to the American environment," concluded June Sochen in Journal of Southern History.
As editor of American First Ladies: Their Lives and Their Legacy, Gould has also helped to bring more attention to the role presidents' wives have played in American politics. Although other books have been written on the subject, this up-to-date collection of short biographies is more thorough, according to reviewers, covering Laura Bush and Hillary Rodham Clinton. "This work provides the researcher with a thorough understanding of the role these women played in our country's history," asserted a Booklist critic.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, May, 1983, review of The Presidency of William McKinley, p. 173.
Booklist, March 1, 1993, Gilbert Taylor, review of 1968: The Election That Changed America, p. 1137; August, 1996, review of American First Ladies: Their Lives and Legacy, p. 1920; March 1, 2002, Mary Ellen Quinn, review of American First Ladies, second edition, p. 1170; April 15, 2003, Jay Freeman, review of The Modern American Presidency, p. 1444; September 15, 2003, Mary Carroll, review of Grand Old Party: A History of the Republicans, p. 184.
Book Report, January-February, 1997, Carol Fox, review of American First Ladies, p. 42.
Historian, winter, 1994, Robert S. La Forte, review of 1968, p. 426.
Journal of American History, March, 1992, Evan Anders, review of The Presidency of Theodore Roosevelt, p. 1475; September, 1999, Dorothy D. DeMoss, review of Texas, Her Texas: The Life and Times of Frances Goff, p. 860; December, 2000, Leah Rawls Atkins, review of Inside the Natchez Trace Collection: New Sources for the Southern History, p. 1035.
Journal of Southern History, August, 1989, Suellen Hoy, review of Lady Bird Johnson and the Environment, p. 523; November, 1992, Richard H. Collin, review of The Presidency of Theodore Roosevelt, p. 737; August, 1994, Myron I. Scholnick, review of 1968, p. 621; November, 1998, Nancy Baker Jones, review of Texas, Her Texas, p. 774; November, 2001, June Sochen, review of Lady Bird Johnson: Our Environmental First Lady, p. 905.
Library Journal, March 15, 1993, Frank Kessler, review of 1968, p. 91; April 1, 2003, Michael A. Genovese, review of The Modern American Presidency, p. 112; October 1, 2003, Grant A. Fredericksen, review of Grand Old Party, p. 99.
New York Times, November 12, 2003, Douglas Brinkley, "Republican Evolution, from Lincoln to Reagan," p. E7.
New York Times Book Review, July 24, 1988, Grady Clay, review of Lady Bird Johnson and the Environment, p. 14.
Perspectives on Political Science, summer, 2003, R. E. Dewhirst, review of The Modern American Presidency, p. 167.
Publishers Weekly, November 9, 1990, Genevieve Stuttaford, review of The Presidency of Theodore Roosevelt, p. 52; February 1, 1993, review of 1968, p. 81.
School Library Journal, August, 1996, Linda A. Vretos, review of American First Ladies, p. 186.*