Cline, Howard F. (1915–1971)

views updated

Cline, Howard F. (1915–1971)

Howard F. Cline (June 12, 1915–June 1, 1971) was a leading specialist in Mexican history and a key figure in the development of Latin American area studies. He received his undergraduate degree from Harvard; before returning to Harvard for graduate study, Cline traveled in Mexico and worked briefly in the Department of Indian Affairs during the administration of President Lázaro Cárdenas. From the latter experience he acquired a lifelong interest in ethnohistory. His best-known work, The United States and Mexico (1953) deals chiefly with Mexico and offers a wide range of detailed information and analysis on twentieth-century Mexican developments. Cline taught Latin American history at Harvard, Yale, and ultimately Northwestern, but left full-time teaching in 1952 to become director of the Hispanic Foundation of the Library of Congress. In that capacity he supervised one of the world's great collections of materials dealing with Spain, Portugal, and Latin America. Increasingly, he also took a leading role in the professional activities of Latin American specialists, particularly when, after the Cuban Revolution, there was a sharp rise of interest in and support for Latin American studies. He was one of the organizers of the Latin American Studies Association, founded in 1966, and served as its first executive secretary.

See alsoLatin American Studies Association .


Finan, John J. "Howard F. Cline (1915–1971): Obituary." Hispanic American Historical Review 51, no. 4 (November 1971): 646-653.

                                      David Bushnell