Riesman, David, Jr. 1909-2002
RIESMAN, David, Jr. 1909-2002
OBITUARY NOTICE—See index for CA sketch: Born September 22, 1909, in Philadelphia, PA; died May 10, 2002, in Binghamton, NY. Sociologist, attorney, educator, and author. Riesman was the coauthor of the influential 1950 book The Lonely Crowd: A Study of the Changing American Character, which helped make sociology a popular subject in the United States. Although he later became a sociologist, Riesman began his career as an attorney, having received his law degree in 1934 from Harvard University. After passing the Bar in both Massachusetts and Washington, D.C., he worked as a law clerk for Associate U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis and then for a Boston law firm. In 1937 he joined the University of Buffalo faculty as a law professor, remaining until 1941. Passing the New York Bar exam, he moved on to Columbia University Law School and became deputy assistant district attorney for New York County from 1942 to 1943. During World War II Riesman was an executive at the Sperry Gyroscope Company; after the war he switched to sociology after his writings on civil liberties drew attention from the University of Chicago. He was a professor of social sciences at the University of Chicago during the late 1940s and through the 1950s, joining the Harvard University faculty in 1958 where he remained until his retirement in 1980. Riesman's The Lonely Crowd, coauthored with Nathan Glazer and Reuel Denney, was initially intended to be only for academics, but its message about U.S. society made it an unexpected bestseller. In it, the authors explain that U.S. society during the 1950s was in a conformist state, prompting some readers—inspired by the social unrest of the 1960s—to interpret the work as a call for nonconformity. Riesman held that The Lonely Crowd should not be taken to mean that all people were conformists: individuals are much too complex for such generalities. Significantly, Riesman's The Lonely Crowd initiated a period of self-analysis among Americans that continued into the twenty-first century. The author followed his first book with Faces in the Crowd: Individual Studies in Character and Politics (1952), written with Glazer, and Individualism Reconsidered, and Other Essays (1954). In his subsequent books Riesman turned more to the subject of academia, writing on such subjects as student power, the decrease in faculty power, and the effect of politics on educational institutions in such works as The Academic Revolution (1968; written with Christopher Jencks) and On Higher Education: The Academic Enterprise in an Era of Rising Student Consumerism (1980).
OBITUARIES AND OTHER SOURCES:
Writers Directory, 16th edition, St. James Press (Detroit, MI), 2001.
Los Angeles Times, May 12, 2002, p. B16.
New York Times, May 11, 2002, p. B15.
Times (London, England), May 30, 2002.
Washington Post, May 12, 2002, p. C9.
"Riesman, David, Jr. 1909-2002." Contemporary Authors. . Encyclopedia.com. (January 23, 2019). https://www.encyclopedia.com/arts/educational-magazines/riesman-david-jr-1909-2002
"Riesman, David, Jr. 1909-2002." Contemporary Authors. . Retrieved January 23, 2019 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/arts/educational-magazines/riesman-david-jr-1909-2002
Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).
Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.
Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:
Modern Language Association
The Chicago Manual of Style
American Psychological Association
- Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
- In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.