Hershock, Martin J. 1962–

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Hershock, Martin J. 1962–


Born November 6, 1962. Education: University of Michigan—Dearborn, A.B. (with distinction), 1985; Wayne State University, M.A., 1988; University of MichiganAnn Arbor, Ph.D., 1996.


Office—Department of Social Sciences, University of Michigan—Dearborn, Dearborn, MI 48128. E-mail—[email protected].


University of Michigan—Dearborn, MI, adjunct lecturer, 1992-97; Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Geneva, NY, assistant professor, 1997-99; University of Michigan—Dearborn, MI, assistant professor of social sciences, 1999—.


Historical Society of Michigan; New England Historical Association; Society for Historians of the Early American Republic; Association for Canadian Studies in the United States.


Fellow, Historic Memorials Society of Detroit, Wayne State University, 1987; Rackham Research Grant, University of Michigan, 1995; Mark C. Stevens Fellow, Bentley Historical Library, 1995, 1998; Faculty Research Grant, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, 1998-99; Rackham Faculty Grant and Fellowship, University of Michigan, 2000; research fellowship, Phillips Library, Peabody Essex Museum, 2003; Distinguished Teaching Award, University of Michigan—Dearborn, 2003; Faculty Small Research Grant, University of Michigan—Dearborn, 2003; Award of Merit, Historical Society of Michigan, 2004.


The Paradox of Progress: Economic Change, Individual Enterprise, and Political Culture in Michigan, 1837-1878, Ohio University Press (Athens, OH), 2003.

(Editor, with Paul Finkelman) The History of Michigan Law, Ohio University Press (Athens, OH), 2006.


Born November 6, 1962, Martin J. Hershock received his higher education in Michigan, where he became a professor of history. He earned his A.B. in history from the University of Michigan—Dearborn in 1985, his M.A. in American history from Wayne State University in Detroit in 1988, and his Ph.D. in nineteenth-century American history from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor in 1996.

Hershock's primary interest in history is in the field of social science, the study of individuals and groups within given societal settings. His first book, The Paradox of Progress: Economic Change, Individual Enterprise, and Political Culture in Michigan, 1837-1878, reflects this interest. In this book Hershock examines how the Republican Party as it existed after the Civil War, representing antislavery sentiment and individual rights, changed to become identified with corporate interests. He explores how the changes in the marketplace affected politics and altered popular views on social expectation and stability. Hershock focuses special attention on how this occurred in the state of Michigan.

The success of the railroad led to an expansion of the marketplace, writes Hershock, and controversy arose regarding how to approach this politically. Some people favored an expanded market with government support for banking and transportation. Others feared the decline of local markets and favored a smaller government. As members of the political parties sorted out their priorities, the Republican Party, with its support of corporate railroads, gradually lost its favor for individualism and autonomy. It is Hershock's contention that the issue of slavery had little to do with this change, despite the emphasis placed on it by most historians; rather, the primary issue was the marketplace.

In his critique of The Paradox of Progress for Michigan Historical Review, John W. Quist wrote: "Hershock's inviting prose effectively challenges historians' arguments while telling a compelling story—one that includes an outstanding chapter on Michigan politics during the Civil War. This book deserves a wide audience."

The History of Michigan Law, which Hershock edited with Paul Finkelman, is a collection of twelve essays that track the evolution of law in the state of Michigan. Topics include territorial issues and the Northwest Ordinance of 1787, the regulation of alcohol and spirits, women's rights, environmental and conserva- tion laws, and the methods by which lawyers are trained. Matthew Daley commented in Michigan Historical Review: "This collection offers readers new perspectives on several issues and adds greatly to the existing literature. The length and clarity of the pieces make them excellent choices for classroom use at both the secondary and university levels."



Journal of the Early Republic, March 22, 2005, John Lauritz Larson, review of The Paradox of Progress: Economic Change, Individual Enterprise, and Political Culture in Michigan, 1837-1878, p. 148.

Michigan Bar Journal, May 1, 2007, Gary M. Maveal, review of The History of Michigan Law, p. 52.

Michigan Historical Review, September 22, 2005, John W. Quist, review of The Paradox of Progress, p. 168; September 22, 2007, Matthew Lawrence Daley, review of The History of Michigan Law, p. 167.

Reference & Research Book News, May 1, 2004, review of The Paradox of Progress, p. 153; November 1, 2006, review of The History of Michigan Law.


University of Michigan Web site,http://www-personal.umd.umich.edu/ (June 6, 2008), author's curriculum vitae.