Paxson, Frederic L(ogan) 1877-1948
PAXSON, Frederic L(ogan) 1877-1948
PERSONAL: Born February 23, 1877, in Philadelphia, PA; died following surgery October 24, 1948, in Berkeley, CA; married; wife's name Helen J.; children: Jane, Emma, Mrs. Stanley L. Ruey. Education: University of Pennsylvania, B.A., Ph.D.; Harvard University, M.A. Religion: Society of Friends (Quaker).
CAREER: Historian, writer, and educator. University of California, Berkeley, Margaret Byrne Professor of U.S. History, chairman of the department, then professor emeritus. Military service: U.S. Army; attained rank of major.
MEMBER: American Historical Association (former president).
AWARDS, HONORS: Pulitzer Prize for American history, 1924, for History of the American Frontier.
The Boundaries of Colorado, [Boulder, CO], 1904.
The Historical Opportunity in Colorado, University of Colorado Press (Boulder, CO), 1905.
A Preliminary Bibliography of Colorado History, [Boulder, CO], 1906.
The Territory of Colorado, [New York, NY], 1906.
The Pacific Railroads and the Disappearance of the Frontier in America, Government Printing Office (Washington, DC), 1908.
The Last American Frontier, Macmillan (New York, NY), 1910, reprinted, 1970.
(With Charles O. Paullin) Guide to the Materials in London Archives for the History of the United States since 1783, Carnegie Institution of Washington (Washington, DC), 1914.
(Editor) Thomas Turnbull, T. Turnbull's Travels from the United States across the Plains to California, State Historical Society of Wisconsin (Madison, WI), 1914.
The New Nation, Houghton Mifflin (Boston, MA), 1915, revised, 1927.
War Cyclopedia: A Handbook for Ready Reference on the Great War, Government Printing Office, (Washington, DC), 1918.
Recent History of the United States, Houghton Mifflin (Boston, MA), 1921, revised as Recent History of the United States, 1865-1929, 1929, revised as Recent History of the United States, 1865 to the Present, 1937.
History of the American Frontier, 1763-1893, Houghton Mifflin (Boston, MA), 1924.
The United States in Recent Times, American Library Association (Chicago, IL), 1926.
(With Olive E. Smallidge) Builders of Our Nation, Houghton Mifflin (Boston, MA), 1933.
American Democracy and the World War, three volumes, Volume 1: Pre-war Years, 1913-1917, Volume 2: America at War, 1917-1918, Volume 3: Post-war Years: Normalcy, 1918-1923, Houghton Mifflin (Boston, MA), 1936-1948.
(With Leon H. Canfield and others) The United States in the Making, Houghton Mifflin (Boston, MA), 1937.
America at War, 1917-1918, Cooper Square Publishers (New York, NY), 1939, reprinted, 1966.
When the West Is Gone, P. Smith (New York, NY), 1941.
The Great Demobilization, and Other Essays, with Bibliographies of the Writings of the Author and of His Graduate Students, University of Wisconsin Press (Madison, WI), 1941.
SIDELIGHTS: A prominent figure among American historians, Frederic L. Paxson was a prolific writer of history books, as well as an honored professor of history. His field of expertise stretched across all of American history, though he concentrated much of his work on the influence of the American West and frontier culture. He received the Pulitzer Prize in 1924 for his work, History of the American Frontier. Emphasizing the importance of examining recent events, Paxson published the textbook Recent History of the United States, which went through several revisions over the course of his career. Paxson wrote a series of books in which he attempted to bridge the gap between specialists and general readers. Among these was the three-volume series American Democracy and the World War. Allan Nevins, writing in the New York Times, called volume two of this series "highly objective," "factual," and "singularly sparing of comment and still more economical of interpretation," while R. J. Sontag praised the entire series in the Saturday Review of Literature as books "every American" should "read for pleasure and enlightenment."
Paxson's last published work, The Great Demobilization, and Other Essays, with Bibliographies of the Writings of the Author and of His Graduate Students, illustrates the influence Paxson had on his students; he oversaw over sixty-five Ph.D. dissertations during his career. American History Review contributor H. J. Deutsch lauded the book, noting that it "bears the stamp of mature, critical judgment, a creative imagination, and a buoyant style."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
American History Review, January 1, 1942, H. J. Deutsch, review of The Great Demobilization, and Other Essays, with Bibliographies of the Writings of the Author and of His Graduate Students, p. 210; October, 1948, p. 169.
Booklist, May 15, 1939, p. 304; September 1, 1948.
Christian Science Monitor, March 29, 1939, p. 18.
Foreign Affairs, July, 1939, p. 809; April, 1942, p. 575.
Journal of Political Economics, December, 1948, p. 544.
New Republic, August 30, 1939, p. 111.
New York Times, March 26, 1939, Allan Nevins, review of American Democracy and the World War, Volume 2, p. 1650; July 11, 1948, p. 17.
Saturday Review of Literature, March 25, 1939, review of American Democracy and the World War, Volume 2, p. 490; July 3, 1948, review of American Democracy and the World War, Volume 3, p. 19.
University of California, Berkeley Web site,http:/dynaweb.oac.cdlib.org/ (May, 2003), "Frederic Logan Paxson."*