Krieger, Leonard

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KRIEGER, LEONARD (1918–1990), U.S. historian. Born in Newark, New Jersey, Krieger was educated at Rutgers and Yale University, where he did graduate research for the Office of Strategic Services on the German system of domination in Eastern Europe. He joined the Yale history department, and was appointed professor in 1961. The following year he moved to the University of Chicago. As a historian, his overall objective was to bring historical experience to light through the individual's own intellectual process and to explore how ideas – including those of the historian – have a role in shaping history. For Krieger, intellectual history meant connecting the dots between ideas and events rather than merely collating and recounting facts and historical episodes.

Krieger's main works are The German Idea of Freedom: History of a Political Tradition (1957) and Politics of Discretion: Pufendorf and the Acceptance of Natural Law (1965), which examined the problem of a "trimmer." He also wrote Kingsand Philosophers, 16891789 (1970), The German Revolutions (with F. Engels, 1970), Ranke: The Meaning of History (1977), and Time's Reasons (1989). He was co-author of History (1965), and co-editor of Responsibility of Power (1968).


M. Brick (ed.), Ideas and Events: Professing History (1992).

[Ruth Beloff (2nd ed.)]