Gottschalk, Louis Reichenthal

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GOTTSCHALK, LOUIS REICHENTHAL (1899–1975), U.S. historian. Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., Gottschalk taught at the University of Chicago from 1927 where he was professor from 1935. Gottschalk was assistant editor (1929–43) and acting editor (1943–45) of the Journal of Modern History and president of the American Historical Association (1953). Gottschalk's main historical interests were the era of the French Revolution, modern European history in general, and historiography. His major works include Jean Paul Marat: a Study in Radicalism (1927); Era of the French Revolution (1929); a multi-volumed study of Lafayette (5 vols., 1935–1969); and UnderstandingHistory: A Primer of Historical Method (rev. ed., 1969). While maintaining exacting standards for the verification of past events, he recognized the influence of the historian's own environment on his interpretation. Gottschalk served on the International Commission for a Scientific and Cultural History of Mankind from 1956, becoming vice president in 1962. Gottschalk was active in Jewish affairs, and was president of the Chicago Board of Jewish Education (1942–45); council member of the Conference on Jewish Social Studies; and chairman of the Union of Chicago B'nai B'rith Hillel Foundation from 1963.


R. Herr and H.T. Parker (eds.), Ideas in History: Essays presented to Louis Gottschalk by his former students (1965).

[Joseph I. Shulim]