BARZUN, Jacques. American (born France), b. 1907. Genres: History, Intellectual history, Literary criticism and history, Music, Philosophy, Social commentary, Speech/Rhetoric, Biography, Reference, Translations, Language/Linguistics, Literary criticism and history. Career: Columbia University, University Professor of History, 1967-75, Emeritus, 1975- (faculty member, 1927-; Assistant Professor, 1938-42; Associate Professor, 1942-45; Professor, 1945-55; Dean of Graduate Faculties, 1955-58; Dean of Faculties and Provost, 1958-67; Seth Low Professor of History, 1960); Churchill College, Cambridge, Extraordinary Fellow, 1961-; Encyclopedia Britannica, Board of Editors, member, 1962-; Literary Consultant to Charles Scribner's Sons, publrs., 1975-93. Publications: The French Race: Theories of Its Origin, 1932; Race: A Study in Modern Superstition, 1937; Of Human Freedom, 1939; Darwin, Marx, Wagner, 1941; Teacher in America, 1945, 4th ed., 1981; Berlioz and the Romantic Century, 1950, 3rd ed., 1969; Pleasures of Music, 1951, 3rd ed., 1977; God's Country and Mine, 1954; The Energies of Art, 1956; Music in American Life, 1956; (with H. Graff) The Modern Researcher, 1957, 6th ed., 2003; The House of Intellect, 1959; Classic Romantic and Modern, 1961; Science: The Glorious Entertainment, 1964; The American University, 1968; (with W.H. Taylor) A Catalogue of Crime, 1971; On Writing, Editing and Publishing, 1971; Clio and the Doctors, 1974; The Use and Abuse of Art, 1974; Simple and Direct, 1975; Critical Questions, 1982; A Stroll with William James, 1983; A Word or Two before You Go, 1986; The Culture We Deserve, 1989; Begin Here, 1991; An Essay on French Verse for Readers of English Poetry, 1991; From Dawn to Decadence: 500 Years of Western Cultural Life, 2000; A Jacques Barzun Reader, 2001. TRANSLATOR: Diderot: Rameau's Nephew, 1952; Flaubert: Dictionary of Accepted Ideas, 1954, 3rd ed., 1968; (and ed.) New Letters of Berlioz, 1954; Courteline: A Rule Is a Rule, 1960; Beaumarchais: The Marriage of Figaro, 1961. EDITOR: Selected Letters of Lord Byron, 1953; Selected Writings of John Jay Chapman, 1957; (with others) Follett's Modern American Usage, 1966. Address: 18 Wolfeton Way, San Antonio, TX 78218-6045, U.S.A.
Jacques Barzun (zhäk bär´zən), 1907–2012, American writer, educator, and historian, b. Créteil, France, grad. Columbia (B.A., 1927; Ph.D., 1932). Barzun moved to the United States in 1919. A student of law and history and one of the founders of the discipline of cultural history, he began teaching history at Columbia in 1928 and spent the remainder of his long and distinguished academic career there. Appointed professor in 1945, he became dean of the graduate faculties in 1955, and was (1958–67) dean of faculties and provost. He became professor emeritus in 1975. For nine decades Barzun wrote and edited critical and historical studies, essays, and reviews on a wide variety of subjects. He particularly espoused the ideals of liberty and individualism that emanated from 19th-cent. liberalism and the romantic movement. His dozens of books include Race: A Study in Modern Superstition (1937. rev. ed. 1965), Romanticism and the Modern Ego (1943, 2d rev. ed. retitled Classic, Romantic, and Modern, 1961), The Teacher in America (1945), Berlioz and the Romantic Century (2 vol., 1950), Darwin, Marx, Wagner (rev. 2d ed., 1958), The House of Intellect (1959), Science: The Glorious Entertainment (1964), The American University (1968), Berlioz and the Romantic Century (3d ed. 1969), The Use and Abuse of Art (1974), and Begin Here: The Forgotten Conditions of Teaching and Learning (1991). His sweeping, critically acclaimed historical survey, From Dawn to Decadence: 500 Years of Western Cultural Life, 1500 to the Present (2000), which asserted that Western civilization had begun a time of decline, was a surprise best seller.
See M. Murray, ed., A Jacques Barzun Reader (2002); biography by M. Murray (2011).