Feis, Herbert

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FEIS, HERBERT (1893–1972), U.S. economic historian. Feis, who was born in New York City, was an instructor in economics at Harvard (1920–21), associate professor at the University of Kansas (1922–25), and professor and head of the department of economics at the University of Cincinnati (1926–29). Between 1922 and 1927 he was U.S. adviser to the International Labor Office of the League of Nations. In 1930, he became a member of the staff of the Council on Foreign Relations, in 1931 economic adviser to the U.S. State Department, and from 1937 to 1943 he was adviser on international economics.

Feis was a special adviser to the U.S. secretary of war from 1944 to 1946, and during that period was chief technical adviser to the World Economic and Monetary Conference in London. From 1948 he was a member of the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton. His many publications include Europe, The World's Banker 18701914 (1930, 19653), The Spanish Story (1948, 19662), The Road to Pearl Harbor (1950, 19642), The Diplomacy of the Dollar (1950, 19652), The China Tangle (1953, 19653), Churchill, Roosevelt, Stalin (1957, 19662), Between War and Peacethe Potsdam Conference (1960, 19672), Japan Subdued (1961), Foreign Aid and Foreign Policy (1964, 19662), 1933: Characters in Crisis (1966), The Atomic Bomb & the End of World War ii (1966), and The Birth of Israel: The Tousled Diplomatic Bed (1969). Feis was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1961 for Between War and Peace, which dealt with the origins of the Cold War.

In 1982 the American Historical Association established the Herbert Feis Award, which is offered annually to recognize the scholarly interests of historians outside academe and the importance of the work of independent scholars in the United States.

Feis' wife, Ruth, was the granddaughter of James Garfield, the 20th president of the United States.


Current Biography Yearbook, 1961 (1962), 156–8. add. bibliography: D. Yergler, Herbert Feis, Wilsonian Internationalism, and America's Technological-Democracy (1993).

[Joachim O. Ronall /

Ruth Beloff (2nd ed.)]