Borah, Woodrow (1912–1999)

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Borah, Woodrow (1912–1999)

Woodrow W. Borah (December 23, 1912–December 10, 1999) was recognized as one of the most influential scholars in the field of Latin American history. He received his doctorate at the University of California, Berkeley, with a dissertation on the colonial Mexican silk industry that was pioneering for its use of provincial archives and interdisciplinary range. He taught briefly at Princeton University and during World War II served in the Latin American Division of the Office of Strategic Services. He returned to Berkeley in 1948 as member of the speech faculty but moved to the History Department in 1962, retiring in 1980. Together with Sherburne F. Cook, Borah established the so-called Berkeley School of Latin American history, with a unique focus on historical demography. But Borah's research and publications extended to other aspects of colonial Spanish America, with emphasis on Mexico. In 1967 he headed the Conference on Latin American History and in 1986 received a Distinguished Service Award from the American Historical Association.

See alsoSilk Industry and Trade .


Nettel, Patricia. "Borah, Chevalier y Gibson: Los autores clásicos y la historiografía económica y social del México colonial." Historias 41 (1998): 15-36.

Wilkie, James W., and Rebecca Horn. "An Interview with Woodrow Borah." Hispanic American Historical Review 65 (August 1985): 401-441.

                                          David Bushnell