Pringle, Henry F(owles) 1897-1958

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PRINGLE, Henry F(owles) 1897-1958


Male. Born 1897; died 1958.


Writer and historian.


Pulitzer Prize in biography, 1932, for Theodore Roosevelt, a Biography.


Alfred E. Smith: A Critical Study, Macy-Masius (New York, NY), 1927, reprinted, AMS Press (New York, NY), 1970.

(With Maurice Holland), Industrial Explorers, Harper & Brothers (New York, NY), 1928.

Theodore Roosevelt, a Biography, Blue Ribbon Books (New York, NY), 1931, revised edition, Harcourt, Brace (New York, NY), 1956.

The Life and Times of William Howard Taft: A Biography, two volumes, Farrar & Rinehart (New York, NY), 1939, reprinted, American Political Biography Press (Newtown, CT), 1997.

(Editor) Why …, Farrar & Rinehart (New York, NY), 1941.

Contributor to Democracy and National Unity, edited by William Thomas Hutchinson, University of Chicago Press (Chicago, IL), 1941.

Pringle's works have been translated into Chinese.


Although he won the Pulitzer Prize in biography for Theodore Roosevelt, a Biography, Henry F. Pringle's most famous work is considered The Life and Times of William Howard Taft: A Biography. This work is, according to its author's foreword, "authorized but not official"; the former president's literary executors, Robert, Charles, and Helen Taft, allowed Pringle unlimited access to Taft's private papers. The result is a long and detailed biography that sheds a sometimes controversial light on Taft's private thoughts. John Chamberlain, reviewing the book for the New York Times, found the 1939 biography of Taft to be "one of the best political biographies of recent years." In the New Yorker, Clifton Fadiman called Pringle's book "many-sided, highly detailed, detached," and "as lively as his subject." M. Howe, writing in the Harvard Law Review, found Pringle's Taft biography "truly admirable"; taken together with the historian's biography of Roosevelt, "the two works present an extraordinarily effective picture of … American history," according to the critic.

In addition to his focus on U.S. presidents, Pringle also wrote Alfred E. Smith: A Critical Study and Industrial Explorers, the latter a study of the lives of American inventors and scientists that was coauthored with Maurice Holland. He also edited Why …, a 1941 question-and-answer discussion of preparedness, financial aid to Great Britain, food blockades, and other topics relating to World War II.



Atlantic, December, 1939.

Booklist, November 1, 1939.

Christian Science Monitor, November 11, 1939.

Current History, December, 1939, p. 6.

Harvard Law Review, January, 1940, M. Howe, review of The Life and Times of William Howard Taft: A Biography, p. 505.

New Republic, November 29, 1939, p. 174.

New Yorker, October 28, 1939, Clifton Fadiman, review of The Life and Times of William Howard Taft, p. 200.

New York Times, October 29, 1939, John Chamberlain, review of The Life and Times of William Howard Taft, p. 1.

Saturday Review of Literature, October 28, 1939.

Yale Review, winter, 1940, p. 380.*

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Pringle, Henry F(owles) 1897-1958

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Pringle, Henry F(owles) 1897-1958