Miller, Randall Martin 1945-
MILLER, Randall Martin 1945-
PERSONAL: Born April 16, 1945, in Chicago, IL; son of Richard A. (a real estate investor) and Irma (a secretary and urban planner) Miller; married Linda Rae Patterson (a professor of American literature), August 3, 1968; children: Nathaniel. Ethnicity: "White." Education: Hope College, A.B., 1967; Ohio State University, M.A., 1968, Ph.D., 1971. Politics: "Cautiously independent." Religion: Presbyterian.
ADDRESSES: Office—Department of History, St. Joseph's University, 5600 City Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19131. E-mail—[email protected]
CAREER: Otterbein College, Westerville, OH, counselor and resident dormitory supervisor, 1968–69; Ohio State University, Columbus, lecturer in history, 1970–71; Wesley College, Dover, DE, assistant professor of history, 1971–72; St. Joseph's University, Philadelphia, PA, assistant professor, 1972–78, associate professor, 1978–82, professor of history and director of American Studies, 1982–, William Dirk Warren '50 Sesquicentennial Chair. Balch Institute for Ethnic Studies, trustee, 1983–94; University of Pennsylvania, visiting professor of American civilization, 1987–88, adjunct professor of history, 1989; College Board American History and Social Studies Test Development Committee, chair, 1988–93; College Board American History CLEP Test Development Committee, co-chair, 1993–95; Cliveden of the National Trust, trustee, 1997–.
MEMBER: American Historical Association, Organization of American Historians, Immigration History Society (member of executive board, 1984–86), Southern Historical Association, Pennsylvania Historical Society (president).
AWARDS, HONORS: Fellowships from Institute for the Editing of Historical Documents, 1973; American Council of Learned Societies, 1974, 1980–81; Robert Starobin Memorial Library, 1975; National Endowment for the Humanities, 1976; Danforth Association, 1981–87; and Virginia Historical Society, 1989, 1990. Grants from American Philosophical Society, 1973, 1981; Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism, 1981; American Historical Association, 1985. Lindback Award for distinguished teaching, 1979; Tengelmann Award for distinguished teaching and research, 1997.
(Editor, with Thomas Marzik) Immigrants and Religion in Urban America, Temple University Press (Philadelphia, PA), 1977.
(Editor) Ethnic Images in American Film and Television, Balch Institute (Philadelphia, PA), 1978.
The Cotton Mill Movement in Antebellum Alabama, Arno, 1978.
(Editor) The Kaleidoscopic Lens: How Hollywood Views Ethnic Groups, Jerome S. Ozer, 1980.
(Editor) The Afro-American Slaves: Community or Chaos?, Robert E. Krieger, 1981.
"A Warm and Zealous Spirit": John J. Zubly and the Revolution in Georgia, Mercer University Press (Macon, GA), 1982.
(Editor, with Jon L. Wakelyn) Catholics in the Old South: Essays on Church and Culture, Mercer University Press (Macon, GA), 1983.
Germans in America: Retrospect and Prospect, German Society of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, PA), 1984.
(With Allen Woll) Ethnic and Racial Images in American Film and Television, Garland Publishing (New York, NY), 1987.
(Editor, with George Pozzetta) Shades of the Sunbelt: Essays on Ethnicity, Race, and the Urban South, Greenwood Press (Westport, CT), 1988.
(Editor, with John D. Smith) The Dictionary of Afro-American Slavery, Greenwood Press (Westport, CT), 1988, revised and enlarged edition, Praeger (New York, NY), 1997.
States of Progress: Germans and Blacks in America over 300 Years, German Society of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, PA), 1989.
(Editor, with William Pencak and Selma Berrol) Immigration to New York, Balch Institute Press for the New York Historical Society, 1991.
(Editor, with John McKivigan) The Moment of Decision: Biographical Essays on American Character and Regional Identity, Greenwood Press (Westport, CT), 1994.
(With Linda P. Miller) The Book of American Diaries, Avon Books (New York, NY), 1995.
(Editor, with Paul A. Cimbala) American Reform and Reformers: A Biographical Dictionary, Greenwood Press (Westport, CT), 1996.
(Editor, with Paul A. Cimbala) Against the Tide: Women Reformers in American Society, Praeger Books (New York, NY), 1997.
(With Cynthia Ferguson and Melissa Greenwald) Is There a Dream for Today?: A Civil Rights Curriculum Resource, Kendall-Hunt Publishing (Philadelphia, PA), 1998.
(Editor, with Paul A. Cimbala) The Freedmen's Bureau and Reconstruction, Fordham University Press (New York, NY), 1999.
(Editor, with William Pencak) Pennsylvania: A History of the Commonwealth, Pennsylvania State University Press (University Park, PA), 2002.
(Editor, with Robert F. Engs) The Birth of the Grand Old Party: The Republicans' First Generation, afterword by James M. McPherson, University of Pennsylvania Press (Philadelphia, PA), 2002.
(Editor, with Paul A. Cimbala) An Uncommon Time: The Civil War and the Northern Home Front, Fordham University Press (New York, NY), 2002.
(Editor, with Paul A. Cimbala) Union Soldiers and the Northern Home Front: Wartime Experiences, Postwar Adjustments, Fordham University Press (New York, NY), 2002.
Contributor of articles and reviews to professional and popular journals, including American Heritage, Business History Review, and Christian Science Monitor. Editor, Historic Guides to the Twentieth Century series, 1996—and Major Issues in American History series, 1998–, both Greenwood Press. Editor of Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, 1987–91.
SIDELIGHTS: Randall Martin Miller is a professor of history who writes about colonial and slave history, as well as the American Civil War. Miller once told CA: "History is not the past, nor is it memory, though in some ways it is how we choose to remember the past. Good history needs good storytelling, but also a sense of the ironic and fraudulent. As we invent the 'past' that we call history, we invent ourselves. Cutting through such inventions has been my own peculiar interest."
Miller is the author or editor of over a score of books, many of them written or edited in concert with Paul A. Cimbala. In their 1996 title, American Reform and Reformers: A Biographical Dictionary, the editors collected a series of essays that trace the progress of reform throughout American history. These essays in turn introduce thirty-nine different reformers, both men and women, and representatives of various racial, ethnic, and political and social groupings. Among those included are activists such as Martin Luther King, Jr., Eugene Debs, and Jane Addams, as well as more recent reformers, such as consumer critic Ralph Nader, the gay rights notable Harvey Milk, and labor organizer Cesar Chavez. Reviewing the book in the Journal of American Ethnic History, Allan M. Winkler concluded that "this book serves as a valuable reference tool for anyone reading or writing about the theme." Similarly, a reviewer for Booklist thought "these essays give an overview of the place of reform in American history." Writing in the Journal of Church and State, Howard Gillette, Jr., called the book a "well-written, thoughtful, and often provocative set of essays."
The American Civil War is the subject of several of Miller's works. Working with Harry S. Stout and Charles Reagan Wilson, Miller coedited the 1998 volume, Religion and the American Civil War, an "outstanding collection of essays," according to Gardiner H. Shattuck, Jr., writing in Church History. The sixteen essayists included in the volume examine the various religious aspects involved in the Civil War, from church propaganda to uphold soldier morale, to the role of chaplains in the front lines. For Shattuck, "Those who wish to begin work on any aspect of the role of religion in the Civil War would be wise to plumb the research and analysis found in this book." Martin Crawford, writing in the Journal of Ecclesiastical History, wrote: "All of the essays have something valuable to offer, although taken as a whole the volume is somewhat unwieldy and occasionally repetitive." Higher praise, however, came from David B. Cheesebrough, reviewing the same collection in the Journal of American History. Cheesebrough felt that "this book goes a long way in rectifying the long-neglected aspect of the importance of religion in America's Civil War." The same critic went on to call the work a "treasure for those interested in the Civil War, American religion, and the relation of one to the other." And writing in Civil War History, David Quigley commended the volume as a "series of essays that not only deepens our understanding of the war's religious dimensions but further enables a rather significant reimagining of the political, social, and cultural history of the American Civil War."
More Civil War perspectives are found in two volumes from 2002: An Uncommon Time: The Civil War and the Northern Home Front and Union Soldiers and the Northern Home Front: Wartime Experiences, Postwar Adjustments. The first title, coedited with Cimbala, includes twelve essays dealing with political, economic, cultural, and financial aspects of the war in the North. Ray B. Browne, reviewing An Uncommon Time in the Journal of American Culture, thought it was a "valuable" work, "despite its areas of noninclusion," most especially in the arts and architecture. For John D. Fowler, writing in the Journal of Military History, the same title "will prove invaluable reading for those interested in the war beyond the battlefield." Elizabeth D. Leonard, writing in the Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, called the same work a "useful and enlightening collection of essays." In Union Soldiers and the Northern Home Front, Miller and Cimbala again team up to present a series of essays examining the war from the viewpoint of the common soldier in the North. Gerald J. Prokopowicz, reviewing the work in the Journal of American History, thought it was a "worthy start" in the process "to reclaim a share of the Civil War's history from the enthusiastic amateurs." James Marten, writing in Civil War History, thought that all the essays in the book "make interesting and sometimes important contributions to our understanding of the relationship between Civil War soldiers and the northern home front." Likewise, John M. Ysursa, writing in the Journal of Southern History, found Union Soldiers and the Northern Home Front to be "a worthwhile contribution to the Civil War canon." Further, Ysursa noted the book "succeeds because it leaves the readers eager to learn more."
Miller worked with Robert F. Engs to edit The Birth of the Grand Old Party: The Republicans' First Generation. The title contains a series of essays dealing with the origins and changes within the Republican Party in the decades between 1850 and 1870. Six writers, such as Eric Foner and Michael Holt, trace the transformation of the party from its antislavery origins to its reconstruction stance. Steven S. Siry, reviewing the collection in History, found the essays "often provocative." William C. Harris, writing in the Journal of American History, believed that the editors "should be congratulated for bringing together such a valuable collection." Similarly, Graham Alexander Peck, reviewing the book in Civil War History, concluded: "The volume is a useful contribution to the field."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, March 15, 1996, review of American Reform and Reformers: A Biographical Dictionary, p. 1308.
Church History, December, 2000, Gardiner H. Shattuck, Jr., review of Religion and the American Civil War, p. 922.
Civil War History, December, 1999, David Quigley, review of Religion and the American Civil War, p. 341; September, 2003, Graham Alexander Peck, review of The Birth of the Grand Old Party: The Republicans' First Generation, p. 299, James Marten, review of Union Soldiers and the Northern Home Front: Wartime Experiences, Postwar Adjustments, p. 310.
History, winter, 2003, Steven E. Siry, review of The Birth of the Grand Old Party, p. 59.
Journal of American Culture, June, 2003, Ray B. Browne, review of An Uncommon Time: The Civil War and the Northern Home Front, p. 279.
Journal of American Ethnic History, summer, 1998, Allan M. Winkler, review of American Reform and Reformers, p. 144.
Journal of American History, September, 2000, David B. Cheesebrough, review of Religion and the American Civil War, p. 673; June, 2003, Gerald J. Prokopowicz, review of Union Soldiers and the Northern Home Front, p. 235; December, 2003, William C. Harris, review of The Birth of the Grand Old Party, p. 1027.
Journal of Church and State, spring, 1998, Howard Gillette, Jr., review of American Reform and Reformers, pp. 488-489.
Journal of Ecclesiastical History, April, 2001, Martin Crawford, review of Religion and the American Civil War, p. 391.
Journal of Military History, July, 2003, John D. Fowler, review of An Uncommon Time, p. 945.
Journal of Religion, April, 2000, Daniel P. Buchanan, review of Religion and the American Civil War, p. 331.
Journal of Southern History, August, 2003, John M. Ysursa, review of Union Soldiers and the Northern Home Front, p. 704.
Library Journal, November 15, 2002, Charles L. Lumpkins, review of Pennsylvania: A History of the Commonwealth, p. 86.
Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Volume 111, number 1, 2003, Elizabeth D. Leonard, review of An Uncommon Time, p. 90.
Pennsylvania State University Press Web site, http://www.psupress.org/ (August 27, 2005), synopsis of Pennsylvania: A History of the Commonwealth.