Rock, Howard B. 1944-

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ROCK, Howard B. 1944-

PERSONAL: Born July 11, 1944, in Cleveland, OH; son of Manuel E. (an attorney and business executive) and Lenore (Lavin) Rock; married Ellen Bernstein (a psychotherapist), August 17, 1975; children: David, Daniel. Education: Brandeis University, B.A., 1966; New York University, M.A., 1969, Ph.D., 1974. Politics: Democrat. Religion: Jewish.

ADDRESSES: Home—6030 Southwest Ninety-third Ave., Miami, FL 33173. Office—Department of History, Florida International University, Miami, FL 33199.

CAREER: Florida International University, Miami, assistant professor, 1973-79, associate professor, 1979-80, professor of history, 1990—, chair of department of history, 1982-89.

MEMBER: American Historical Association, Organization of American Historians, New York State Historical Association.

AWARDS, HONORS: National Endowment for the Humanities fellow in residence; grant from American Council of Learned Societies; New York State Historical Association Bicentennial Award, 1976; Lilly Endowment, 1992; Florida International University awards of excellence, 1990, 1992, 1995, 1998.


Artisans of the New Republic, New York University Press (New York, NY), 1979.

(Editor) The New York City Artisan, 1789-1825: A Documentary History, State University of New York Press (Albany, NY), 1989.

(Editor, with Paul Gilje) Keepers of the Revolution: The Workers of NYC in the New Republic, Cornell University Press (Ithaca, NY), 1992.

(Editor, with Gilje and Robert Asher) American Artisans: Crafting Social Identity, 1750-1850, Johns Hopkins University Press (Baltimore, MD), 1995.

(With Deborah Dash Moore) Cityscapes: A History of New York in Images, Columbia University Press (New York, NY), 2001.

Contributor to Worktime and Industrialization: An International History, edited by Gary Cross, Temple University Press, 1988; New York City in the Age of the Constitution, Farleigh Dickinson University Press, 1992; and The Unvanquished by Howard Fast, 1997. Contributor of articles to periodicals, including Labor History, New York Historical Society Quarterly, and Journal of Urban History.

SIDELIGHTS: Howard B. Rock once told CA: "I was one of the first historians to write about the role of early American artisans, particularly their social, political, and economic place. I have extended this interest to bringing out documentary evidence of their lives and, most recently, of other groups of workingmen and workingwomen."

"A critical transformation in craft production occurred between the American Revolution and the Civil War," wrote Donna Rilling in the opening of her review of American Artisans: Crafting Social Identity, 1750-1850. The study, coedited by Rock, outlines the political and social evolution of the American craft worker. Between the two wars, the life of the artisan was a difficult one. Economic independence was elusive; "journeymen unable to climb the craft ladder led a growing pool of permanent wage laborers," continued Rilling in her article for Business History Review. The essays in American Artisans, said the critic, inform and challenge the reader's perceptions by pointing out, for example, the diversity of experience between the pre-industrial North and the slave-labor-driven South. "Bondage barred slave artisans from a white craftsman's world the celebrated political and economic autonomy," Rilling noted, adding that in American Artisans "business historians unfamiliar with artisan scholarship will find . . . a rich introduction to the diversity of early America. No longer is our vision constricted to organized labor activities in the urban northeast."

To Graham Hodges, writing in Industrial and Labor Relations Review, Rock contributes a "beautifully written essay" on artisan iconography, in which the writer/editor "also addresses the question of why mechanics revived English antecedents immediately after the Revolution, at a time when hostility to the English was a hallmark of artisan radicalism." Rock's answer, added Hodges: "Artisan regalia were largely used by elite masters to evoke older days of craft solidarity."

In Cityscapes: A History of New York in Images, Rock and Deborah Dash Moore "identify and trace the strands that make up the complex, vibrant genetic code of the mighty city of New York," according to Booklist's Donna Seaman. The authors provide the text to accompany archival photographs, paintings, broadsides, and maps that recount the metropolis from its beginnings as a Dutch trading settlement to its emergence as the world's most powerful center of business and culture. The book includes a study of New York City's distinctive skyline, a detailed street grid, and a look at the ethnic enclaves that give the city its flavor. Cityscapes, released in late 2001, closes with images of the World Trade Center, lost to terrorist attacks on September 11 of that year.



Booklist, December 1, 2001, Donna Seaman, review of Cityscapes: A History of New York in Images, p. 626.

Business History, January, 1997, Phillip Scranton, review of American Artisans: Crafting Social Identity, 1750-1850, p. 123.

Business History Review, spring, 1993, Graham Hodges, review of Keepers of the Revolution: The Workers of NYC in the New Republic, p. 144; summer, 1996, Donna Rilling, review of American Artisans, p. 267.

Choice, April, 1996, review of American Artisans, p. 1376.

Historian, spring, 1997, review of American Artisans, p. 666.

Industrial and Labor Relations Review, October, 1996, Graham Hodges, review of American Artisans, p. 182.

Journal of Economic History, March, 1998, review of American Artisans, p. 283.

Journal of Economic Literature, March, 1996, review of American Artisans, p. 259.

Journal of Southern History, February, 1997, review of American Artisans, p. 145.

Library Journal, February 15, 2001, Harry Frumerman, review of Cityscapes, p. 161.

Reference and Research Book News, March, 1996, review of American Artisans, p. 24.

Technology and Culture, April, 1998, review of American Artisans, p. 303.

William and Mary Quarterly, July, 1997, review of American Artisans, p. 650.*