Graff, Henry F(ranklin) 1921-
GRAFF, Henry F(ranklin) 1921-
PERSONAL: Born August 11, 1921, in New York, NY; son of Samuel F. and Florence (Morris) Graff; married Edith Krantz, 1946; children: Iris Joan, Ellen Toby. Education: City College (now City College of the City University of New York), B.S. in S.S., 1941; Columbia University, A.M., 1942, Ph.D., 1949.
ADDRESSES: Home—47 Andrea Lane, Scarsdale, NY 10583.
CAREER: Columbia University, New York, NY, 1946—, began as instructor, professor of history, 1961-91, chairman of department, 1961-63, professor emeritus, 1991—. Member, National Historical Publications Commission, 1965-71. Military service: U.S. Army, Security Agency, 1942-46; became lieutenant; received citation.
MEMBER: American Historical Association, Organization of American Historians, Society of American Historians, Society of Historians of American Foreign Relations, National Council for the Social Studies, Authors Guild, Authors League of America, P.E.N., American Council of Learned Societies (fellow), Phi Beta Kappa, Faculty House (Columbia University), Century Association (New York, NY).
(Editor and author of introduction) Bluejackets with Perry in Japan: A Day-by-Day Account Kept by Master's Mate R. C. Lewis and Cabin Boy William B. Allen, New York Public Library (New York, NY), 1952.
(With Jacques Barzun) The Modern Researcher, Harcourt (New York, NY), 1957, second edition, Harcourt (New York, NY), 1970, third edition, Harcourt (New York, NY), 1977, fourth edition, Harcourt (San Diego, CA), 1985, fifth edition, Houghton (Boston, MA), 1992.
(With John A. Krout) The Adventure of the American People, Rand McNally (Chicago, IL), 1959, revised edition, 1973.
(With Clifford Lord) American Themes, Columbia University Press (New York, NY), 1963.
(Contributor) John A. Garraty, editor, Quarrels That Have Shaped the Constitution, Harper (New York, NY), 1964.
The Free and the Brave (textbook), Rand McNally (Chicago, IL), 1967, revised editions, 1972, 1980.
Thomas Jefferson (for juveniles), Silver Burdett (Morristown, NJ), 1968.
(Editor) American Imperialism and the Philippine Insurrection: Testimony Taken from Hearings on Affairs in the Philippine Islands before the Senate Committee on the Philippines, 1902, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1969.
The Tuesday Cabinet: Deliberation on Peace and War under Lyndon B. Johnson, Prentice-Hall (Englewood Cliffs, NJ), 1970.
(With Richard B. Morris) America at 200: Essays, Foreign Policy Association (New York, NY), 1975.
(With Paul J. Bohannan) The Grand Experiment, Rand McNally (Chicago, IL), Volume I: The Call of Freedom, 1978, Volume II: The Promise of Democracy, 1978.
This Great Nation: A History of the United States (textbook), Riverside Publishing (Chicago, IL), 1983.
(Editor) The Presidents: A Reference History, Scribner (New York, NY), 1984, second edition, 1996, third edition, 2002.
America, the Glorious Republic, Houghton (Boston, MA), 1985, second edition, 1988, third edition, 1990.
Grover Cleveland, Times Books (New York, NY), 2002.
Consulting editor, Life's "History of the United States" (book series), 1963-65. Contributor to the New York Times and to popular and professional periodicals.
SIDELIGHTS: Henry F. Graff is known for teaching the country's first class about the history of the U.S. presidency, and is the author or editor of numerous works on U.S. history. He once told CA: "The aim of good historical writing should be to orient the reader in his own time and thus to make him comfortable in the present. I would like to think that I am succeeding in this delicate and indispensable work."
Graff's biography Grover Cleveland, part of the Times Books series on U.S. presidents, seeks to enlighten modern readers on a president known to them largely as the answer to a trivia question—Who was the only president to serve two nonconsecutive terms?—and for the scandal that arose when he was rumored to have fathered a child out of wedlock. Graff makes the case that there are other reasons to remember Cleveland, president from 1885 to 1889 and again from 1893 to 1897. He relates that Cleveland, who was mayor of Buffalo, New York, and governor of New York State before becoming president, was noted for honesty and decency at a time when those characteristics were especially rare among politicians. As president, he fought for reform of the civil service and championed regulation of railroads; he also sent out the military to keep striking railroad employees in line during a major work stoppage.
Graff presents Cleveland not "as a visionary figure, but as a transition between the 19th century's ideal of a limited presidency and our more expansive modern view of the office," commented a Kirkus Reviews contributor. Graff's portrait of Cleveland does a service by demonstrating "how substantial he was," observed a Publishers Weekly critic, who called the biography "excellent." Michael A. Genovese, writing in Library Journal, thought Graff had made "a compelling argument for taking Cleveland seriously" and had provided "one of the finest short reviews" to be had of the 1888 election, when Cleveland won the popular vote despite the uproar over the paternity allegations but lost the electoral college count. Booklist reviewer Brad Hooper added that Graff tells Cleveland's story "with workable, even admirable, concision."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, September, 1996, review of The Presidents: A Reference History, p. 170; August, 2002, Brad Hooper, review of Grover Cleveland, p. 1915.
Kirkus Reviews, August 1, 2002, review of Grover Cleveland, p. 1094.
Library Journal, September 15, 2002, Michael A. Genovese, review of Grover Cleveland, p. 69.
Publishers Weekly, July 1, 2002, review of Grover Cleveland, p. 68.*